Global logistics giant AP Moller Maersk has set a target to have carbon neutral vessels commercially viable by 2030 and is calling for strong industry involvement.
The shipping firm says it is looking to invest significant resources for innovation and fleet technology to improve the technical and financial viability of decarbonised solutions in logistics.
To accelerate that, Maersk is looking to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 by making carbon neutral vessels commercially viable by 2030.
“The only possible way to achieve the so-much-needed decarbonisation in our industry is by fully transforming to new carbon neutral fuels and supply chains,”says Søren Toft, chief operating officer at AP Moller Maersk.
According to the company, climate is one of the most important issues in the world, and carrying around 80% of global trade, the shipping industry is vital to finding solutions. By now, Maersk’s relative CO2 emissions have been reduced by 46% (baseline 2007), about 9% more than the industry average.
As world trade and thereby shipping volumes will continue to grow, efficiency improvements on the current fossil-based technology can only keep shipping emissions at current levels but not reduce them significantly or eliminate them, it adds.
Maersk says it is putting its efforts towards solving problems specific to maritime transport, as it calls for different solutions than automotive, rail and aviation. The yet to come electric truck is expected to be able to carry max 2 TEU and is projected to run 800km per charging. In comparison, a container vessel carrying thousands of TEU sailing from Panama to Rotterdam makes around 8,800 km. With short battery durability and no charging points along the route, innovative developments are imperative, Maersk says.
Given the 20-25-year lifetime of a vessel, the company is calling on the industry to join forces and start developing the new type of vessels that will be crossing the seas in 2050.
“The next 5-10 years are going to be crucial,” adds Toft. “We will invest significant resources for innovation and fleet technology to improve the technical and financial viability of decarbonised solutions. Over the last four years, we have invested around US$1bn and engaged 50-plus engineers each year in developing and deploying energy efficient solutions. Going forward we cannot do this alone.”
By setting such an ambitious target, Maersk is hoping to generate a pull towards researchers, technology developers, investors, cargo owners and legislators that will activate strong industry involvement, co-development, and sponsorship of sustainable solutions for the maritime industry.
In 2019, Maersk says it is planning to initiate open and collaborative dialogue with all possible parties to tackle the climate issues.