The airfreight forwarder said that as part of United's Eco-Skies Alliance programme it will contribute towards the purchase of 3.4 million gallons of SAF this year. The reductions in carbon footprint are then allocated by DHL to its customers.
DHL Global Forwarding, Freight chief executive Tim Scharwath said: 'Through this partnership we will be able to show how a market mechanism for SAF can help airlines, freight forwarders, and shippers work together to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon, ultimately zero carbon emissions transport sector.'
The forwarder also plans to launch a 'book and claim' system to enable customers to ramp up their use of SAF and be allocated SAF certificates to validate the corresponding reduction in their carbon footprint.
The 'book and claim' mechanism is currently being tried with select customers and will be made available to all customers later this year.
Christoph Wolff, head of shaping the future of mobility, World Economic Forum, said: 'The 'book and claim' mechanism is an essential element of SAF certificates. We need frontrunners like Demand Signal group participants United Airlines and DHL Global Forwarding to put concepts into practice so that it can be validated and turned into a formal standard.'
Jan Krems, president of United Cargo, said: 'Reducing our emissions from fuel use is critically important and when companies as large as DHL recognise the value in switching to SAF, we're another step closer to establishing SAF as a long-term, permanent solution for aviation.'
DHL is not the only forwarder to have signed up for Unites' SAF programme - in April CEVA also joined the initiative, reports London's Air Cargo News.