DB Schenker, Volvo Cars opt for biofuel to slash ocean freight emissions

DB Schenker and Volvo Cars have embarked on a partnership for more sustainable ocean freight, shipping 12,000 standard containers (TEU) with automotive spare parts on vessels using biofuel.

DB Schenker

The program started in June and connects, among others, Volvo Cars’ Gothenburg production plant with the ports of Savannah, Newark, and New York. 

The renewable fuel used for these transports is certified by an independent third-party and not produced in competition with food crops.

Moreover, when renewable fuel is not available on a specific shipment for Volvo Cars, it will be used for another customer’s transport elsewhere and allocated to Volvo Cars through a methodology called mass-balancing. According to the company, this method is third-party audited regularly and ensures that the overall cut in fossil fuel is on par with the actual use in container vessels. 

The partners expect that biofuel will reduce CO2 emissions by 84% per container. In total over a year, this saves roughly 9,000 tons of CO2 compared to ocean freight vessels powered by fossil fuel, the companies noted.

“We are proud that a recognized brand such as Volvo Cars joins us at DB Schenker on our way to a future of cleaner logistics. Our promise is to support customers in reducing their Scope 3 emissions coming from transportation and distribution. We will only succeed in shaping sustainable supply chains, if shippers, forwarders, and carriers work closely together,” Thorsten Meincke, Global Board Member for Air & Ocean Freight at DB Schenker, stated.

“At Volvo Cars we are on a mission to decarbonise our supply chain. Strong partnerships with leading logistics providers are critical to creating possibilities, like utilising renewable fuels for ocean freight. We are continually exploring sustainability opportunities across all aspects of our supply chain and we want to spark other car makers into action as well, to increase demand for carbon efficient ocean transports,” Javier Varela, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy CEO at Volvo Cars commented.

Volvo has recently announced its plans to switch to renewable fuels for ocean freight to cut fossil CO2 emissions.

“We will use renewable fuel for inbound ocean container transports of production material destined for manufacturing plants based in Europe and the Americas, as well as all spare parts distribution made globally by ocean container transports,” the firm stated.

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