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THE IMPORTANCE OF THE IMPROVEMENTS ON THE MARITIME TRANSPORT IN THE GLOBAL TRADE

Authors: Dr. Antoni Isalgu Buxeda, Dr. F. Xavier Martnez de Oss and Mrs. Marcella
Castells i Sanabra

Universitat Politcnica de Catalunya UPC


Spain

ABSTRACT
Nowadays, the transport cost element in the shelf price of consumer goods varies from product to product, but is ultimately nearly marginal. For example, transport costs account for around 2% of the shelf price of a television set and only around 1.2% of a kilogram of coffee. Global trade and easy of transport has effectively permitted an enormous variety of resources to be more widely accessible and has thus facilitated the widespread distribution of our planets common wealth. Shipping really has provided the most cost-effective method of bulk transport over any great distance. More than 90 per cent of global trade is carried by sea. Shipping has done a double sided effort in the last decades; this is in the consumption and safety. Concerning consumption, 99.8% of merchant ships use now diesel engines for their propulsion, and it should be noted that significant technical advances have been done from the year 1975 when the consumptions ranged about 175-180 g of fuel per HP and hour, to around 120 g per HP and hour in 1995. However, most improvements have been devoted to increase safety and reliability, but also to reducing manpower needed to operate. In fact, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea and the International Convention for the Maritime Pollution, from the Maritime Organization (IMO), starting the first after the Titanic disaster in 1912, recommends and forces measures to be taken to increase safety, later to reduce pollution and spills (MARPOL conventioni) and now also accounts for emissions of ships. This paper emphasizes the need and the role of "smart" regulating organisms in order to improve the global functioning, based on an analogy to other systems.

KEYWORDS 1. Maritime Transport 2.Analogy system 3.Safety and consumption

INTRODUCTION The seaborne trade in 2006 increased to 6.98 109 metric tons, around 4.8% over the previous year. Over the last four decades, total seaborne trade estimates have more than quadrupled, from less than 6 1012 ton-miles in 1965 to the figure of 25 1012 ton-miles in 2003. As of 2005, the world trading fleet was made up of more than 46,200 ships of more than 100 gross tons, with a combined tonnage of near six hundred million gross tons. Near 25% of these ships are tankers. The price of marine bunkers is closely related to the crude price. Up to the year 1973, the bunker cost was minima and ships did not need to reduce consumptions and their engines look for a high output, mechanical simplicity and easy maintenance. However nowadays the scenario has changed to the opposite situation and to this economical factor we should add the interest for environment and the need to reduce the CO2 emissions.
IF O 380 p rice s a t R o tte rd a m
700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0
08 /09 /20 08 22 /09 /20 08 06 /10 /20 08 20 /10 /20 08 03 /11 /20 08 17 /11 /20 08 01 /12 /20 08 15 /12 /20 08 29 /12 /20 08 12 /01 /20 09 26 /01 /20 09 09 /02 /20 09 /20 08 25 /08

US dollars per metric ton

Da te s

Figure 1. IFO 380 prices at Rotterdam. Despite the price has been dropped from the summer time, it has been maintained at 200 $ per metric ton, on average. Source: Own, based on www.bunkerworld.com data All life and all economic areas are affected by the climate, so it seems that the reduction of greenhouse gases (including CO2) is important. Transport is almost wholly dependent on oil for energy, and the rise in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is causing concern.ii Large emphasis has been put on energy uses in housing, industry, and road and plane transport. As it is considered that, aviation sector is considered among other large polluters.iii Up to now, few reports deal with CO2 emissions in maritime transport,

