Green container shipping can make economic sense
"Green" shipping can go hand in hand with reduced expenses, but the key is to create independence from a single energy source. Basically, the low-sulfur laws have taken a century to come to fruition, and it already seems that Indonesia, a nation with a quarter of a billion individuals, will waive the IMO 2020 for cabotage shipments.
Any carrier that has not changed their fleet profile to one that is autonomous of the energy source is bound to lose financially at this stage in time, unless they are so fortunate that the cheapest type of energy is just oil.
Therefore, we have two main elements left. The first is that having the capacity to choose between all possible energy sources to pick the cheapest will always be more strategically advantageous. Second, oil seems unlikely to be the cheapest source of energy in 2050. For the shipping industry, therefore, the future green agenda should be viewed through the prism of strategic economic advantage, the technology developed to store energy in sufficient quantities and make the vessels independent of the source of energy.
Looking at where we are with energy storage methods today, it is obvious that this is not yet viable, but it is also evident that it is not beyond the sphere of what is possible.