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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Compliance with Los Angeles/ Long Beach Voluntary Speed Reduction Program

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach (LA/LB) have initiated a "Voluntary Speed Reduction Program" to enhance air quality for the LA air basin. This programme was adopted with the approval of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Voluntary Speed Reduction Program requests that all vessels maintain a speed of only 12 knots when within 20 nautical miles of LA/LB Harbour. The Marine Exchange Vessel Traffic Service has been advising all vessels of this request, both when they check in to the VTS, as well as when they depart LA/LB Harbour on their outbound leg.

However, many ships are not complying with the Voluntary Speed Reduction Program, particularly on their inbound transit. The reason for this non-compliance is that vessels are assigned their allocation for labour based on arrival times as posted by the Marine Exchange. The official arrival times are logged when a vessel either (1) passes through one of the breakwater entrances, or (2) drops anchor in one of the designated anchorages outside the breakwater. Hence, vessels have been inclined to maintain their speed in order to secure an early arrival time.

The ports of LA and LB have proposed a solution to this problem. All vessels will be checked in at the "20 mile marker" on their inbound transit by the Marine Exchange. The Port Maritime Authority has agreed to begin using the "20 mile time" to prioritise ships for the allocation of labour. Therefore, there is no need for vessels to "race in" to obtain an early arrival time. There is a new column on vessels’ arrival logs where Marine Exchange notes each vessel’s "20 mile time" and on the Marine Exchange "Active Vessels in Port (chronological) Report".

The Marine Exchange in LA/LB encourages all vessels to comply with 12 knot maximum speed when transiting within 20 nautical miles of LA/LB harbour.

We accept that the main benefit of reducing air emissions will come from speed reductions on container ships and other ship types that have a cruising speed higher than the cruising speed of tankers but, for the sake of a uniform implementation of this voluntary scheme, INTERTANKO would recommend members to adopt the voluntary speed reduction within the "20 mile time" when calling at Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Contact: Manny Aschemeyer, Marine Exchange Executive Director and Dragos Rauta