Freight News, Sea

NEPTUNES aims for quality mark for quieter shipping

[ March 31, 2019   //   ]

A new quality mark aims to offer ports the opportunity to reward quieter shipping. NEPTUNES, a project organization of 11 ports established two years ago by the Port of Rotterdam Authority to reduce shipping noise, presented this so-called noise label at its conference in Rotterdam on March 28. The IAPH Environmental Ship Index for sustainable shipping has also expressed an interest in this label.

NEPTUNES stands for Noise Exploration Program To Understand Noise Emitted by Seagoing Ships. During the conference, the project organization presented a guide full of recommendations for measures, classification and reduction of noise emissions by vessels when berthed in ports. In addition to Rotterdam, the following ports are also involved in this initiative: Amsterdam, Turku, Hamburg, Vancouver, Gothenburg, Cork, New South Wales, Koper, Stockholm and Copenhagen-Malmö.

“The Port of Rotterdam Authority is delighted with this new approach. Until now, sea-going vessels only need to adhere to noise standards in the area of working conditions. But residents in the vicinity of berths are also confronted with noise pollution. That is why the Port of Rotterdam Authority took the initiative two years ago to develop Neptunes. We realize that this stage involves mostly missionary work, but we are delighted with these initial steps regarding potential shipping noise reduction,” stated Ronald Paul, COO at the Port of Rotterdam Authority.

The basis for the quality mark is a measurement protocol formulated by NEPTUNES. The uniform measurement of shipping noise enables various types of vessels to be classified from 0 to 100 points. This concerns both the typical low-frequency noise and total noise levels. Port authorities and other organizations can use this index to reward quieter vessels.