Press release -
Countdown to zero: DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo launch regular CO2-neutral freight connection from Europe to China
Weekly cargo flight rotations from Frankfurt to Shanghai • 100% real carbon dioxide avoidance through Sustainable Aviation Fuel • 20,250 tons less greenhouse gases in the summer flight schedule • Mercedes-Benz, ZF and Merck among the first customers
Air freight can now be transported with zero carbon dioxide tailpipe emissions: DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo launched the first regular carbon neutral cargo flight connection in history this Thursday. With the take-off of a Boeing 777F at 9:14 a.m. local time today, the companies kicked off weekly flights between Frankfurt am Main and Shanghai Pudong, where the fuel requirements are covered entirely by Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). This will save around 174 metric tons of conventional kerosene each week.
Jochen Thewes, CEO of DB Schenker: "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: "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."
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 fully offset by sustainable compensation projects. This ensures that flights are completely greenhouse gas neutral.
The weekly volume of SAF procured by DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo corresponds to 174 metric tons 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 tons will be ensured during Lufthansa Cargo’s summer flight schedule. Of this, around 16,200 metric tons 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.
Currently, SAF is about three times more expensive than fossil kerosene and the quantity available on the market is limited. With the launch of the sustainable freight flight connection, DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo are reiterating their call to other companies in the logistics industry as well as politicians to jointly expand production and infrastructure for Sustainable Aviation Fuel and thus drive forward decarbonization in logistics.
About DB Schenker
With around 76,900 employees at more than 2,100 locations in over 130 countries, DB Schenker is one of the world’s leading logistics providers. The company operates land, air, and ocean transportation services, and it also offers comprehensive solutions for logistics and global supply chain management from a single source. www.dbschenker.com
Lufthansa Cargo AG
With a turnover of 2.8 billion euros and 6.5 billion revenue tonne-kilometres in 2020, Lufthansa Cargo is one of the world's leading companies in the transport of air freight. The company currently employs about 4,400 people worldwide. Lufthansa Cargo focuses on the airport-to-airport business. The cargo carrier serves around 300 destinations in more than 100 countries with its own fleet of freighters, the belly capacities of passenger aircraft operated by Lufthansa German Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings and SunExpress, and an extensive road feeder service network. The bulk of the cargo business is routed through Frankfurt Airport. Lufthansa Cargo aligns its corporate responsibility commitment with the sustainability goals of the United Nations (UN). Lufthansa Cargo has committed itself to anchoring five selected sustainability goals in its corporate activities and to making a substantial contribution to achieving these goals by 2030. Lufthansa Cargo is a wholly owned Lufthansa subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Lufthansa Group’s logistics specialist.