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Maersk emissions

Maersk Emissions: Understanding Maersk’s Emissions Strategy

As of this year, ocean carriers working within the European maritime sector must comply with the European Union’s emissions trading system (EU ETS). The EU ETS calls for the European maritime sector to be climate-neutral by 2050. The sector will comply with this regulatory scheme in stages between now and 2027.

As Searoutes explained last month, shippers should expect carriers to pass down compliance costs to them in the form of emissions surcharges. Our guide from a few weeks ago lays out how this will happen.

This article details how one of the major ocean carriers, Maersk, expects to slash emissions by 2050 and comply with the EU ETS. By becoming familiar with Maersk’s plans, shippers can see how their role in monitoring and reducing carbon emissions fits in with those of Maersk and other ocean carriers.

Maersk Emissions Reduction: How the Carrier is Confronting Emissions

Maersk has taken a number of prominent steps to lower carbon emissions and promote sustainability throughout its operations.

The ocean carrier has unveiled targets to drastically reduce emissions by 2030 and 2040. In 2023, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a global group dedicated to helping corporations reduce emissions, validated Maersk’s targets, saying they were in line with the group’s target for corporations to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Some of Maersk’s 2030 targets include:

  • Reducing Scope 1 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 34.7 percent by 2030, using 2022 as a base year. Scope 1 emissions are emissions that a corporation or company has direct control over. 
  • Reducing Scope 3 GHG emissions by 21.9 percent by 2030. Scope 3 emissions are emissions that involve a company’s activities but the activities aren’t controlled by the company.
  • Reducing well-to-wake Scope 1 and 3 GHG emissions from container shipping operations by 34.7 percent. Well-to-wake emissions are the emissions of a product or operations for the whole lifecycle, including emissions generated during upstream and downstream stages.
  • Increasing annual sourcing of renewable electricity from 22.7 percent in 2022 to 100 percent by 2030.

Targets for 2040 include: 

  • Reducing Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 96 percent. Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions associated with purchasing electricity, heat, cooling, or steam.
  • Reducing Scope 3 GHG emissions by 90 percent. 
  • Reducing well-to-wake Scope 1 and 3 GHG emissions from container shipping operations by 96.2% from 2022 levels.

To tackle these goals, Maersk has developed several strategies, including using green fuels at sea through its Maersk ECO Delivery service, creating an emissions dashboard where customers can measure their carbon footprint across both Maersk and non-Maersk controlled logistics, and investing in green fuels and technologies, including alternative fuel and battery technologies for its assets. 

The carrier also plans to have methanol-powered vessels in its fleet by 2027 and is seeking to convert an existing 14,000 TEU vessel from a diesel engine to a dual-fuel methanol engine. 

Maersk EU ETS: Surcharges in the Face of Regulations

As carriers such as Maersk calculate what the EU ETS surcharge will mean for shippers, Maersk said in September 2023 that its customers should expect Maersk’s emissions surcharge to vary each quarter to align with the volatility associated with the European Union Allowance (EUA). 

However, some groups are concerned about how much ocean carriers such as Maersk could make from their emissions surcharges, in part because carriers do not disclose how they calculate those surcharges to shippers. Lobbying group Transport & Environment estimates that ETS-related profits could swell to more than $1 million, according to a March Lloyd’s List article

The EU ETS enables carriers to best determine how they can comply with the regulatory scheme. But carriers also have latitude over how they calculate emissions surcharges to shippers. This means that it’s up to shippers to understand how the carriers are calculating surcharges so that shippers can ensure that the costs they are quoted are fair.

Searoutes: Unparalleled Visibility Over Maersk Emissions

Understanding how Maersk and other carriers plan to implement emissions surcharges to comply with the EU ETS might seem daunting at first. But shippers can gain insight into this process through Searoutes. We have a platform that provides comprehensive data analytics and visibility over emissions. 

The API tools we mention below enable shippers to monitor and optimize Maersk-related emissions. By using these tools, companies can be assured that they are pursuing cost-effective and sustainable shipping options. 

Data Analytics

Searoutes’ APIs enable shippers to assess their emissions output, giving them leverage when talking with carriers like Maersk about emissions surcharges. Our tools employ advanced data analytics that provide comprehensive insights into a company’s emissions profile.

We do this by analyzing both historical data and real-time monitoring to get a deep understanding of emissions patterns and trends. 

Companies can use our CO2 API tool to search for optimal routes. We determine these routes using algorithms that analyze historical AIS data on carbon emissions. 

We also have a Vessel API tool that provides insight into a specific vessel’s emission profile. The tool takes real-time information on a vessel’s last known position, last known speed, and current draft and runs that data through our algorithms to calculate an estimated time of arrival for the next port of call.

Emissions Tracking Tools

Our CO2 API and Vessel API tools allow shippers to accurately monitor and measure their emissions across various shipping routes and operations. They also provide visibility so that shippers can assess their companies’ environmental impact and identify areas for improvement.

Shippers can benefit from knowing their company’s emissions profile for several reasons. First, they can use these insights as leverage during tender season. By understanding how carriers like Maersk have latitude in setting emissions pricing, shippers can go into procurement negotiations knowing what is considered fair pricing.

Being familiar with a company’s emissions profile can also help shippers realize how companies are meeting sustainability initiatives and environmental, social, and governance goals. 

Route Optimization

The different routes that ocean vessels use can vary greatly in fuel consumption, emissions, and transit times. These three factors will affect how carbon emissions get priced under the EU ETS. 

Searoutes uses route optimization algorithms to consider these factors when planning shipping routes. The algorithms that make up Searoutes’ Routing API factor in vessel characteristics, weather conditions, and port congestion to determine which routes might be best to pursue and why.

By optimizing routes to minimize fuel consumption and emissions, shippers can reduce their environmental footprint while also optimizing operational efficiency and reducing costs. This visibility of over-optimized routes helps shippers make informed decisions that align with their sustainability goals.

Searoutes can provide insight to tackle emissions surcharges

In the ever-evolving landscape of shipping, emissions reduction stands as a pivotal challenge. Maersk has undertaken a number of bold strategies to confront emissions, from technological advancements to operational enhancements. Other ocean carriers are taking similar actions.

Shippers working with carriers to comply with the EU ETS need to understand how carriers might calculate emissions surcharges and impose them on their customers. Searoutes offers unparalleled visibility over Maersk emissions, leveraging advanced data analytics and tracking tools. By working with Searoutes, companies can seamlessly optimize routes to minimize environmental impact and costs. 

Contact Searoutes today to learn how our tools can help you protect your costs and safeguard your bottom line.

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