Launch Of BICEPS Rating System To Stimulate More Sustainable Ocean Shipping

The BICEPS Network, a joint initiative of five global shippers (AB InBev, AkzoNobel, DSM, FrieslandCampina and Huntsman) to leverage forces to stimulate more sustainable shipping, introduces the BICEPS Rating System. The shippers will apply the BICEPS Rating System, an online dynamic application that includes five sustainability themes, in their global procurement of ocean freight container transport.

The actual sustainability performance of ocean freight carriers will be included as a factor in the selection of ocean carriers for their shipping volumes by the shippers. The rating system has been developed to give full transparency on the actual and relative sustainability performance of shipping lines and allows shippers to include this as a clear differentiator within their selection process.

The shipping sector has high emissions of sulphur, black carbon and CO2. The sector is working hard towards more sustainable and effective operations. In order to boost the change to more sustainable shipping, 5 multinational companies have founded the BICEPS Network. The BICEPS Network wants to stimulate sustainable performance of ocean freight carriers with the Power of Demand. The actual performance on sustainability of ocean carriers will be now a factor in the selection of service providers by shippers, so there will be a commercial incentive for ocean freight carriers to become more sustainable. In addition, the BICEPS Network focuses on creating momentum for sustainable improvements and on driving more collaboration on sustainability innovations in the shipping sector.


The BICEPS Network has developed the BICEPS Rating System to establish a common approach to sustainability in the global procurement of ocean freight and selection of ocean freight carriers. All BICEPS Network members will focus jointly on the selected sustainability topics. The rating system has been developed to give full transparency on the actual and relative sustainability performance of the different shipping lines, including both results achieved and ambitions for the future. This BICEPS Rating System allows shippers to include sustainability performance as a clear differentiator within their selection process of shipping lines. The BICEPS Rating System includes 5 sustainability themes: communication and reporting on sustainability, emissions, improvement projects, collaboration projects and long-term ambitions.

DSM, Kim van Neer, Global Category Manager Ocean and Airfreight: “Via the BICEPS Network we hope we can further leverage and boost sustainability initiatives in the shipping industry. Therefore also within our procurement of ocean freight we have fully adopted green tender principle with the BICEPS Rating System, which means we screen all shipping lines based on sustainability and rank them accordingly.”

The BICEPS Rating System provides the same level of transparency towards the ocean freight carriers on their relative sustainability performance against their peers and aims to stimulate and reward improvements. Therefore, the rating system is an online dynamic application, which makes it easy to use, transparent and involves minimal administrative efforts for ocean freight carriers. By adding their improved sustainability results immediately, carriers will benefit as soon as possible of their improvements in upcoming procurement processes.

Instead of developing an additional sustainability methodology, the BICEPS Rating System consolidates existing sustainability methodologies and indexes and enriches them by including future ambitions of shipping lines on sustainability. This makes the BICEPS Rating System a great tool for shippers in selecting ocean freight carriers based on sustainability, not only today but also for the future!

FrieslandCampina, Walter Vermeer, Manager Category Procurement Logistics: “We as members of the BICEPS Network have developed the BICEPS Rating System because we want to boost the speed and adoption rate of proven processes and technologies, to make the impact bigger and faster.”

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