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Singapore, Long Beach and Los Angeles ports unveil partnership strategy for green and digital shipping corridor

The ports of Singapore, Long Beach and Los Angeles launched a partnership strategy for a green and digital maritime corridor across the Pacific Ocean

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the port authorities of the two major Californian hubs signed an agreement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

The strategy's breadth of collaboration and performance metrics reinforce the corridor partners' commitment to driving global action to digitalise, decarbonise, and enhance efficiency in the shipping sector.

The Partnership Strategy was released following the signing of a memorandum of agreement by the three port organisations at Singapore Maritime Week in April 2023.

The signing of the deal formalised the collaboration, which is backed by C40 Cities and aims to develop a green and digital shipping corridor connecting the three global hub ports.

"Over the last two decades, we've learned that collaboration between maritime industry partners is the key to making meaningful progress in reducing emissions and cleaning the air," stated Mario Cordero, CEO of Port of Long Beach.

The strategy outlines steps to accelerate the decarbonisation of the maritime shipping industry by enabling first-mover organisations to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the earliest feasible date, in support of the goals set out in the 2023 International Maritime Organization's Strategy on minimizing GHG Emissions from Ships.

Mario Cordero added, "This transpacific green shipping corridor takes this concept globally. The strategies we develop here can be used as a roadmap by a larger network of seaports and supply chain companies to invest in programs, technologies, software and infrastructure to decarbonize international trade everywhere."

The ports and C40, as well as value-chain stakeholders from the petroleum and marine industries,will collaborate on the following tasks:

  • Coordinate decarbonisation activities: Partners will assist in catalysing and coordinating efforts to allow ships calling at the three ports to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible.
  • Create agreement on green shipping best practices: Partners will work to reach an agreement on the best green shipping practices and standards.
  • Improve access to and adoption of technology and digital solutions: Partners will collaborate to develop and deploy innovative technology and digital solutions to improve supply chain efficiency, resilience, and decarbonisation while lowering costs and enhancing dependability.
  • Leverage networks: Partners will collaborate with stakeholders participating in existing green shipping projects, including those developed by the three ports and other parties, to increase the use of zero and near-zero emission technologies, fuels, and energy sources.

To accomplish these goals, a partnership structure and governance mechanism were created to clarify the duties and responsibilities of corridor partners. The approach also defines procedures for bringing on new players, managing finances, maintaining confidentiality and making decisions.

"This Partnership Strategy document is the foundation upon which we'll build the future of maritime shipping. Our success requires the resolve and dedication of the three partnering ports and our industry partners. Together, we will model the collaboration necessary to achieve our climate and efficiency goals,” commented Gene Seroka, Port of Los Angeles executive director.

The ports and C40 have commissioned a study to assess trade flows and vessel traffic between Singapore, Los Angeles, and Long Beach as the next stage. The research will determine the amount of near-zero and zero-emission fuels needed for this traffic, as well as guide implementation by finding potential for the partnership to further the corridor's growth.

To onboard new corridor participants in 2024, the founding partners will now engage stakeholders from throughout the shipping and fuel supply value chains who share the partnership's vision and goals.

"The advancement of this Green and Digital Shipping Corridor brings the shipping sector one step closer to a 1.5 degrees Celsius-aligned trajectory. Green shipping is only achievable through collaboration because no one stakeholder can afford to move unless they know others are likely to follow. That’s where C40 is delighted to help, bringing our network of world-leading cities, which include most of the world’s largest and most forward-looking ports," explained Mark Watts, executive director of C40 Cities.

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