Hapag-Lloyd sees downward trend in emissions ahead of IMO 2020

Hapag-Lloyd sees downward trend in emissions ahead of IMO 2020
Hapag-Lloyd is preparing for 2020 and is supportive of a regulation that aims to improve the efficiency and sustainability of shipping. Image courtesy of Hapag-Lloyd

Hapag-Lloyd’s latest sustainability report outlines some of its 2018 achievements and its visions for the future, including reducing its fuel consumption and emissions across its 227 vessels in preparation for the IMO’s 2020 global sulphur cap.

CO2 emissions

While the IMO 2020 regulation is a challenge for many shipowners and operators and will entail significant costs, Hapag-Lloyd believes that the directive is necessary and has focussed its efforts on preparing for 2020, ensuring its fleet is ready to operate using compliant fuels by January 1 next year. According Jörg Erdmann, senior director, Sustainability Management, Hapag -Lloyd is also testing other options and will be the first to convert a large container ship to climate-friendly liquefied natural gas.

In 2018, Hapag-Lloyd decreased its fuel consumption and specific emissions using a variety of fuel efficiency measures.  “This puts us on track to achieve our target of a 20 per cent reduction by 2020,” says Jörg Erdmann.

Sustainable development

Hapag-Lloyd has incorporated the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations for the first time. The SDGs consider all three dimensions of sustainability – the economy, the environment and social commitment, and help companies to design their business processes to be sustainable over the long term. Hapag-Lloyd’s activities contribute to 6 of the 17 overall goals. For example, measures aimed at optimising the structure of the fleet have contributed to lower fuel consumption and thereby contributed to the goal of climate protection.


Within Hapag-Lloyd’s Strategy 2023, the company is continuing to use digital solutions to improve efficiency and service quality. The company has initiated a pilot project with customers, aiming to facilitate live tracking of containers in the future. The Hapag-Lloyd Digital Hub was also created in 2018 to raise employee awareness and promote dialogue on digital topics via a web-based platform. The Digital Hub provides articles and other content to facilitate active participation of employees in the company’s digital growth.

Route optimisation

Hapag-Lloyd’s Fleet Support Centre (FSC) has been used to help achieve bunker purchase savings and increase capacity utilisation of its ships. The FSC has also helped to ensure routes are provided as scheduled, improving adherence to timetables and helping to ensure customer satisfaction. Data is shared with relevant business partners to improve transparency and fleet performance.

Quality and environment management

Hapag-Lloyd’s quality and environmental management (QEM) system also achieved double certification according to ISO standards 9001: 2015 and 14001:2015 in 2018. For the first time, the Middle East region was included within a short time frame. The QEM includes all activities of Hapag-Lloyd’s door-to-door transport worldwide.

Read the full sustainability report here.