Xeneta launches container industry’s 1st emissions ‘heroes and villains’

Global data analytics firm Xeneta has launched a campaign to rank the environmental performance of carriers across the world’s top 13 shipping trades.

Illustration; Image credit: Offshore Energy

The firm is using the Carbon Emissions Index (CEI), a tool developed by Xeneta and Marine Benchmark, to evaluate carriers’ emissions levels in the major Far East to South America East Coast container route. The results of the analysis are quite revealing, with major player Evergreen facing tough criticism for its carbon footprint.

The tool is built on the foundation of real-time AIS data and individual vessel specifications, and it covers the main routes for liners, tracking movements and calculating emission footprints.

Xeneta said it would be announcing the industry’s “heroes and villains” for each trade in the weeks and months to come.

According to this latest analysis, the CO2 emitted per ton of cargo from the Far East to the East Coast of South America rose by 6.3% (quarter-on-quarter) in Q4 2022. This leaves the trade with a CEI of 96.6, its highest tally since Q3 2021 and the highest CEI of all the five major corridors out of the Far East.

“Environmental performance has never been more important, both from a ‘green’ and a commercial perspective, with shippers, regulators, financiers and other stakeholders paying close attention. With that in mind, Hamburg Süd will be very happy to record the lowest CEI on the trade, registering 76.2. This means a ton of cargo sailing on a ship operated by Hamburg Süd emitted over 20% less CO2 than an average ton on this trade. A great result,” Peter Sand, Xeneta Chief Analyst, said.

The scores of individual carriers, reveals Sand, were “very mixed” with clear winners and others, he says, “that would benefit from doubling down on their efforts.”

The low score, Sand explains, is due to Hamburg Süd’s sailing of “relatively slow steaming”, larger-than-average ships on this trade. Amongst other “star performers” were ONE, scoring 82.2, and Hapag Lloyd, registering 84.3. Looking at historical figures, Hapag Lloyd actually emerges as the most carbon-efficient carrier on this trade in the past five years. 

“Unfortunately for them, the CEI data shows that Evergreen was the worst performer amongst the top six carriers over the quarter,” Sand notes, adding that the Taiwanese group logged a score of 109.7. “Somewhat counterintuitively, Evergreen actually had the highest filling factor on the trade – whereas Hamburg Süd’s was lower than average – however, its smaller, less carbon efficient vessels took a toll on the overall score. In addition, their ships sailed much faster, with speeds of 8.9% above the trade lane average.”

Xeneta said that comparing the CEI with the firm’s crowd-sourced ocean freight rates data shows that green performance doesn’t necessarily come with a premium price tag.

Looking at Q4 2022, Hapag Lloyd’s average rates were lower than average on the spot market, while on the long-term contract market, Hamburg Süd charged less than the market average when considering all valid long-term contracts. Evergreen, on the other hand, was more expensive on the long-term market, but offered savings on the spot market compared to the industry average.