The transport industry is facing major change, with increasing demands and needs for sustainability. The transport sector currently produces the second largest volume of greenhouse gases out of all sectors, and it is critical that everyone pulls their weight if we are to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement.

At Scandinavian Shipping & Logistics, we represent a number of shipping companies all over the world. Two of them, Höegh Autoliners and X-Press Feeders, are currently at important stages of their sustainability journeys, in which they are developing their vessel fleets in order to reduce their emissions. Below you will gain an insight into what is going on behind the scenes during the sustainability journeys of two of the world’s leading shipping companies.

Höegh Autoliners

Höegh Autoliners is a global shipping company specializing in the transport of wheeled cargo (ro-ro vessels), including cars, trucks and heavy machinery. Focusing sharply on sustainability and innovation, they are working proactively to reduce their environmental impact through a range of initiatives. Their aim is to achieve zero emissions by 2040, with an interim target of reducing their annual emissions by more than 30 percent by 2030. This will be achieved by the company upgrading its current vessel fleet and with the help of its brand-new vessel concept, known as Aurora.

Aurora

The Aurora vessels, Höegh’s latest innovation, are to be completed in the autumn of 2024. The engines of these ships are designed to initially use LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas), a biofuel that emits significantly lower volumes of CO2 compared to traditional fuels. However, this is only an interim goal.

The vessels are also ‘ammonia-ready’, which means that their engines will be able to use ammonia, a fuel that is 100 percent CO2 neutral, as soon as it becomes available on the market. Höegh is running this project with several of its suppliers, with the aim of completing it by 2027.

Along with improvements in fuel efficiency, the Aurora vessels will also be adapted to the future automotive industry, in which electric vehicles will be the dominant type of vehicle on our roads. This means that, in order to transport electric vehicles safely, the vessels need to be adapted to new conditions as follows:

  • Deck reinforcement Electric cars are on average heavier than conventional petrol/diesel vehicles due to their batteries. In order to safely transport the same number of vehicles as before, the deck of the Aurora vessels will be stronger than on their existing vessels.
  • Fire compartments If lithium batteries catch fire, they are very difficult to extinguish, because they produce the oxygen that fire needs to burn. Aurora vessels are therefore equipped with appropriate fire-fighting equipment, but are also divided into fire compartments to limit the spread of fire.

Modernisation of the current fleet

Along with the new Aurora vessels, Höegh has also made several upgrades to its current vessel fleet, including:

  • Propeller replacement Höegh is in the process of replacing propellers on 12 of its vessels, the new design of which improves the vessels’ fuel efficiency by around 5 percent.
  • Improvements to the bulb The bulb of the vessels are also being optimized to reduce drag and thus also fuel consumption.
  • Connection to onshore electricity Instead of relying on marine diesel oil, vessels can use electricity when in port, in those ports where this is possible.

We highly recommend visiting Höegh Autoliners on LinkedIn, where they continuously post articles and insights regarding activities currently forming part of their sustainability journey. 

X-Press Feeders

X-Press Feeders is the world’s largest independent feeder carrier, specializing in shortsea maritime transport within Europe, where they form an important part of the overall transport chain.

Like Höegh, they are upgrading their fleet with new vessels powered by LNG to reduce their CO2 emissions. Their goal is to achieve zero emissions by 2050, with the interim targets of reducing emissions by 20 percent by 2035 and 50 percent by 2040.

Book more sustainable transport through SSL Liner Agency

Do you want to be part of our and our shipping companies’ sustainability journey? Book transport via Scandinavian Shipping & Logistics. We represent both Höegh and X-Press, allowing you, like us, to support the best and most sustainable players in the transport industry.