Deep Sea & Short Sea
Shaping a new kind of freight shipping that combines cost and sustainability.
Powering global trade
Well over 80% of goods are transported by sea. The shipping industry is essential for companies, countries and the world economy to run smoothly. Both short and deep-sea shipping continue to grow and remain – particularly for bulky cargo – the most economical way to transport freight locally and internationally, despite a challenging context in recent years. In Europe, short-sea shipping is at the forefront of the European Union's transportation policy and currently accounts for at least 40% of all freight moved in Europe.
Innovating in uncertain times
As we have seen in recent years, disruption and uncertainty can have wide-reaching impacts including limited storage space, soaring freight rates, port congestion, and truck shortages. The Suez Canal blockage led to a loss of 9.6 bn USD in international trade. It is therefore more essential than ever to maximise the efficiency and performance of container ships, while keeping costs under control – against a backdrop of rising prices, in particular fuel. As the global fleet continues to grow and new players appear, the industry is constantly evolving to adapt to changing circumstances and the urgent need to protect and preserve our oceans. Innovation is already driving alternative fuels and new kinds of container ship with a lower environmental impact and optimised performance – to simultaneously reduce emissions and costs.
Optimising costs and maximizing safety
Carriers are the heavy-duty workhorses of the seas, often carrying bulky cargoes and machinery like grain, fertilisers, steel, coal, salt, stone, scrap, minerals and oil products, as well as containers and passengers. These vessels navigate unpredictable oceans, cope with ever-changing weather and resist harsh conditions. Container and other cargo ships therefore require materials that are built to last and also to weigh less – to increase durability while reducing energy & fuel costs and increasing holding capacity.
At Saint-Gobain Marine, our brands work closely with shipyards, architects and builders to provide solutions for short and deep-sea vessels across every application, from insulation to valve packages. To ensure a clear vision from the wheelhouse at all times and protect the crew, Vetrotech has developed a wide range of safe, fire-resistant and attack-resistant glazing solutions to withstand tough conditions – including accidental blasts in liquid natural gas transport carriers. Lighter, more cost-efficient solutions for your insulation, flooring and walls & ceilings all contribute to more sustainable and efficient vessel.
Liquified Natural Gas and beyond
Since January 2020, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has applied limits to the sulphur content of marine fuel oil and set the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050. To achieve this, ships will have to be powered by new types of fuels. So far, the first transition fuel to be used commercially has been LNG (liquefied natural gas). More and more container ships run on LNG, since the first ultra large containership (23,000 TEU) was launched by the CMA CGM Group at the Shanghai Jiangnan-Changxing Shipyard in 2019. LNG helps reduces emissions of sulphur oxides and fine particles by 99%, nitrogen oxides emissions by up to 85% and carbon dioxide emissions by around 20%. When combined with the latest tech, from path prediction systems to augmented-reality smart-eye systems and hydrodynamically optimised hulls, a new kind of shipping is emerging capable of achieving high levels of environmental performance.
Working with key industry players, Saint-Gobain Marine has developed solutions specially for LNG container ships including lightweight, resilient thermal insulation to protect the tank. Drawing on deep expertise in insulation for cold water pipes, Kaimann provides advanced solutions for pipelines in cryogenic systems combining low thermal conductivity, high water vapour diffusion resistance and closed-cell structure. Moving forwards, long-term fuel alternatives on the horizon are hydrogen and its carriers, especially methanol and ammonia, and electric propulsion. Committed to building tomorrow’s vessels, our brands are ready to take up the challenge.