In a bid to combat climate change, cruise lines have been making serious efforts to reduce greenhouse and carbon emissions on their ships drastically. However, the backend operations of this industry have often been overlooked in this sustainability drive.
Aiming to rectify this, Costa Cruises has unveiled a partnership with LC3 Transporti to implement a more sustainable logistical model. This collaboration involves sending provisions and technical supplies via bio-LNG powered trucks to their cruise ship, the Costa Firenze.
A New Chapter in Sustainable Logistics
Costa Cruises has signed an agreement with LC3 Trasporti to utilize bio-LNG powered trucks for transporting onboard supplies to their ships. The Costa Firenze, at 135,500 gross tons and capable of accommodating 5,246 guests, is the first beneficiary of this green initiative.
The partnership will officially kick off on May 19, when Costa Firenze docks for the first time at the port of Kiel, Germany. Costa Firenze‘s onboard necessities, such as food, beverages, and technical supplies, will be transported from Costa Cruises’ warehouses in Genoa, Italy, to Kiel via LC3 Transporti’s bio-LNG powered trucks.
This bio-LNG, or liquefied biomethane, is an environmentally-friendly alternative fuel derived from refining waste from the livestock industry.
From Kiel, the cruise ship will embark on weekly voyages until mid-September, offering seven-day cruises to the Norwegian fjords. Costa Firenze will be making a move to a different cruise line in the coming year, as she is set to join Carnival Cruise Line in 2024, sailing from Long Beach.
Marco Diodà, Vice President, Procurement & Supply Chain at Costa Cruises: “Sustainability is a key asset in Costa Cruises’ business model. We have introduced major innovations in our industry, such as the first LNG-powered ships, and we remain committed to research and development of further technologies, with the ambition of achieving a net-zero fleet by 2050.”
“Our commitment also extends to all cruise-related activities, including the logistics needed to supply our ships. The collaboration with LC3 Trasporti is a concrete step towards the goal of building a fairer and more responsible supply chain, through environmental, social and governance projects shared with suppliers.”
Significant Reduction in CO2 Emissions
The switch to bio-LNG trucks for logistical operations promises a massive reduction in CO2 emissions – almost 90 percent, compared to a conventional Euro VI diesel vehicle.
Furthermore, particulate emissions are expected to drop by nearly 100 percent, marking a significant step forward in the cruise industry’s sustainability efforts.
Read Also: What Is an LNG-Powered Cruise Ship?
Michele Ambrogi, President of LC3 Trasporti: “LC3’s commitment to provide a pioneering and cutting-edge logistics service that aims to minimize environmental impact is a core value for our company, and this agreement further strengthens our position as a market leader thanks to a prestigious partner with whom we share values and ambitions.”
With this initiative, Costa Cruises demonstrates that becoming environmentally friendlier extends far beyond the cruise ships. It includes every step of the operational process. However, it also highlights a significant problem in the industry, the lack of local sourcing.
The Potential of Local Sourcing in the Cruise Industry
While Costa Cruises’ partnership with LC3 Transporti marks a significant move towards more sustainable logistics, local sourcing is another area ripe for green innovation. If more cruise lines shift their focus to sourcing supplies locally, it could lead to a range of benefits for the entire industry and beyond.
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It is not uncommon for cruise lines to engage in a practice that could be seen as going against the goals the industry has set for 2050. Cruise companies often import European products to the States, only to export them across the Atlantic when they deploy their ships in the Mediterranean. Or, as is the case with Costa, import products from Italy to Germany.
Various factors, including supply chain logistics, brand preferences, and bulk purchasing agreements, drive such practices. However, this transatlantic ping-pong of goods comes at a significant environmental cost.
Local sourcing could drastically reduce the need for long-haul transport of goods and reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. It would also mitigate the need for bio-LNG trucks or similar technologies to transport supplies over large distances.