DHL Global Forwarding has signed a memorandum of understanding with the GoodShipping Program, an initiative to decarbonize the container shipping industry by changing the marine fuel mix.
Under the MoU, the two partners will collaborate exclusively in making ocean freight transport more environmentally friendly. From early 2018, DHL Global Forwarding will offer its customers the opportunity to select next-generation marine biofuels instead of fossil fuels for their ocean shipments.
“The partnership with the GoodShipping Program is a unique opportunity to drive change within the ocean freight industry and to contribute to DHL’s environmental target of zero emissions by 2050,” said Kathrin Brost, global head of customer intelligence and GoGreen at DHL Global Forwarding. “Our joint advanced biofuel service is designed as a supplement to our GoGreen Climate Neutral services or as an alternative, giving our customers even more opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint.”
Deutsche Post DHL Group has been exploring renewable fuels to minimize the impact of ocean freight on the environment. Key criteria are that they are produced sustainably and do not compete with food production for land use, for example. The waste-based biofuels must meet the requirements to be considered as the cleanest biofuels currently available on the market. On a like-to-like basis, the current container fleet can bunker and burn advanced marine biofuels without any technical modifications.
“DHL’s mission to reach zero-emission logistics by 2050 made them a perfect partner for a strategic and mutually beneficial long-term cooperation,” said Astrid Sonnevald, programme director of GoodShipping. “Together with DHL, we provide global access to every single cargo owner that wants to help us clean up the marine fuel mix.”
According to DHL, the new service allocates greenhouse gas reductions to customers. Each customer signing up for the service orders green TEU-kilometres instead of just regular shipments, with or without carbon offsets. The corresponding volumes of advanced biofuel will be used onboard vessels of selected ocean carrier partners during regular operations. The share of biofuel used will be proportional to the number of shippers opting to use the new service. The environmental benefits are quantified and protected from double claims and the CO2 benefits are allocated to the customers.
In additional to having zero carbon emissions, biofuels are also free of sulphur and allow for substantial reductions of particulate matter and some improvement of NOx performance.
Ocean freight shipments accounted for approximately 2.2% of all carbon emissions globally in 2012 and are expected to account for 17% by 2050, according to DHL.