Shipping carriers’ online carbon calculators’ useless’, report says

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Shipping companies have been stung by a report by SeaIntelligence which describes their online CO2 calculators as “unnecessary” and “unnecessary”.

The Copenhagen research firm claimed they were “riddled with absurdly poor data,” citing, among other things, inconsistent sailing distances cited by different carriers for the same vessel.

Most of the world’s largest container lines, as well as many major freight forwarders and shippers, are members of the Clean Cargo Working Group (CCWG), a not-for-profit carrier-shipper initiative dedicated to improving environmental performance. of container transport by measurement, evaluation and reporting.

Members use the CCWG calculation methodology as the basis for their CO2 calculators.

The CCWG released its most recent report on vessel emissions data, for 2018, in October, compiled from CO2 emissions data reported by 3,200 vessels from 17 shipping companies, including Maersk, MSC, CMA CGM, Cosco, Evergreen and Hapag-Lloyd.

He said since 2015, CO2 emissions per container had decreased by 9.6%, which he said indicated that the industry was “making progress” towards meeting the target set by the IMO. halve CO2 emissions from maritime transport by 2050.

However, pressure is growing on shippers, logistics providers and container lines to show their customers and investors proof of their commitment to “responsible operations and reducing their carbon footprint”.

Indeed, in addition to the CO2 calculators deployed by carriers, freight forwarders have adopted similar models using the methodology of the CCWG, Kuehne + Nagel (member of the CCWG) for example, having included the CO2 emissions generated by sea freight on its invoices to customers since 2017.

OOCL – its online CO2 calculator has been analyzed by SeaIntelligence – said its “data collection process, as well as the accuracy of the research and methodology”, had been verified by ABS Consulting, a subsidiary of the ‘American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) in collaboration with Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Department of Logistics and Maritime Studies).

However, the Cosco subsidiary said the calculations generated by its carbon calculator “should be used at your own discretion”, suggesting a user to contact “if in doubt about the calculations”.

A spokesperson for Hapag-Lloyd explained that, to some extent, carriers were caught in a paradox.

“The majority of eco-calculators on the market are based on a third-party solution and trade channel data, which unfortunately does not reflect individual uses and other more specific vessel information. Therefore, it can only give users an indication of CO2 emissions based on averages and market data. “

And carriers privately admit that there are “a lot more tweaks to be done” on their online CO2 calculators. Indeed, Maersk said The charging star today that it did not currently offer.

Another carrier said The charging star its online CO2 calculator should only be used as a guide to monitor the carbon footprint of a shipment.

“I would suggest that any carrier or supply chain actor, if they were honest, would say the same.” he added.

And in a LinkedIn post, Paul Woodall, Director, Environment and Sustainability at DFDS, added: “The problem is that doing such calculations is far from easy, trust me, I try this every day. Everything is based on the assumptions you apply; you can get any number and you can even prove that it was calculated correctly.

Meanwhile, another carrier source said there were simply “too many variables” going into the design of the calculator to make the “true estimate”, but agreed that carriers should at less to be able to get the transit distance for the correct shipment.

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