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By Land, Sea and Air, DHL Tackling Carbon Emissions Reduction

After introducing the GoGreen Plus service for ocean freight, DHL Global Forwarding, the air and ocean freight unit of DHL Group, has expanded the service that provides real emissions reductions through carbon insetting to air freight on all trade lanes.

At the same time, DHL Express is installing solar panel units on trucks within its U.S. pickup and delivery fleet, reducing fuel consumption in markets throughout the country.

Following the one atmosphere approach, GoGreen Plus reduces emissions by replacing the amount of conventional fossil fuel needed with sustainable fuel. Customers can pick and choose which parts of their supply chain they want to decarbonize.

The GoGreen Plus Service can be added while booking online, for example, an air freight shipment via the myDHLi customer platform. DHL said the launch decarbonized range of GoGreen Plus products is a crucial milestone in making the global logistics industry greener and more sustainable. Other divisions are also in the process of developing their GoGreen Plus Service.

“Every airplane and vessel emit their exhaust gases into the same atmosphere, and it is not decisive on which route or which means of transport biofuels are used,” Thomas Mack, global head of air freight at DHL Global Forwarding, said. “From a technological standpoint, our GoGreen Plus Service is currently the simplest, most efficient and sustainable way to reduce CO2 emissions in transportation. As one of the world’s leading logistics service providers, we see it as our responsibility to lead the way to greener transportation and to set a good example for others to follow.”

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The GoGreen Plus Service is based on the displacement principle–the more customers book the service, the more alternative fuel or clean technology is used–making transport chains greener step by step. Following this principle, the appropriate amount of biofuel is purchased for the respective air or ocean freight shipment and used in the partners’ ships and aircrafts.

DHL Global Forwarding recently ordered large volumes of sustainable aviation fuel through Air France KLM Martinair Cargo and United Airlines’ Eco Skies Alliance. The emission reductions also help DHL’s customers to work toward their climate targets. With the “Book & Claim” mechanism, DHL can pass on the benefits of lower greenhouse gas emissions to its customers.

With the mission to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, DHL Group strives for clean operations for climate protection. The new product offering GoGreen Plus is part of the company’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, DHL will spend 7 billion euros ($7.8 billion) in sustainable fuel and clean technologies by 2030.

After successfully introducing the GoGreen Plus service for ocean freight, DHL Global Forwarding has expanded the service to air freight.
DHL Express is installing solar panel units on trucks within its U.S. pickup and delivery fleet. Courtesy

Also part of the emissions reduction plan is ground transportation. Equipping 67 of DHL Express’ medium and heavy-duty trucks with the innovative TRAILAR solar technology is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 1,000 kilograms per year for each vehicle, also lowering fuel and maintenance costs.

The solar system generates electricity from sunlight, and will be used to charge the battery, power lift gates and other ancillary equipment. This reduces the load on the alternator and, as a result, fuel consumption.

“We’re aiming to improve the lives of people where they live and work, using cleaner pickup and delivery solutions such as electric vehicles and cargo cycles, and now augmenting our truck fleet with this innovative solar solution,” DHL Express U.S. CEO Greg Hewitt said. “This is another strategic step in our drive forward to decarbonization, and over time reducing all logistics related emissions to net zero by 2050.”

An integrated, state-of-the-art telematics system provides detailed information on the efficiency of the entire system through web-based reporting, including battery health, charging of ancillary equipment, overall fuel and C02 savings and more. With continuous battery management via the TRAILAR Smart Charge Controller, solar energy is used to maintain battery levels at the most optimum level, even when the vehicle is off.

DHL Group has implemented the TRAILAR solution within many of its fleet operations at business units that operate in the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa.