Unifeeder Group has inked a long-term time-charter deal with German-based ship owning group Elbdeich Reederei for two new methanol-capable container feeder vessels, with an option for additional two similar vessels.

Elbdeich Reederei is ordering a pair of 1,250 feeder units which will be delivered in 2026, and manage them after the delivery.

Denmark´s logistics group Unifeeder plans to deploy the new vessels on its European network, where the new vessels will give a significant contribution to lower the emissions of the network.

Alongside parent company, DP World, Unifeeder is taking a number of proactive steps in order to reach its decarbonisation targets, as it is committed to a 25% reduction of emissions by 2030, carbon neutrality by 2040, and net zero emissions by 2050.

The newbuilding project is the latest step in a series of efforts that have been undertaken between Unifeeder and Elbdeich Reederei to reduce emissions within the jointly-operated Unifeeder fleet. This includes the first test of Synthetic Natural Gas as a fuel on a commercial vessel, the continuous use of biofuels and various vessel modifications made to reduce the fuel consumption of existing tonnage.

In parallel to the delivery of the methanol capable vessels, Unifeeder´s aim is to improve the fuel efficiency of the entire fleet deployed, and increase the use of biofuels on the conventional vessels in its fleet.

Robert Frese, managing director at Elbdeich Reederei, said: “We believe in methanol-capable vessels as part of a suite of solutions being deployed to reduce carbon emissions in our sector and are happy to contribute with this project to a greener future in shipping. We really look forward to operating these modern state-of-the-art container feeder vessels in our partnership with Unifeeder and hope other market participants will follow this example.”

“As the number of methanol-capable vessels increases in both our operations and those of our customers, my hope is that this drives an increase in innovation and production amongst methanol producers. This will then complete a virtuous circle and ensure we can operate more and more methanol capable vessels with the right colour of methanol fuels in our networks,” noted Jesper Kristensen, group chief executive of Unifeeder Group.