NO: DELENG / 2017 / 70663
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MSC and DB Schenker begin a prototype program to cut emissions with biofuels.
By Sea and Coast | 16/02/2023
An innovative agreement between MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company and a freight forwarder addresses the growing concerns of shippers regarding reducing their total carbon footprint and calls for one of the largest uses of biofuel. There has been an increase in pressure on large shippers to address carbon emissions throughout their supply chains, including shipping, which has so far been largely out of their control. MSC is developing a carbon reduction program that will be widely available to DB Schenker's shipping customers and will immediately result in a reduction in emissions as a result of the agreement. Additionally, it serves as a guide for others to follow.
Biofuels have been tested for years by individual shipping lines, and some have even launched the first offset programs for individual customers. MSC is providing shippers with a much broader solution that addresses concerns and avoids issues like disputes over the use of biofuel between shipowners and charters through the agreement with DB Schenker. Additionally, the program aims to address concerns regarding the biofuel's origins.
Thorsten Meincke, Global Board Member for Air & Ocean Freight at DB Schenker, stated, "We are doing this because we firmly believe it is the right thing to do and are therefore paying for biofuel purchases in advance." One thing is certain: "The quicker we achieve clean container ocean freight, the more customers demand climate neutrality throughout supply chains."
For MSC's containerships, DB Schenker has committed to purchasing 12,000 metric tons of a second-generation biofuel. MSC's fleet will use approximately 50,000 metric tons of blended biofuel, which will be blended at a rate of between 20% and 30%. Depending on how the fuel is utilized during navigation, the carrier estimates that it equates to the shipment of approximately 30,000 TEUs with net-zero CO2 emissions.
The purchase of biofuel is sufficient to conserve 35,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalents (CO2e) throughout the market's entire production chain (well to wake). All consolidated cargo, less-than-container load (LCL), full-container load (FCL), and refrigerated containers carried by MSC will receive this information from DB Schenker and its customers. The purchase and blending of the biofuel will result in immediate and direct reductions in emissions from shipping, whereas other carbon offset programs focus on future emission reductions outside the shipping industry.
Caroline Becquart, Senior Vice President of MSC, stated, "Decarbonizing ocean freight cannot be achieved by a single player and requires collaboration between shipping and logistics companies and their customers." Our first certified carbon insetting program, MSC Biofuel Solution, reduces emissions in the supply chains of our customers, accelerates the energy transition by generating demand for net-zero-carbon shipping and delivers direct CO2 savings.
MSC has been testing and using biofuel as a drop-in fuel for a number of years. The company says that the biofuel is well-regarded as a transition fuel for decarbonization and can be used for regular ocean freight operations without changing a ship's infrastructure or supply chain.
Some of the first attempts at biofuels have been criticized by environmentalists because the waste cooking oil used to make them may contain a lot of palm oil, which is linked to deforestation. MSC emphasizes that it will use advanced biofuel, also known as second-generation biofuel, for this program. It guarantees a well-to-wake CO2e emission reduction of at least 80%. In addition, the oil is guaranteed to contain no palm oil—including no palm oil waste and no indirect changes in land use. The oil is made from old cooking oil and is becoming more and more popular in the shipping industry as a way to cut emissions in the near future.