apart from other related emissions like sulphur dioxides or nitrogen oxides (and prohibiting deliberate emissions of ozone-depleting substances) as the limits posed in certain areas known as SECAs (Sulphur Emission Control Areas) by IMOiv Annex VI to the MARPOL, dealing with air pollution. It is believed that stricter regulations are needed, to do the sea transport more efficient in terms of air emissions, against road transport, at least in certain areas where rigorous regulations are applied like Euro IV, V or the future VI, like in Europe. Even we should consider that international ocean shipping is not incorporated in the nowadays in force Kyoto protocol. The main reason might be two fold: on the one hand, it is believed that its weight is low (for instance, European plans do not account for this kind of transport). On the other hand, large problems exist in part of the maritime transport, mostly known by public as the fuel spills or the loss of vessels. However the overall safety record of shipping has been improving steadily for many years, being the worst years, 1978 and 1979, when up to 938 losses occurred, approaching in the year 2004, to the mark of hundred per year. Additionally it should be remarked that maritime transport is only responsible for some 12% of the total marine pollution generated from human activities.v The reality results as the interlock of economic and political issues, a large amount of transport, and the existence of convenience flags which are used to enlarge short-term incomes, many times through higher risk transport. Further on, technical improvements have been essentially devoted to improve safety, and to reduce time of transport and man-work used for a given quantity of transport, with the aim to gain confidence and lower costs. The main aim of this paper is to show an analysis of the global functioning of maritime transport in order to assess the needs of improve this system and to compare with analogy system. The paper has been divided into three main sections. Firstly, the needs of the maritime transport are described. Secondly, an analogy system is described and finally, conclusions comparing both systems are drawn. THE SCENARIO Large advances have been done when comparing navigation in 1925 and in XXI century. We should remark also that over the last four decades, total seaborne trades have passed from less than 6 thousand billion tonne-miles in 1965 to a total of over 251012 tonne-miles of trade.vi Shipping trade estimates are usually calculated in tonne nautical miles, that means a measurement of tones carried, multiplied by the distance travelled.

Specifically, the seaborne trade in 2006 increased by 4.8 per cent over previous year, to 6.98109of metric tonsvii. Being the approximate volume in the year 2001 of 5.48 109 of metric tonnes around 5.71 109 of metric tons in the year 2002, or 5.96109 of metric tons in the year 2003. Considering the global emissions from ships of 100 registered tonnes and above in the year 2002, reached to about 634 million of metric tons.viii This scenario is improved when talking about the river or inner canal navigation, as dealing with energy efficiency 1 kilogram of oil can move along 1 kilometre, up to 50 metric tonnes by truck, 97 metric tonnes by rail and up to 127 metric tonnes by inner navigation.ix Research undertaken by British government, demonstrated that energy consumption of road transport by truck lies in the range of 0.7 to 1.2 MJoules/metric tonne x km, lowering to 0.3 MJoules/metric tonne x km of a 3,000 deadweight coastal tanker at 14 knots or the 0.12 MJoules/metric tonne x km of a medium size containership (1200 TEUs at 18.5 knots). At present there is no technological solution available to reduce CO2 emissions, so the only way to reduce transports contribution to global warming is to reduce its carbon dependency through the increased use of alternative fuels, greater efficiency in fuel use, increased occupancy and load factors, and through reducing distances travelled. In recent years the technical improvement of the fuel economy in road transport was traded off by increased size of vehicles, decreasing number of passengers per vehicle, higher motor power and possibly also ecologically less sound driving habits said Tapio. In fact 99.8% of ships use diesel engines for their propulsion, and it should be noted that significant technical advances have been done from the year 1975 when the consumptions ranged about 175-180 g per installed HP and hour, to around 120 g per HP and hour in 1995. The final result is impressive, because from a turbine steam tanker from 1975 to the same power diesel engine in the year 2005, the consumption figures have halved. This is to say that considering hull improvements, propellers and hull paintings, the consumption for a 300,000 deadweight tonnes tanker passed from 230 250 tonnes per day in 1975 to 80-90 tons per day in 2005.x In order to get a real contention of CO2 emissions, most probably it will be needed the conjunction of different resources, starting by the following: Reduction of the emissions impact, through the use of cleaner or new composition fuels (less sulphur contents). New technologies in engines like selective catalytic reduction, humid air motor technologies or scrubbers on board.

