Slow Steaming involves the operation of a container vessel at speeds significantly below its maximum speed. The benefits of Slow Steaming include decreasing both:
Fuel consumption of the vessel (resulting in bunker costs reduction); and
CO2 emissions (contributing towards environmental efficiency).
Full Speed for a container ship might typically be about 24 knots (generally 85-90% of engine capacity). Reducing vessel speed to about 18 knots represents Slow Steaming and further reduction to between 12 - 15 knots represents Super/Ultra Slow Steaming.
Apart from the above two benefits, Slow Steaming also enables carriers to absorb excess fleet capacity during periods of slack demand and also increased schedule reliability as more buffer is available to maintain the schedules in case of port congestions and bad weather.