Shipping industry ‘failing’ to monitor emissions

Shipping industry ‘failing’ to monitor emissions

Port Technology — 2023-08-07

Maritime and Ports

Few carriers are taking the necessary steps to decarbonise their shipping fleets in the face of the climate change crisis and are failing to limit shipping emissions to keep in the range of a 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) global temperature rise, according to the environmental coalition. 

The shipping industry is failing to do its part to address the climate crisis, and today’s report card puts retailers and carrier lines on notice to clean up their shipping problem,” Ship It Zero stated in a statement.

Carriers continue to be over reliant on false solutions like liquefied natural gas, a potent fossil fuel, and scrubbers.

Ship It Zero’s Shipping Decarbonization Report Card is designed to evaluate major shipping carriers on their commitment to rapid decarbonisation and development of zero emissions fuels for maritime shipping.

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), Ocean Network Express (ONE), Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) were in the middle of the pack having achieved grade C, Maersk earned a B and CMA CGM came in with a D.

In July 2023, the United Nation’s shipping regulator, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), passed a Revised Greenhouse Gas strategy for the shipping industry including 30% and 80% emissions reduction targets for 2030 and 2040, respectively.

These targets are not nearly aggressive enough to put the industry on track to stay within 1.5 degrees celsius of global heating set out by the Paris Accord.

In March, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued AR6 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2023, a final warning on how to maintain the Paris Accord’s 1.5 degrees C global heating trajectory, requiring global climate emissions to peak before 2025 and be cut 43 per cent from 2019 levels by 2030.

While the globe is burning, retailers and cargo carriers are doing little to address emissions from shipping their goods,” said Eric Leveridge, Ship It Zero Lead, Pacific Environment.

Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart, Amazon and CMA CG, in particular, are failing to clean up their shipping pollution while Mediterranean Shipping Company, Ocean Network Express, Hyundai Merchant Marine are barely passing.

Addressing the climate crisis is urgent and we have no time to waste, retailers and cargo carriers must act now,” Leveridge said.

Our report card clearly shows that, while some retailers and cargo carriers have made progress, there’s still a long way to go,” said Kendra Ulrich, Shipping Campaigns Director for

Decarbonising the shipping industry is urgent and we are putting retailers and their cargo carriers on notice.

We urge companies to commit to achieving 100 per cent zero-emission, fossil-free ocean shipping by 2030 to ensure a healthier, cleaner tomorrow for our communities and our climate.

In June 2023, members of the US Congress presented the Clean Shipping Act of 2023, a groundbreaking bill aimed at eliminating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ocean shipping companies operating within the US.

More recently, the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) updated their plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) shipping emissions.

Full list of carriers with grades:

APM-Maersk: B

Mediterranean Shipping Company: D

Cosco: D


Hapag-Lloyd: F

Ocean Network Express: C

Evergreen: F

Hyundai Merchant Marine: C

Yang Ming: F

Pacific International Lines: F