DHL Global Forwarding calls for more SAF with shipper demand rising

Source: DHL Global Forwarding

DHL Global Forwarding has called for a “substantial” increase in Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production as it reports rising demand for sustainable solutions from customers.

The freight forwarder said a growing number of customer tenders and discussions included greenhouse gas transparency.

Customers are also willing to explore the use of sustainable solutions even if they come at a higher cost.

However, the forwarder is worried about the supply of SAF.

“With the growing demand the availability of sustainable fuels must be scaled up significantly,” the company said.

DHL Global Forwarding chief commercial officer Thomas George said: “From today’s perspective, e-fuels such as hydrogen and other sustainably produced synthetic fuels will only become increasingly available from 2030 onwards.

“Until then we need to scale up sustainable biofuel usage – and this is only possible in a joint effort.”

At this year’s IATA World Cargo Symposium, head of cargo Brendan Sullivan said that all available supplies of SAF had been used up in 2020, 2021 and 2022 and this year.

IATA has called for governments to incentivise the production of SAF.

“SAF is being produced,” said Sullivan. “And every single drop is being used… Through incentivising production, we could see 30bn litres of SAF available by 2030.

“That will still be far from where we need to be. But it would be a clear tipping point towards our net zero ambition of ample SAF quantities at affordable prices.”

IATA estimates that SAF could contribute around 65% of the reduction in emissions needed by aviation to reach net-zero in 2050.

Cost is also widely acknowledged to be a major barrier to development and use.

But there is hope that the price of SAF will fall as production is ramped up, although the fuel type is always expected to come at a premium compared with jet kerosene.

DHL Global Forwarding highlighted life-science firm Novo Nordisk’s decision to utilise SAF for its airfreight requirements – through DHL’s GoGreen Plus service – as a recent example of customer demand.

“We feel encouraged that our customers share our view, that the time to decarbonise is now,” DHL’s George said.

“A growing number of them are already making sustainability an integral part of their business strategy, and we are pleased to be able to prove to them, that with solutions like our GoGreen Plus service using sustainable fuels, transport emissions can already be reduced efficiently today.”

Dorethe Nielsen, vice president, circular for zero, corporate environmental strategy, Novo Nordisk, added: “Our airfreight accounts for most of our product distribution emissions as we provide life-saving medicines to patients around the world.

“We want to drive change in this area to help pave the way for other companies to also transition and cut emissions.”

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector. After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015. Contact me on [email protected]