Shipping group Hamburg Sud releases its first sustainability report

26 May 2016

Shipping group Hamburg Sud has released a sustainability report detailing how it has reduced CO2 emissions by 35% since 2009.

The company, which claims to be the first major shipping firm to release such a report, aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 45% by 2020.

Turnover rose by 16.8% to €6bn due to the takeover of container operations of Chilean shipping company Compañía Chilena de Navegación Interoceánica (CCNI) in March 2015 as well as entry into the East–West trade lanes.

In absolute terms Hamburg Sud’s energy consumption rose in 2014 but the company said its energy consumption per kilometre of container transported declined in 2015.

This was partly due to a range of new technologies being introduced on new vessels being used by the company, such as hull design with reduced drag and special engines on the “Cap San” class ships which reduce consumption at slower speeds.

Bamboo, a sustainable wood, is increasingly replacing non-sustainable tropical woods in the floors of the company’s containers, 93.5% of newly built Hamburg Sud containers completed between 2012 and 2015 were fitted out with bamboo floors, compared to a world average of 58%.

The company is aiming for 95% of new-built containers to have floors made from bamboo or other renewable materials by 2020.

With 189 vessels and a capacity of 625,000 TEUs across the fleet (16% larger than the previous year) Hamburg Süd Group joined the ranks of the 10 largest container shipping lines worldwide for the first time in 2015.

In 2015, freight rates declined by roughly 16% due to global overcapacity. China’s economic slowdown and the growing size of the global fleet were largely responsible for static demand for shipping space.

The company said it expected freight rates to remain under pressure due to overcapacity and weak trade growth in 2016 and anticipated turnover would remain stable.

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