The shipping industry is important for the global economy. In 2013, the air cargo industry contributed andamp;75.4 billion in revenue to the worldwide economy, according to IBIS World Research. International purchasing agents say the contribution is even higher for products that are shipped by sea as ships transport more cargo. In the United States, sea shipments make up 58% of imports and 38% of exports.

Given the focus today on the environment, international purchasing agents say that there is a movement afoot to switch to more environmentally friendly ways to get items where they need to go. Cargill, one of the global leaders in the air and ocean logistics business, was one of the first cargo shipping companies to announce they were only going to use ships that were friendly to the environment. They reported a desire to go with vessels with better fuel efficiency.

The impact has been significant. A number of companies have changed their shipping policies to reduce any negative impacts shipping has on the environment. If you are looking to make the environment a priority when you worth with freight shipping companies, you should also know that making the switch can also have a positive impact on your bottom line.

At the time that more eco-friendly policies were first announced, many experts, such as international purchasing agents, were not sure how they would play out. It was not clear if switching to more energy efficient ships would even be possible from a financial perspective. Many people did not think the costs of making such changes would be worth it. The good news is that experts in the industry discovered this was not only fiscally possible but it was advantageous.

The first thing companies who wanted to provide more eco-friendly options for shipping needed to do was work on the ocean vessels to make them more “green.” There are two ways companies can reduce the environmental impact of their ships. The first is to go with a new fleet of ships that has been built to newer standards. The second is to retrofit older vessels to meet new environmental standards.

Companies, and people have invested in them, needed to make a decision after weighing the pros and cons of each option, also giving some consideration to their own situation. This was also something international purchasing agents worked on.

When the big picture is considered, many experts saw the using more eco-friendly ships did not just make sense from an environmental standpoint. It also makes sense from a financial point of view as these ships actually help companies save a lot of money over time. When more fuel efficient ships are used, companies have to spend less on fuel. Given how much of a shipping budget is consumed by fuel costs, this is not just mere pocket change they can save.

The “green” ships are equipped with engines that can use fossil fuel in a more efficient manner. These ships also use better low-speed main engines, better hydrodynamics/hull form, energy-saving appliances, slow steaming design points, and bigger and more efficient propellers.

When looked at altogether, the cost savings from using more environmentally friendly ships makes the initial costs worth it. At the end of the day, the main impact of going green has been a more environmentally friendly international shipping industry that offers lower cost shipping to its clients.

Getting better fuel efficiency for the vessels transporting products is one of the most practical changes that can be made in this area. Even when a company is not interested in reducing their impact on the environment, moving to ships that use less energy and use it better is a great way to save money.

As technology advances are made, there is no longer the question of whether a company can make money or be eco-friendly. Neither are mutually exclusive. Companies today are no longer in the position to have to pick between making a profit and helping the planet. More and more are seeing that using greener equipment and implementing policies that do a lot more for the environment can also help them grow their bottom line. This can also help them improve the way they are viewed by their customers.

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