The National Industrial Transportation League said while it supports liner carriers' efforts "to reduce their carbon footprint and the associated pollution of the environment," the decision to reduce ship speeds in recent years has not benefited shippers. "Instead, carriers appear to have retained the economic benefit of slow steaming for themselves," the largest U.S. shipper organization said.
Responding to a request for comments from the Federal Maritime Commission on the effect of slow steaming on U.S. ocean liner commerce, the NIT League said, "our observation is that shippers and consumers have transferred economic well being to carriers; the analytical question would seem to be whether that transfer of wealth has been 'offset' by the reduced negative effects of vessel engine emissions into the atmosphere."
The World Shipping Council, the liner carriers' trade association, said the NIT League comments are "erroneous and misguided" and that slow steaming "is a practice that is probably here to stay for both cost and environmental reasons.
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