Following the lead of two Japanese carriers, French shipping company CMA CGM is testing the use of a ‘windshield’ on its 16,022 TEU container ship CMA CGM Marco Polo in order to reduce both fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

The use of such ‘wind deflectors’ was pioneered by Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines on its 6,724 TEU MOL Marvel in 2015 and was followed last year by the installation of a similar device on Ocean Network Express’  20,150 TEU ONE Trust with both carriers reporting a two per cent average CO2 emissions reduction at a speed of about 17 knots.

There is a growing trend in the industry as more carriers are testing the massive windscreen with the belief that they will reduce their fuel consumption and in turn the vessel’s emissions and carbon footprint.

These wind deflectors seem to be getting more aerodynamic, curved in their shape, and also rising higher than some of the earlier versions. Being called bow or windshields, none of the lines have issued full details or any dimensions on the versions they are now testing.

The new addition to the ship rises the full height of the box stacks at the other edges and a lower centre portion curved to direct the wind. The version on the ONE vessel rises the full height of the stack and is curved as well but squarer in its profile.

CMA CGM said it has been researching the concepts and conducting studies for some time to develop its approach. They said the version which was placed aboard their ship took six months of development and installation.

CMA CGM Marco Polo is a 187,6245dwt boxship built in 2012. The 1,299ft vessel has a capacity of 16,000 TEU and is currently deployed on a route crossing the Atlantic from the Mediterranean and serving US East Coast ports.

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