Global logistics provider DB Schenker Logistics and global shipping company Maersk Line have recently signed a six-year strategic agreement to reduce CO2 emissions from ocean freight. 

Between now and 2020, Maersk Line has committed to reducing the CO2 emissions of every container it ships for DB Schenker Logistics by 20%, compared to 2014 levels. 

The agreement aims to increase customer interest in sustainable ocean freight by introducing sustainability into all decision-making processes. Maersk Line has already invested in new fuel efficient ships, and works to reduce polluting emissions overall by optimising the operation of all its vessels. The company can also evaluate the environmental improvements per container transported. Maersk Line works with OEMs including Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota and last year, it was the first carrier to ever receive recognition in the Ford World Excellent Awards, for its environmental work.

In 2013 and 2014, Maersk Line introduced its Triple-E ships. These are some of the world’s largest at 400m long by 59m wide. However, despite their size, the Triple-E stands for energy efficiency, environmental performance, and economies of scale. The ships have a low fuel consumption, and the energy efficiency of the vessel is improved by both the hull design and twin propulsion setup. The company’s existing fleet has been improved with new technologies to improve environmental performance and improve energy efficiency. In 2013, Maersk Line reduced its CO2 consumption by 12%, while growing its business by 4.1%.

DB Schenker is working to reduce pollution through its Climate Protection Programme 2020, which aims to cut parent company Deutsche Bahn’s overall transport services CO2 emissions by 20% between 2006 and 2020. The company says it has already made signifiant improvements and has reduced its CO2 emissions in the rail transport sector by more than 40% since 1990. 

Dr Karl-Friedrich Rausch, chief sustainability officer of Deutsche Bahn and management board member for transportation and logistics at DB Mobility Logistics said, “This is the first agreement between a global logistics services provider and a container shipping company. Maersk Line is an important partner for us. Together, we will increase our freight volumes and share responsibility for protecting the climate. The agreement is a milestone because we are incorporating aspects of sustainability into our business relationships.” 

“The partnership encourages greater transparency on sustainable container transportation which can drive significant sustainability improvements in the industry. By integrating sustainability elements into the purchasing decisions, we jointly strive to change the procurement process in container shipping fundamentally,” Vincent Clerc, chief trade and marketing officer at Maersk Line said.