Bio Fuel Photo 206396469 © Scharfsinn86
© Scharfsinn86

Freight forwarders can now check emissions data and purchase sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) when booking capacity on the CargoAi platform.

SAF can be bought for one air waybill (AWB), or multiple AWBs, using the tech company’s Cargo2Zero product, which aims to help customers decarbonise with a CO2 efficiency score.

CargoAi won TIACA’s sustainability award at the Air Cargo Forum in Miami this week, voted for by delegates.

While sustainability has been a focus of the event, smaller airlines remain unable to buy SAF, the most important route to reaching net zero by 2050.

“You can’t get SAF in the US. The amount available is a drop in the ocean,” said Tim Strauss, CEO of Amerijet.

“The big guys buy all the SAF – the publicly recognised airlines which have to for PR reasons. I don’t think they even care about the price.”

Neste, the largest producer of SAF, is increasing output next year, but it will still account for only about 1% of overall fuel production. Neste produced 100,000 tons of SAF this year; in 2023, it is set to produce 1.5m tons and 2.2m by 2026.

“SAF needs to be 100% of fuel production by 2050,” said Susanne Bouma, head of partnerships and programmes, renewable aviation at Neste. “We need to replace 23bn litres of fossil fuel with SAF, and we need end customers to scale-up their voluntary SAF purchases.

“There is no silver bullet, there are numerous pathways to net zero,” she added.

Neste is exploring the possibility of different feedstocks for SAF, such as domestic and forestry waste. Its current SAF is 100% produced from waste and residues, and it cuts 80% of emissions.

Aviation accounts for 2% to 3% of global emissions, but that is expected to rise to 20% as others sectors decarbonise.

SAF costs about 10% more than conventional aviation fuel, said Ms Bouma – or $0.20 to $0.25 per kg on a transpacific route on a 777.

“That is a limited impact, compared with the current volatility in the air freight market,” she noted.

While CargoAi won the small business/start-up award, Edmonton Airport won TIACA’s corporate sustainability award. The airport has a sustainability campus, which incorporates manufacturing, technology development and cargo logistics in an “integrated ecosystem that spurs collaboration and innovation”.

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