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Ocean Carriers Honored as Environmental Leaders

Port names 13 major fleets 'best of the best' in Green Flag Program

April 7, 2011

The Port of Long Beach on Thursday honored 13 top ocean carriers who earned the coveted "best of the best" honors in the Port's annual Green Flag Awards for environmental achievement.

The Port's Green Flag vessel speed reduction program gives financial incentives to ship operators to slow down near the harbor and reduce air pollution. The program has helped reduce pollution levels from ships by nearly 50 percent since it began six years ago.

Vessels that slow down within a 20 nautical mile zone around the Port are rewarded with discounts on dockage fees. Extra incentives are given to ships that slow down within 40 nautical miles.

"Because of your voluntary efforts, the air throughout our region is more breathable," Port of Long Beach Executive Director Richard D. Steinke told honorees during a luncheon hosted at the Law Offices of Keesal, Young & Logan in downtown Long Beach. "We continue to be grateful that so many of you have joined us in improving air quality and the quality of life in this community."

More than 200 ocean carriers participated in the program last year. Overall, close to 96 percent of all ships docking at the Port slowed down to the speed limit of 12 knots within the 20 nautical mile radius, and 74 percent within the 40 nautical mile radius. Slower ships burn less diesel, therefore producing less pollution.

The 13 companies honored Thursday represented a select group of ocean carriers who achieved at least 90 percent, and in some cases 100 percent, participation by their fleets. These carriers accounted for about 50 percent of all the voyages at the Port.

"It's hard to believe that it's been more than five years since we adopted our Green Port Policy," said Board of Harbor Commissioners President Nick Sramek.  "We've done a lot in those years – from the Clean Trucks program to the technology advancement program and a lot more programs."

The "Green Flag Top 13" are:

  • Hamburg Sud
  • Mediterranean Shipping Co.
  • Zim Integrated Shipping
  • Nippon Yusen Kaisha
  • Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha
  • Alaska Tanker
  • Maersk AS
  • Orient Overseas Container Line
  • Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd.
  • Matson Navigation
  • Wan Hai Lines Ltd.
  • Toyofuji Shipping Co. Ltd.

Last year, the Port awarded $2.4 million in dockage fee discounts to carriers participating in the Green Flag program. This year, the Port is on track to award about $2.5 million.

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