Reducing the environmental impact of our global fleet

We lead the way in ‘doing more with less’, enabling us to ship more cargo with less impact on the environment. We have an ambitious target to reduce our ocean shipping CO2 emissions by 60 percent per container transported between 2016 and 2020. We have already come a long way – we have reduced CO2 emissions per container transported by 42 percent already – but we still have some way to go.


We continue to look for new, innovative and commercially viable ways to further improve our – and our customers’ – environmental performance. Here are a few ways we work to improve our sustainability.

New thinking in ship propulsion and design

Ocean shipping is by far the most CO2 efficient way of transporting large amounts of goods over long distances. However, a large container vessel can burn up to 100 tons of fuel a day, which means that CO2 and other emissions, such as sulphur dioxide, are significant. As a result, new technologies and innovations that reduce vessel fuel consumption have a major positive environmental impact.

We are continuously investing in new, larger and more efficient vessels, such as the Triple-E, a modern vessel that is setting new standards in fuel efficiency. Our Triple-E vessels reduce both fuel consumption and harmful air emissions by up to 35 percent per container transported compared to other vessels sailing on the same shipping route.

In the hunt for better sustainability performance, improving our existing vessels is equally important. As part of this work, we are investing over USD 1 billion in a massive upgrading of more than 150 large container vessels in our fleet with new technologies that reduce fuel consumption as well as CO2 and sulphur dioxide emissions by up to 20 percent per container transported. These technical upgrades include new advanced propeller systems, engine upgrades, new bulbous bows and hydrodynamic hull coatings.

Our low carbon future


Our absolute CO2 reduction today, which is 10% ahead of industry


New CO2 reduction target by 2020

trillion tonnes

Amount of CO2 to be avoided from 2007 to 2020

A more efficient vessel network through big data

As part of our fuel efficiency drive, we constantly optimise our service network to ensure more efficient and stable operations. At the Maersk Line Global Voyage Centre, we monitor the whereabouts and progress of our entire global fleet. The team uses real-time data to plan the most efficient voyages – making tweaks mid-route if necessary – to ensure the vessels use less fuel and produce less emissions.

Speak to the sustainability team