Reducing the electricity consumption, improving the ships hydrodynamics, adjusting the ships speed or the use of appendixes to reduce the consumed energy like sails or wind generators. Better use of TIC for meteo forecast and logistics, purposes. Adjustment of speed to real needs. There have been significant improvements in marine engine efficiency, improved hull designs or larger cargo capacities, have led to a reduction in emissions and an increase in fuel efficiency. It is expected improvements in hull design in the future, leading to further reductions in oil consumption with consequent reductions in air pollution, as today engines giving a 30%-40% reduction in discharges of nitrogen oxides, with future reductions of 60%. However, the problem we face nowadays is how improvements (in pollution, emissions, safety) will be put to work on the maritime transport, as any improvement needs some effort to be implemented. THE ANALOGY In general terms, we can describe the above system with the analogy with other wellknown systems. From a Darwinian view of natural selection, we can see that mobility (which requires mechanical work) and adaptability and the ability to produce resources (aspects that are very closely linked to mobility and to the availability of mechanical work) have been the factors that have led to the dominance of some species over others. Then, the importance of transport and mobility is clear, as is also the availability of work. The availability of work in important quantities means that there is a real possibility of effectively changing things, both in their internal state and in the environment that surrounds them. Also, this change must be capable of going in any direction (unlike heat, which can only move in one direction, that of equalising temperatures, which is the general rule in our universe). The outstanding importance of work, or rather of the availability of work, can be seen throughout human history. In fact, the industrial revolution took place when we tried to increase the extraction of resources, the production of coal, and started to use equipment or "machines" which used natural energy resources (coal and fuel) to make large amounts of work available. Thermal engines are used to produce work based on heat transfer, and that they are the subject matter that is studied in thermodynamics, a science with a very wide range of applications. We can say that sources of energy and their use on a human scale follow

basic thermodynamic principles, especially those of energy conservation and the global increase in entropy for the whole universe. The detailed analysis of the functioning of thermal machines shows that in simple situations an external source of work is required in order to make them function continuously (or cyclically), or that an element which forces the system to return to the initial situation is requiredxi .For instance, when we are dealing with gas operating in a cylinder in a gas machine, it needs to be compressed from time to time in order to complete the cycle. This requires the use of a certain amount of work from outside the system. As an example, let us consider that we have a heat source (hotter than the environment), and some media, water, and we want to obtain some work. If we simply put some water near the hot source, steam is produced, and goes up because it is lighter than air, so maybe the steam can do some light work, as elevate a sheet of paper (fig. 2).

Figure 2. Some small amount of work can be easily obtained from a heat source (Fire here) and a material media (water here). Source: own. However, one might increase dramatically the amount of work obtained by using a more elaborate approach, in this case, forcing the steam to impulse a complex device, either an alternative machine or a turbine (fig. 3). It should be noted that, in order to obtain considerable amounts of work we need to have a relatively complex machine, a turbine or equivalent, in a specific place, so that the steam moves the turbine on leaving the heated chamber as in fig.3.

Figure 3. The amount of work available (and the power) can be increased dramatically with a more complex approach. Source: own. Now, it can be observed that the system cannot work indefinitely if a limited quantity of water is available, as steam is lost after performing work in the turbine. An immediate solution might be to enclose the exiting steam in a large recipient, so water is not lost (fig. 4). It would be realized that, in the same conditions that previously (heat, temperature, amount of water), less work might be obtained. Also, the system will not work indefinitely.

Figure 4. Water is not lost. Source: own. A better performance might be obtained if the large recipient where the steam goes after doing work in the turbine is cooled. In fig. 4 we schematize this with some ice cooling, at least, part of the recipient.

Figure 5. Cooling at some point increase the possibilities to obtain more work, and diminishes the requirement of space to avoid loss of steam or water. Source: own. In fact, if steam is condensed at some part after the turbine, the volume of the space might be reduced without considerable effects on the available work. However, this system will not be able to work continuously; a further improvement is shown in fig. 6, which incorporates a pump to fill again the original tank from the condensed water.

Figure 6. System with a re-circulating pump. Source: own.

