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Company develops wildly simple solution for enormous fuel and pollution savings in shipping industry: 'On track for commercial deployment this year'

The beauty of the solution is how simple and inexpensive it would be to implement.

The beauty of the solution is how simple and inexpensive it would be to implement.

Photo Credit: iStock

The shipping industry is responsible for roughly 3% of all planet-overheating air pollution — but one new solution could bring that number down substantially without having to alter the ships themselves at all, New Atlas reported.

The "Blue Visby Solution," which New Atlas referred to as "head-slappingly obvious," would have cargo ships simply change the way they operate their ships to save massive amounts of fuel, reducing carbon pollution by as much as 28%. 

Currently, cargo ships use an operational practice known as "sail fast, then wait," which is exactly what it sounds like: They travel as quickly as possible from one port to the next and then spend as much as 8% of their time idling at anchor outside the port while they wait for their turn to dock and unload/load their cargo.

The Blue Visby Solution, developed by a consortium of experts in maritime technology and maritime law, would instead have ships coordinate with each and slow down, with each one arriving at port at its designated time. That way, the ships would burn less planet-overheating fuel while also reducing "hull fouling," the accumulation of algae and slime on the hull of a boat that sits stationary in the water.

Other proposed methods of reducing pollution from the shipping industry — all of which are still well worth pursuing — involve developing technologies and expensive alterations, or even new ships entirely. These include "green fuels" such as ammonia and hydrogen, as well as electric container ships powered by massive amounts of lithium-ion batteries.

The beauty of the Blue Visby Solution is how simple and inexpensive it would be to implement — and recent tests conducted by the consortium showed that it really works.

"All components of the Blue Visby Solution were tested: contracts, software, operations, and the benefit sharing mechanism," said Blue Visby CEO Christian Wounlund, per New Atlas. "While both the Virtual Pilot Program and the Prototype Trials will continue in the coming months, we are on track for commercial deployment this year."

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