Port of Rotterdam will offer a substantial port fee reduction for ships that bunker sustainable fuels in Rotterdam, supporting the recently announced Zero Emissions Maritime Buyers Alliance (ZEMBA). In addition, the port wants to recognise front runners maritime decarbonisation.

Boudewijn Siemons, COO and CEO a.i. of the Port of Rotterdam: ‘It is vital that the shipping industry makes the switch to zero-emission fuels. The ZEMBA consortium has launched a fantastic initiative with a willingness to pay carriers a premium for the use of zero-emission fuels, which are still more expensive than traditional fuels. With the additional support from our side, we want to give carriers maximum incentive to make this switch.’

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Tender for zero-emission container transport

In September, ZEMBA launched a Request for Proposals (RfP) for 600,000 twenty-foot containers (TEUs) over a three-year period on ocean vessels powered by zero-emission fuels. Through this tender, ZEMBA seeks to help its member companies reduce nearly 1 million metric tonnes of carbon emissions, equivalent to taking 215,000 cars off the road. The RfP is the first major buyer-led initiative to accelerate the transition to zero-emission maritime fuels in one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonise.

ZEMBA was launched as a non-profit membership organisation in March 2023 by the Aspen Institute, Amazon, Patagonia, and Tchibo to fast-track commercial deployment of zero-emissions shipping services at scale, create a competitive market for these services, and help reduce emissions.

For this first tender, ZEMBA has secured more than twenty members, including: Amazon, Bauhaus, Brooks Running, Chewy, Electrolux Group, Flexport, Green Worldwide Shipping, IKEA, Levi Strauss & Co., lululemon, Meta, Moose Toys, New Balance, Nike, Patagonia, Philips, Schneider Electric, Sport-Thieme and Tchibo.

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Port fee reduction

To support this, and as part of its ongoing efforts to enable and accelerate the transition to zero-emission shipping, the Port of Rotterdam offers a port fee reduction for these large container vessels when bunkering sustainable fuels in Rotterdam, which can run up to EUR 500,000 in total.

To qualify, a ship has to bunker alternative fuels in Rotterdam with at least ninety per cent reduction in greenhouse gases, such as green methanol or ammonia. The Port of Rotterdam Authority has also determined that discount does not apply to bio-blended fuel oil, marine gas oil, or marine diesel oil, as that market is already mature in Rotterdam.

Other discounts for more sustainable ships

The Port Rotterdam already extends discounts to more sustainable vessels that score high on the Environmental Ship Index (ESI) and is an international front runner in facilitating the bunkering of zero-emission fuels.

In 2022, the port launched a Green & Digital Corridor project together with the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore, which also offers discounts for carriers using sustainable fuels. This means ships using sustainable fuels on the Singapore-Rotterdam trade lane can benefit from financial incentives from both ports as well as ZEMBA.

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