Marine shipping contributes 1 billion metric tons of carbon emissions each year.

Susan Caminiti, CNBC »

Start-up Fleetzero is aiming to provide solutions for both of these problems. Co-founders Steven Henderson and Michael Carter — graduates of the United States Merchant Marine Academy — are building battery-electric cargo ships that will not only help decarbonize the industry but could also ease supply chain bottlenecks by utilizing more of the available ports around the world.

And if that sounds a bit far-fetched consider that Elon Musk said way back in 2017: “Everything will go fully electric, apart from (ironically) rockets. Ships are the next easiest to solve after cars.”

In 2018, the International Maritime Organization, a regulatory arm of the U.N., set an initial goal of cutting carbon emissions from international shipping by at least 50% by 2050 compared with 2008. The problem with reaching that goal, according to Clean Air Task Force research, is that international shipping fleets would need to transition to net-zero carbon fuels.

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