DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo launch CO2-neutral freight connection from Europe to China

DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo have launched a regular CO2-neutral freight connection from Europe to China.

DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo have launched a regular CO2-neutral freight connection from Europe to China. There will be weekly cargo flight rotations from Frankfurt to Shanghai that avoid real carbon dioxide through Sustainable Aviation Fuel in Boeing 777Fs, this will save around 174 metric tonnes of conventional kerosene each week. Thus resulting in 20,250 tonnes less greenhouse gases in the summer flight schedule. Mercedes-Benz, ZF and Merck are said to be among the first customers. 

Jochen Thewes, CEO of DB Schenker, said, “As of now, carbon neutral supply chains are also feasible with air freight. Our weekly flights between Frankfurt and Shanghai are the kick-off of a new era. We are proud to have already convinced so many customers of this future-orientated product. Next, business and politics have to take charge to create more capacity for regenerative fuels and clean aviation.”

Dorothea von Boxberg, CEO of Lufthansa Cargo, said, “With the world’s first sustainable cargo flight with DB Schenker at the end of 2020, we demonstrated that flying without fossil emissions is already possible. Today, we jointly launched the world’s first regular sustainable cargo flight connection. This paves the way for many more connections of this kind. We are counting on the determination of our industry and the dedication of consumers to get this off the ground together.” 

According to DB Schenker, Sustainable Aviation Fuel is produced mainly from biomass waste, such as used vegetable and cooking oils. Thus, when burned in the engine, the same amount of carbon dioxide is released which was previously removed from the atmosphere during the original growth of the plants. In addition, greenhouse gases produced during the manufacture and transport of the fuel are offset by sustainable compensation projects. This ensures that flights are completely greenhouse gas neutral, according to the company.

The weekly volume of SAF procured by DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo is said to correspond to 174 metric tonnes of kerosene, which is about the amount needed for the connection to Shanghai and back. However, for technical and legal reasons, it is currently not possible to fuel an aircraft with SAF only. Therefore, the SAF is blended with conventional kerosene via the airport’s refuelling system and consumed proportionally by all subsequently refuelled aircraft. 

In total, greenhouse gas neutrality of 20,250 metric tonnes will be ensured during Lufthansa Cargo’s summer flight schedule. Of this, around 16,200 metric tonnes will be avoided from direct combustion in the engine. The participating customers, including Mercedes-Benz, ZF and Merck, can credit their reduced carbon footprint on a pro rata basis.

Source: DB Schenker

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