The maritime transport is entering the European Emission Trading System (EU ETS).

As of January 1, 2024, maritime transport has joined the Emission Trading System (ETS), the European system of emission allowances trading aimed at regulating and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The European Commission establishes an overall emissions cap for the maritime transport sector. This cap is then allocated as emission quotas among shipping companies based on each vessel’s fuel consumption and technical characteristics.

Each quota represents the right to emit a certain quantity of greenhouse gases. The implementation of the ETS will be gradual: 40% of CO2 emissions must be converted into quotas in 2024, then 70% in 2025, and finally 100% of emissions in 2026.

This new regulation has an impact on the price of maritime transport. The additional costs associated with purchasing these quotas and investments made to reduce emissions will result in the application of an EU ETS contribution to all containers loaded on Marfret services affected by this new regulation.

Marfret intends to continue its efforts to accelerate reductions of CO2 emissions while maintaining the quality of its services. We have established a collaboration with the company Syroco to implement a dynamic routing system that, based on various parameters, determines the optimal route of the vessel in terms of emissions. The use of the EfficientShip software platform, already tested on our Marfret Niolon, has led to a substantial reduction in emissions on the MPV line. Other techniques are underway, such as optimizing design and using specific hull coatings.

These are just some of the innovations being introduced before the change to a new type of fuel to be implemented from 2030, further to the FuelEU maritime initiative, part of the FitFor55 directive. By that date, only renewable fuels will be allowed.

New service between Rouen, Longueil-Sainte-Marie and Gennevilliers

The opening of a new service on the Oise serving Longueil-Sainte-Marie marks a major boost for river transport on the Seine. Since January 2024, Fluviofeeder Armement, a Marfret subsidiary, has been operating three rotations every fortnight between Rouen, Longueil-Sainte-Marie and Gennevilliers using the self-propelled barge Kraken. With a length of 110m and a capacity of 117 TEU, the Kraken uses GTL fuel, with significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions compared to fuel oil.

“We are deploying additional resources to serve manufacturers based to the north of the Paris region, with supermarkets, manufacturers and construction and public works companies all using the waterway. We also transported a 345-TEU batch of containers between Longueil-Sainte-Marie and Gennevilliers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games,” explains Antoine Chaventré, head of multimodal activities at Marfret. Thanks to the multimodal hub in Rouen, and Somap’s integrated handling activities, the service to Longueil-Sainte-Marie takes 24 hours, with the option of a link with Le Havre via the Lydia river-sea shuttle.

Ferrymar’s flagship enters intra-Caribbean service

In December 2023, sporting her white livery, the ro-ro vessel Ferrymar made her maiden journey across the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean. Completed last November, the proud successor to Le Marin was designed from the outset to have a minimal carbon footprint. This jewel of technology combines performance and reliability in its service of Martinique and Guadeloupe. The Captain takes us on a tour…

The tricolour flag flies proudly atop the mast of Marfret’s new ro-ro ferry Ferrymar, serving the economy and people of the French West Indies. She has a sleeker, more thick-set silhouette than the Marin she replaces, with a rounded, reinforced bow and no stem, revealing an increased capacity of 200 linear metres at the service of local shippers.

The 11,124-tonne, 120-metre long and 22-metre-wide vessel can take more trailers on its 1200-linear metre garage and an increased number of containers on deck. With a shallow draught, the ship has accommodation for 12 truck driver passengers.

The biggest innovations include the fitting of two shaft lines and two hybrid diesel-electric engines, enabling fuel consumption to be adjusted, guaranteeing optimum reliability. Also on board is a Safe Return to Port system, which ensures that critical services remain available for three hours. Its bow windshield protects fittings and equipment in heavy seas, while two electro-hydraulic bow thrusters make docking and undocking easier.

Shore power and wind propulsion

The Ferrymar has been fitted with sockets on both port and starboard sides for connection to shore power, regardless of its berth position at the Hydrobase terminal in Fort-de-France, where it spends two days a week.  This means no more noise or pollution during port calls in Martinique and, eventually, Guadeloupe. Marfret is also planning to reduce the Ferrymar’s fuel consumption by fitting it with a propulsive wind assist system as part of its collaboration with Farwind Energy, which develops Fletner rotors that can propel up to ten times faster than a conventional sail. This spin-off from the École Centrale de Nantes is also working on the production of green hydrogen and methanol.

Taking delivery of a new ship always generates intense emotion and enthusiasm among the teams, after the months spent by the Sdari design office and the Marseille Fret shipping company on design, followed by construction by the Chinese of Jiansu Dajin Heavy Industry shipyard under the supervision of Alwena Shipping.

The Ferrymar serves the ports of Marigot in Saint-Martin, Gustavia in Saint-Barthélemy, Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe and Fort-de-France in Martinique.

An investment of $21M and numerous technological innovations to enhance the ship’s reliability and versatility are, for customers, proof of a confidence in the future and a compelling marker for a service that creates jobs and wealth and is constantly improving.