The shipping industry is concerned that new environmental regulations will threaten ferry businesses and many jobs at the same time. The price of crossing the sea is going to rise rapidly unless something is done about the new governmental regulations that will force many businesses into redundancy unless ferry operators are somehow made exempt from the regulations.
According to the UK Chamber of Shipping, the cost of sulphur emissions will increase rapidly because of new laws about this type of emissions. As a result, ferry routes within the Channel and the North Sea are not going to be competitive or even viable to continue to run.
Shipping regulation has lagged far behind many laws that have been passed about land pollution even though ship fuel that is low grade can easily have as much as 2,000 more sulphur inside of the diesel. The shipping body agreed that there is obviously a need to regulate and reduce the amount of sulphur that ships emit into the air, but stated that the deadline outlined by the government is not going to work for the UK ferry operators.
New research that has been commissioned by Amec the consultant group claims that in order to cover the regulations will cause tickets to increase by anywhere from 5% to 30% in routes that connect Britain to other countries in Europe. Therefore, ferry traffic will stay concentrated on the shorter trips whereas more lorries are going to head for the roads.
At the moment ships that use diesel fuel are required to use fuel that has 3.5% of sulphur in it, but as of 2015 the limit will be reduced to 0.1% which will force ships to buy cleaner fuel in order to reduce their emissions. Unfortunately, cleaner fuel is also much more expensive and will require the old ferry fleet to update its ships.