Shipping & Logistics

Maersk, Dutch firms strike deal on emissions

Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company, has pledged to fully de-carbonise by the year 2050. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Global shipping Line leader Maersk has joined forces with Dutch multinationals to fight pollution in marine transport.

Maersk said it appreciates the global urgency to conserve climate.

“Convinced of the urgency to act on climate, a group of Dutch multinationals — Friesland Campina, Heineken, Philips, DSM, Shell and Unilever — all members of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition (DSGC), will join forces with A.P. Moller-Maersk to take a tangible step towards the decarbonization of ocean shipping,” said a statement sent to reporters by Maersk’s Africa communication manager Augustine Fischer.

Maersk said a pilot, using up to 20 percent sustainable second-generation biofuels on a large triple-E ocean vessel will sail 25,000 nautical miles from Rotterdam to Shanghai and back on biofuel blends alone, a world’s first at this scale, saving 1.5 million kilos of carbon and 20,000 kilos of sulphur.

The statement further said DSGC members and Maersk had agreed that tackling harmful emissions related to shipping is urgently needed, and that cross-industry collaboration is required to develop, test and implement new solutions.


Members, many of which are customers to Maersk, played a critical role in initiating and sponsoring the pilot. Shell supplied fuel, and Maersk played the role of operating partner.


Experts aver that sustainably sourced second-generation biofuels are just one possible solution for the decarbonisation of ocean shipping.

Longer term breakthroughs in fuel and technical development (i.e. e-fuels) and investment in commercial supply chains are needed to achieve significant emissions reductions, they add. “DSGC companies join in action to contribute to the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs),” said Jan Peter Balkenende, chair of the DSGC.

“With this initiative we focus on Climate Action (SDG 13). We have taken the initiative to partner with A.P. Moller-Maersk on this important effort.” He added that “This pilot testing of biofuel across ocean shipping lane marks an important step. However, many more innovations are urgently needed. These can only be successfully developed, tested and implemented in industry collaborations like this.”

Søren Toft chief operating officer at A.P. Moller–Maersk said the shipping line plans to reach zero carbon emission by 2050.