DHL ‘de carbonizes’ all LCL ocean freight shipments globally

DHL’s air and ocean freight unit DHL Global Forwarding yesterday announced that it will be “neutralizing” the carbon emissions of all its less-than-container load (LCL) ocean freight shipments from 1 January 2021 as it bids to “lead the transition to clean and sustainable sea freight transport”.

Stressing that the change would be at no extra cost to the customer, it said the move to make all its LCL shipments ‘carbon-neutral’ was in line with Deutsche Post DHL Group’s ‘Mission 2050 – Zero Emissions’ strategy and would be achieved by using waste-based maritime biofuels that are produced sustainably and do not compete with other needs, using existing and new partners.

Tim Scharwath, CEO DHL Global Forwarding, Freight (DGFF), commented: “To fight against climate change, the transport sector needs true decarbonization. For us at DHL Global Forwarding, sustainable fuel solutions are the key lever to change the fuel mix and ultimately reduce carbon emissions in ocean freight.

“This is why we have taken the decision to neutralize the carbon emission of all our LCL shipments. Even though we are in unprecedented times, due to the ongoing pandemic, we have to make sure that climate protection and sustainability efforts remain at the forefront.”

The company stressed that its new “green service” was “not only another important milestone on Deutsche Post DHL Group’s journey towards zero-emission logistics but also helps customers reduce their carbon footprint”.

‘True’ carbon neutralization

It added: “At no extra cost to the customer, the heavy oil that would ordinarily be used is replaced with sustainable marine biofuel onboard a preselected container vessel. In this way, true carbon neutralization is achieved.”

It said the CO2-reduction benefits are allocated to the customer, explaining that DHL Global Forwarding has a “GoGreen carrier evaluation program”, which allows the freight forwarder to give preference to carriers with strong environmental performance. 

DGFF said its parent group Deutsche Post DHL had been exploring renewable fuels as an important lever to minimize ocean freights’ impact on the environment. Key criteria in evaluating the suitability of renewable fuels are that they are produced sustainably and do not compete with other needs – for example, with food production for land use.

Following strict sustainability standards, the waste-based biofuels must meet the requirements to be qualified as the cleanest biofuels currently available on the market, it added.

“Based on the principles ‘Burn Less, Burn Clean’, the engagement within Deutsche Post DHL Group’s global GoGreen program also aims to optimize the carbon efficiency of the company’s transport network, fleet, and real estate,” the company said. “This includes reducing energy consumption, increasing the use of renewable energy sources and fuels, and optimizing transportation networks as well as pick-up and delivery routing.”

Furthermore, it said transport subcontractors are encouraged to acquire low-emission vehicles, and employees are educated to apply environmentally friendly thinking, through training and other activities. 


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