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CMA CGM Program Trades Carbon Credits for Early Container Returns

Mike Schuler
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September 29, 2022

French shipping giant CMA CGM is launching a new incentive program that will give U.S. customers a chance to earn carbon credits for returning containers early.

CMA CGM says the new program, which it calls “TEUs for Trees,” will not only give shippers a chance to offset their carbon footprint, but will also help to improve supply chain efficiency by boosting equipment availability especially U.S. exporters.

Under the program, importers of record will get 2.5 tons of carbon credits for containers returned during calendar days 1 through 4. To calculate the credit, CMA CGM says it will utilize EDI transaction data, rather than requiring invoices or additional documentation from customers. Each customer will get progress report every 30 days, and at the end of the program will be issued an official carbon offset certificate for total credits earned.

Credits will purchased by CMA CGM for customers that return both dry and refrigerated containers originating from nearly 20 Asian countries to CMA CGM-approved return locations in port cities throughout the U.S., including every ocean terminal where CMA CGM receives empty containers.

CMA CGM says the credits will be used to expand U.S. forestry, support urban resilience projects in vulnerable communities, and drive the creation of additional offset projects in the U.S.

“Encouraging customers to return boxes sooner provides additional containers and chassis for export bookings, and the type of incentive we are offering will result in the formation of new socio-environmental projects right here in the United States. It is our hope that through this program, others in the industry will be inspired to leverage their capabilities to positively impact the environment and our local communities.”

The program is currently set to be in effect from October 1 to December 30 of this year.

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