“Cleaning” containers

Cleaner air in many ports – DB Schenker and Hapag-Lloyd are hoping to achieve just that with their new “Low Sulfur Fuel” product. Photo: Johannes Kroemer

Working together with Hapag-Lloyd, DB Schenker has begun distributing a “Low Sulfur Fuel” product. It is intended to result in much cleaner air in the many ports in Asia, Africa and Latin America where appropriate emission standards are yet to be implemented. The product enables ocean freight customers who use Hapag-Lloyd to carry their freight to or from such ports to switch to marine diesel oil with a maximum sulfur content of 0.1 percent during the layover period.


As this fuel is significantly more expensive, customers will be required to pay a surcharge of three US dollars per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit). All customers who book at least 1,000 TEU for transportation outside Europe and North America per year with DB Schenker are able to opt for this product. The customers receive a certificate which assures the actual low sulfur fuel application equaling the surcharge.


Current legislation initiated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) provides for a reduction of sulfur in bunker fuel from 3.5 to 0.5 percent from 2020 onwards. However, practical experience gained in “emission controlled areas” such as the North Atlantic and Baltic Sea has shown that a reduction to a maximum of 0.1 percent would be advisable – and this is the level achieved with the new product marketed by DB Schenker and Hapag-Lloyd.