Regulatory inequality

Watching the latest news from the ocean shipping world has got me thinking. I’m struck by the stark inequality between regulations applied to the commercial aviation sector and those applied to the world of ocean shipping.


Regulatory inequality


Watching the latest news from the ocean shipping world has got me thinking. I’m struck by the stark inequality between regulations applied to the commercial aviation sector and those applied to the world of ocean shipping.

What provoked this chain of thought was the ongoing news of ever larger containerships being ordered. The world’s largest container ship operator Maersk, made headlines not long ago for introducing the largest boxship in history – the Maersk McKinney Moller which is capable of carrying 18,200 TEU of which it has 20 on order! And recently it emerged that China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) has ordered five, 400 metre long, 19,000 TEU vessels. Just but two examples of massive containership orders on the books.

Arguably, the shipping industry has a rather chequered reputation on the environment front – from routine discharges of oily bilge and ballast water, dumping of non-biodegradable solid waste; accidental spills of oil, toxins or fuel; and ecological harm due to the introduction of invasive species transported in ballast water, to name only a few. And then there is the issue of the absurd anti-trust immunity that the shipping industry somehow still manages to get away with – oh boy, let’s not even go there!