Port of Rotterdam ups the green transition tempo with new initiative

The Port of Rotterdam has launched ‘Switch to Zero’ campaign to promote the usage of sustainable fuels and encourage the industry to make a concrete contribution to reducing carbon emissions.

Port of Rotterdam

For this purpose, the port authority has joined forces with GoodShipping, which empowers corporations to decarbonise ocean freight and accelerate sustainable shipping. The partners are now conducting a joint campaign to inform companies of this concept so they can have part, or all of their sea freight transported via sustainable fuel.

The goal of the initiative is to find some twenty new sea freight shipping companies that wish to use insetting.

According to the port, insetting does not involve achieving carbon reductions through compensation (offsetting by planting trees, for example) but through shipping using sustainable fuel.

Shippers often transport small numbers of containers on different vessels and can use insetting to purchase a certain amount of carbon reduction via GoodShipping. GoodShipping ensures that this is achieved by providing a vessel with sustainable fuel. This does not need to be the same vessel on which the containers are transported, the partners noted.

The aim is for joint vessel bunkering with these shippers to reduce the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere by 2023 tonnes. This is comparable to the amount of carbon released when transporting some 15,000 TEU containers between Rotterdam and Gothenburg.

‘Shipping is not yet on schedule to be carbon neutral by 2050. We are working with partners to develop a range of initiatives to help make logistics more sustainable: from battery-powered inland shipping to shore power for sea-going vessels, and from bio-kerosene production for aviation to so-called Green Corridors for sea-going vessels,” Allard Castelein, Port of Rotterdam Authority CEO commented.

“The 2023 tonne reduction through sustainable fuel use is just the start. We want to show that it can be done and start the discussion, with the aim of scaling up and reducing carbon emissions even further. The transition tempo needs to step up.”

“We’ve seen a huge acceleration in the pace of the energy transition brought about by shippers over the past two years, which is why we want to give more companies the opportunity to have their freight shipped sustainably. The Port of Rotterdam Authority aims to be the world’s most sustainable port and it was an obvious choice for GoodShipping to support that,” Dirk Kronemeijer, CEO Dirk Kronemeijer, CEO GoodShipping added.

The Port of Rotterdam has been pursuing opportunities to cope with the zero-emission challenge. One of the port’s latest projects includes forming a green hydrogen corridor with Chile together with the Port of Amsterdam.

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Meanwhile, the port is also working on the first green hydrogen corridor between southern and northern Europe with Spanish energy company Cepsa. The partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) back in October this year to ensure a green hydrogen supply chain between two of Europe’s main ports, Rotterdam and Algeciras.

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Shipping is responsible for approximately 3% of global carbon emissions but, at the same time, is a complex sector that fell outside the international climate agreements for a long time. The chain is also fragmented because companies often only ship just a few containers on a vessel.