The Hamburg-based box carrier has signed a contract with DB Schenker for decarbonizing ocean shipping. It includes the procurement of at least 1,000 tons of pure biofuel obtained from waste- and residue-based sources. Their use will avoid CO2 emissions in the range of 3,000 metric tons.
The latest deal shows a clear trend since an increasing number of shippers and forwarders are booking ocean transports complying with Scope 3 emission targets adopted by the EU and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Henrik Schilling, Managing Director Global Commercial Development, Hapag-Lloyd AG, cannot complain about a lack of work. "We have 30 customers of various sizes now using our Ship Green product, and market demand for this booking option is growing all the time,” the executive states. The range of clients opting for this service is very diverse, and includes companies such as Ikea, various car manufacturers, Kuehne + Nagel, DHL and DB Schenker, to name just a few. Following the inking of the contract, Thorsten Meincke, Global Board Member for Air & Ocean Freight at Schenker, praised the agreement with Hapag-Lloyd: “I am very pleased that together with Hapag-Lloyd we are setting another example for sustainability in our industry. This partnership further enlarges our global biofuel offer in ocean freight. With this commitment we are one step closer to our goal of becoming carbon neutral."
Holistic decarbonization approach
This is also the goal of the shipping company, which promised to operate its entire transport business in a completely CO2-neutral manner latest by 2045, with the interim target of a 30% reduction by 2030 measured on current emissions. According to manager Schilling, these climate friendly efforts not only include the decarbonization of its 258 vessels comprising ocean fleet, but also the land-based operation. H-L has recently expanded strongly in the terminals field as seen by the acquisition of the Chilean terminal operator SAAM Ports & Logistics located with 10 terminals mainly at the Pacific rim of the American continent. In addition, the shipping line co-operates terminals in the Italian ports of Genoa, at its German home turf Hamburg and Wilhelmshaven, further in Damietta (Egypt), Tangier (Morocco), and in India where it became shareholder in J M Baxi Ports & Logistics Ltd that runs warehouses at most Indian ports.
Passing on of purchase prices without surcharge
Unlike Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), which remains a scarce commodity in aviation and is expensive compared to the common Jet A-1 kerosene, biofuel is available in sufficient quantities in maritime shipping at the moment. According to Mr. Schilling, H-L has secured 140,000 tons of this fuel for 2023 so far. "The market offers abundant quantities, so we could buy more," he says.
The shipping company bunkers the largest quantities of it in Rotterdam as well as in Singapore. Of the ocean carrier's total fleet, more than 100 box ships are now Biofuel certified with numbers continuously increasing. H-L passes on the extra cost to its customers, for instance, about $250 per TEU on the Shanghai-Hamburg route. But claims that “we don't charge a premium not do we make a single cent on the use of this fuel."
BioFuel emits 84% less CO2 greenhouse gases compared to conventional heavy fuel oil.
Overall, global shipping emits 1.1 billion tons of CO2 per year. This represents about 3% of the global total. H-L currently accounts for 16 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Thanks to the Ship Green service offered to the market and agreements such as the one with DB Schenker, this figure is expected to decrease further.
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