The world’s first methanol-fuelled container vessel, Laura Maersk, arrived at the UK’s leading port for its maiden call yesterday , marking an important milestone in the journey towards decarbonisation in the shipping industry.

This 2,100 TEU (twenty-foot-equivalent) feeder vessel, which sails entirely on low emissions fuel, will help Maersk reach its long-term objective of gradually renewing its entire fleet to operate solely on green fuels.

Robin Mortimer, the Port of London Authority (PLA)’s Chief Executive, commented:

“We’re delighted that our port, and pilotage, were chosen for the maiden call of such an innovative, low emissions container vessel, Laura Maersk. Powered by green fuel, she marks an impressive step forward in the transition to Net Zero.”

Gary Jeffreys, Maersk’s Area Managing Director UK & Ireland, said:

“We are very proud to have Laura Maersk in the UK. This innovative vessel is an important proof that the decarbonisation of supply chains is feasible. Laura Maersk is a game changer in a hard to abate industry.

“Combining low emission landside transport solutions with the soon to be delivered larger vessels running on green methanol will allow us to start offering green end to end solutions for our customers. This will be the first of many initiatives to get us to Net Zero.”

One of the Port of London Authority’s pilots, Shaun Stewart, brought the cutting-edge ship, carrying two of Maersk’s eye-catching rainbow containers, safely to London Gateway. Two of Svitzer’s first biofueled tugs, Svitzer Thames and Svitzer Monach, were on hand to support her arrival.

Maersk’s rainbow containers were discharged and delivered to their brand-new, more sustainably built warehouse, moving via rail in partnership with Maritime Transport. The final mile was carried out using an electric HGV – the first of its kind operated in the UK. This represents Maersk’s ambitions to offer “green corridors” to customers in the future, connecting all parts of the supply chain sustainably.