News and Pacific Environment study

USA, big retailers, big polluters

by Port News Editorial Staff

Between 2018 and 2020, Amazon, Target, Ikea, and Walmart imported a quantity of goods into the US. which released 20 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2e) into the atmosphere

This was disclosed in a report by and Pacific Environment. The study, also covered by CNN, explains how these goods were mostly transported by a small number of shipping companies, which each of the four giants has long-term contractual relationships with.

CMA CGM, in particular, is responsible for 68% of the emissions from ocean carriage of Walmart’s imported goods, and 33% of the emissions from transportation contracted by all four companies combined. Target’s main carriers are Cosco, Yang Ming and Evergreen, while Amazon has almost total control of its shipments. Ikea, finally, relies on MSC.

The most common routes for these goods are between Chinese and U.S. West Coast ports.

The two organizations stated that the retail brands and cargo carriers were “winning big in the current swell of consumer demand fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, reporting record breaking profits.”

According to the study, the numerous supply chain disruptions and bottlenecks caused in part by the pandemic crisis present both retail sellers and carriers with an undeniable opportunity for growth. Both, however, apparently choose to focus only on short-term profits and take little responsibility for the environment.

The report’s analysts don’t beat around the bush. In their opinion retail brands and cargo carriers are both major contributors to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

In particular, both Target and Amazon reportedly had a major impact on the levels of congestion and pollution at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Translation by Giles Foster

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