Outbound Container Ship
A Book and Claim Chain of Custody System for the early transition to Zero-emission Fuels in Shipping
The development of book and claim chain of custody systems can play a major role in accelerating the early phases of shipping’s decarbonisation transition.
- Ingrid Irigoyen
- Project Director - Ocean and Climate, Aspen Institute Energy & Environment Program
- Taylor Goelz
- Senior Program Manager - Ocean and Climate, Aspen Institute Energy & Environment Program
- Dan Smith
- Program Director, Smart Freight Centre
- Mette Asmussen
- Lead - Maritime Sector Initiatives, World Economic Forum
- Bianca Garvin
- Project Coordinator, Global Maritime Forum
- Judith Musau
- Project Manager, Global Maritime Forum
March 15 2023
The development of book and claim chain of custody systems – which allow the emission profile of a zero-emission fuel to be separated from the physical flow of that fuel in a transportation supply chain – can play a major role in accelerating the early phases of shipping’s decarbonisation transition.
These systems can enable early action, even when zero-emission fuels and vessels are in limited supply, by separating decarbonisation from the physical transportation of an organisation’s cargo. By activating early demand from shippers and cargo owners, these systems can help shipowners and fuel providers develop a business case for decarbonisation even while preferred fuel pathways are still being determined. Done well, these systems can also build customer confidence in the voluntary, non-regulated market for zero-emission shipping by providing verifiability, credibility, and consistency.
A book and claim chain of custody system for maritime decarbonisation will have to meet the needs of fuel producers, shipowners, and cargo owners and charterers shipping ocean freight. While such systems could be relevant for all segments, logistical complexity and economic factors make container shipping especially likely to benefit from book and claim approaches. Today there is a blossoming of offerings in this space, including a number of proprietary services from shipowners and logistics providers, and growing demand from cargo owners.
The overall impact of these systems on maritime decarbonisation will be determined by the accounting frameworks, commercial frameworks, and reporting rules that govern them. To complement proprietary activity, coordinated action from the sector will be needed to:
1. Ensure the maritime applicability of emerging accounting frameworks for freight decarbonisation and generate convergence around issues that are key to the credibility of book and claim solutions.
2. Promote convergence on commercial practices and norms in a way that builds confidence among customers and meets the needs of demand aggregation initiatives.
3. Communicate the importance of these systems and the need for international reporting standards to accept their use for maritime decarbonisation.
Read the full insight brief here.
Figure 1: Illustration of a maritime book and claim system and process.
Expand and Download the chart here.