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DHL Global, Hapag-Lloyd Ink Major Biofuel Pact

DHL Global Forwarding, the air and ocean freight arm of DHL Group, has signed an agreement with ocean freight shipping company Hapag-Lloyd for the use of advanced biofuels.

As an initial step, Hapag-Lloyd will ship 18,000 TEU (20-foot containers or equivalent units) of DHL’s volume using advanced biofuels, which is equivalent to a reduction of 14,000 tons of CO2 emissions. The two companies share the vision of decarbonizing container shipping and logistics. With their project, they aim to demonstrate the scalability of sustainable transport solutions and the relevance of sustainable fuels in today’s market.

“The decarbonization of heavy transport is an important challenge that the entire industry needs to rethink,” said Dominique von Orelli, global head of ocean freight at DHL Global Forwarding. “That is why we are very proud to have found a partner in Hapag-Lloyd that shares the same ambitions for a climate-neutral world as anchored in the Paris Agreement.

Advanced biofuels are based on raw biological materials, such as used cooking oil and other waste products. This material is used to manufacture a fatty acid methyl ester (FAME), which is then mixed with varying proportions of low sulfur fuel oil. Compared to standard fuels, this pure biofuel product has proven to lower greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80 percent.

“We are very happy to have signed this contract on using a considerable amount of advanced biofuel with DHL, as we both share the values and ambition to protect our environment and move towards a greener future,” Danny Smolders, managing director of global sales at Hapag-Lloyd. “Biofuel will play a significant role in the upcoming years on our path to becoming net-zero carbon by 2045. This project will bring us a step closer to offering our customers biofuel-powered transportation as a commercial product and thereby to supporting them in their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint.”

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In line with DHL’s and Hapag-Lloyd’s sustainability strategy to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and 2045 respectively, both companies are committed to providing sustainable logistic solutions and access to sustainable fuels that will support decarbonizing the industry. Hapag-Lloyd has been testing advanced biofuels since 2020 and offers a carbon reduced transport solution utilizing biofuel blends instead of traditional fossil marine fuel oil. The resulting reduction in carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions can be offered as a “Green Product” on a TEU basis and transferred to customers to help reduce their Scope 3 emissions.

DHL’s GoGreen Plus service paves the way to transition to clean and sustainable transportation. As part of GoGreen Plus, DHL’s customers are offered various solutions for minimizing logistics-related emissions and other environmental impacts along the entire supply chain, reducing CO2 emissions in air and ocean freight, with the remaining part of the supply chain made climate neutral by full lifecycle emission compensation.

The emission reductions also help DHL’s customers to achieve their climate targets. The product offering GoGreen Plus is part of the DHL’s mid-term sustainability roadmap for 2030 and contributes to the sub-target of having at least 30 percent of fuel requirements covered by sustainable fuels. To reduce CO2 emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, the company will spend 7 billion euros ($7.1 billion) in sustainable fuel and clean technologies by 2030.