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Maersk DB Schenker boxesCOPENHAGEN: Maersk Line has agreed to reduce CO2 emissions of every container it carries on behalf of DB Schenker Logistics between now and 2020 by 20 percent compared to 2014 levels.

"This is the first agreement between a global logistics services provider and a container shipping company," said Karl-Friedrich Rausch, chief sustainability officer of Deutsche Bahn and management board member for Transportation and Logistics at DB Mobility Logistics. "The agreement is a milestone because we are incorporating aspects of sustainability into our business relationships," he added.

DB Schenker says the six-year agreement is to encourage customers' interest in sustainable ocean freight by bringing aspects of sustainability into business decision-making processes.

"The partnership encourages greater transparency on sustainable container transportation which can drive significant improvements in the industry," added Vincent Clerc, chief trade and marketing officer for Maersk Line. "By integrating sustainability elements into the purchasing decisions, we jointly strive to change the procurement process in container shipping fundamentally."

The agreement coincides with publication of the latest Agility emerging markets index, which says the fastest-growing ocean lanes linking the EU/US with emerging markets last year were EU-Egypt (up 23.2 percent) and EU-Morocco (up 19.7 percent). EU-Saudi Arabia ocean shipments fell 10.8 percent. Trade flows from emerging markets to the US and EU showed significant growth along several key lanes: Ukraine-EU (up 35.8 percent); Brazil-EU (up 17.2 percent); Russia-EU (up 16.5 percent); and China-EU (up 12.1 percent).

A number of ocean lanes linking emerging markets and the US/EU showed "spectacular" growth says Agility, albeit from relatively small base volumes: Algeria-EU (up 81.4 percent); Peru-US (up 59.3 percent); Qatar-EU (up 59.3 percent); US-Colombia (up 68.6 percent); EU-Colombia (up 46.3 percent); and US-Thailand (up 42.2 percent).

Essa Al-Saleh, CEO & president, of Agility Global Integrated Logistics noted: "We began 2014 with talk of an emerging markets meltdown. Storm clouds gathered in equity and currency markets, giving rise to talk of a "fragile five" (South Africa, Brazil, India, Turkey and Indonesia). At the same time, political instability and armed conflict threatened North Africa and parts of the Middle East.

"What's changed? China's economy is slowing, commodity prices are falling, and the prospect of U.S. monetary tightening looms. Yet, there is no talk of an emerging markets meltdown. They are less vulnerable today to shocks that would have sent investors racing for the door in the past," he added.

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