International container shipping is currently facing enormous challenges: Logistics problems due to closed ports, staffing problems due to the Corona pandemic, scarce quantities of available empty containers, and finally the economic uncertainties resulting from the Ukraine war, coupled with extremely increased energy costs. While all these factors have caused freight rates to rise, they are weighing on both exporting and importing companies around the world. Even Chinese marine logistics company COSCO cannot change such external factors, but the company has now recognized another essential aspect of its business: The impact of container ships, which often run on heavy oil, on the global climate. For this reason, COSCO is focusing on new fuels to drastically reduce the climate-damaging emissions on the world’s oceans.
To this end, the company, through its two container freight logistics subsidiaries Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) and COSCO Shipping Lines, ordered a total of 12 new, methanol dual-fuel container ships with a capacity of 24,000 TEU at the end of October. The high-tech ocean giants, valued at approximately $2.9 billion, are being built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries. The first batch of the newly powered cargo ships is scheduled to be launched in 2026, with the second to follow at the end of 2028. With this investment in cleaner container ships, COSCO is setting the course for lower-emission cargo shipping and is therefore a global innovator for greater efficiency and climate protection in this field.
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