It has to be noted that the pump needs work to operate; the water will not enter the original space without forcing it into. The forcing element (the pump) needs work to operate, in order to make the system sustainable in the sense that, if the source of heat (the fire, or the solar energy) and the source of cold (the ice, or the cold exterior space) are in place, work might be obtained continuously. Of course, it might be realized that in this idealised case, where friction is not considered, and with quite different hot and cold temperatures, the work needed to operate the pump is much lower than the work obtainable at the turbine. By analogy, it can be expected that to make a complex system function properly, and not to waste unnecessarily the resources (as in fig. 2 or 3 the obtaining of work means the loss of water), forcing elements would be needed. In the human society, this might take the form of norms and laws, and the force needed to impose these norms might be cultural, of economic agents, or even military. CONCLUSIONS By the analogy of the above system, we can draw the following scheme of figure 7, where the lower box is analogue to the forcing element shown on figure 6.

The system works better

INCREASE OF SHIPPING TRANSPORT

Need of speed, manpower and units Reduce of safety and reliability

More accidents and consumption

More pollution and more loses

Need norms and regulating organisms

Figure 7. Scheme of the needs of the maritime transport. Source: own. In the case of maritime transport, the fact that norms and laws were needed for reduce the pollution and the safety, and would be put into force, became evident after the Titanic disaster. The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International Convention for the Maritime Pollution, from the Maritime Organization (IMO), recommends and forces measures to be taken to increase safety,

later to reduce pollution and spills (MARPOL convention) and now also accounts for emissions of ships. The convenience of the adoption of these measures is now widely accepted, but force might be needed to impose further norms, as maybe some force would be needed to avoid piracy in some places. A continuous state of lots of forcing measures would be difficult to maintain in human societies. Fortunately, there might be better methods. For instance, it has to be noted that, in our example, an increase in the complexity of the system (for example, using a gear or a chain connecting appropriately the turbine to the pump in the above case, or using a flywheel or various cylinders in an alternative machine) may allow independence from the external work source. In these cases, part of the work returns to the system, thus allowing the cycle to continue. In the human society, this would mean that a smart complex network of interrelationships among the partners might made evident for them that the best they can do is adapt the norms, so the profits will increase for all the parts. This suggests, as a possible statement of a general law, that increasing complexity in some systems makes it easier to produce work cleanly, which gives them an advantage as they have more useful work available. This should not be interpreted as questioning the conclusions of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which talks of the "tendency to move towards universal uniformity" considering the whole universe. Our argument says that an increase in the complexity of a system might occur if it means that it can produce or obtain more (or sufficient) resources to continue functioning in the new state. However, the Second Principle of Thermodynamics is not put on question, as this principle refers to the global increase of entropy and global tendency to uniformization, nothing is imposed on a local basis, in our case an increase in complexity in the local scale would be compensated by a different use of resources globally. Now we can define the concept of smart complexity as the complexity of a system which "forces the necessary parts" and does not need any external action in order to achieve cyclic (sustainable) functioning, in the meaning that Shukuya uses, based on solar energy and the exchange with the distant universe (avoiding excessive warming of the Earth). Internal regulation has to be provided/constructed by human law, culture, etc. Concerning maritime transport, the fundamental role of international organisms as IMO should be to enunciate and, eventually, put into force, the norms needed for a good functioning of transport worldwide. Its role has to be not only to enunciate, but also to teach or to make that a favourable opinion exists versus the opportunity and convenience of the norms, in order to make a "smart complexity" to exist making use of force minimal to accomplish the rules.

International Convention for the prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 Tapio, P. et altri. Energy and transport in comparison: Immaterialisation, dematerialisation and decarbonisation in the EU 15 between 1970 and 2000. iii Kaplan, K.H, Issues & letters. Physics today, May 2007 iv International Maritime Organization, London 2005 v International Maritime Organisation, International shipping carrier of world trade. 2005 vi International Maritime Organisation, International shipping carrier of world trade. 2005 vii ISL World seaborne trade and port traffic. Bremen, 2007 viii Endresen, . A historical reconstruction of ships fuel consumption and emissions. Journal of geophysical research. 2007 ix ADEME Agence franaise de lenvironnement et de la matrise de lnergie, 2001. x Dr. Rafael Gutirrez Fraile. El ahorro energtico y las energas alternativas en los buques, con el petrleo a 100 $/barril. Ingeniera Naval magazine, 2007 xi M. Shukuya: Thermodynamic consideration for sustainable architecture, PLEA'96 (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium), pp. 319-324, 1996.
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