Business CJ Logistics Realizes the Nation’s First
Liquefied Hydrogen Transport
2024. 06. 28



With the increasing importance of corporate carbon neutrality and sustainability, a future energy source is gaining attention: hydrogen. Hydrogen can be reliably produced by breaking down water, an abundant resource. Additionally, it is a clean energy source that does not emit greenhouse gases during combustion. However, its utilization has been challenging due to transportation issues and a lack of infrastructure.

CJ Logistics, addressing these challenges and leading the activation of a sustainable hydrogen energy economy, started the nation’s first liquefied hydrogen transportation in May. How did CJ Logistics make this logistics innovation possible?

Why is Hydrogen Transportation Difficult?


Until now, hydrogen has mainly been stored and transported as a high-pressure gas. Hydrogen in gaseous form has a very low storage density per unit volume, making it economically inefficient. Furthermore, high-pressure gas hydrogen poses a safety risk due to its potential for explosion, complicating transportation.

The solution to these issues is to cool hydrogen to -235°C, transforming it into liquefied hydrogen. Liquefied hydrogen reduces in volume to approximately 1/800th of its gaseous state, increasing the transportation volume tenfold. This not only allows for efficient large-scale storage and transportation but also makes it much safer due to the possibility of low-pressure transport.

In South Korea, hydrogen energy is primarily used in mobility sectors such as hydrogen vehicles. Liquefied hydrogen has the added advantage of significantly faster refueling times compared to gaseous hydrogen, reducing waiting times at refueling stations.

How Was the Nation’s First Liquefied Hydrogen Transportation Achieved?


Despite these advantages, no logistics companies in the country had been capable of transporting liquefied hydrogen due to the absence of relevant regulations and legal frameworks. To initiate the nation’s first liquefied hydrogen transportation business, CJ Logistics actively utilized the regulatory sandbox system and received approval from the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy last year.

By deploying dedicated tank trailers and establishing the necessary infrastructure and technology for liquefied hydrogen transportation, CJ Logistics created and set industry standards for hydrogen logistics. As a result, CJ Logistics is now the only logistics company capable of transporting liquefied hydrogen in the country.

Where is Liquefied Hydrogen Transported? 

CJ Logistics transports liquefied hydrogen produced at the SK E&S liquefied hydrogen plant in Incheon. The Incheon plant, the world’s largest, produces 90 tons per day and 30,000 tons annually of liquefied hydrogen. This hydrogen is transported via special tank trailers to refueling stations across the country.

Currently, there are six hydrogen refueling stations for vehicles such as buses and trucks in Incheon, Cheongju, and Busan, with plans to increase this to 20 by the end of the year and 40 in the future. CJ Logistics also plans to expand liquefied hydrogen transportation by increasing the number of tank trailer vehicles.


Unstoppable Challenges and Innovations by CJ Logistics 

The initial implementation of the liquefied hydrogen transportation business was not achieved overnight. CJ Logistics had entered the gaseous hydrogen transportation business in June last year, accumulating operational capabilities and infrastructure. A year later, they expanded their business scope to include liquefied hydrogen transportation, covering the entire hydrogen logistics spectrum.

Furthermore, CJ Logistics is actively participating in the transition to eco-friendly hydrogen mobility. In 2021, they started using hydrogen trucks for parcel delivery and are discussing the introduction of hydrogen-powered equipment in major logistics centers.

To gain a deeper understanding, we interviewed Shim Jae-hang, manager of the P&D Resource Management Part responsible for the liquefied hydrogen transportation business at CJ Logistics.


Q. What initiated the start of the liquefied hydrogen transportation business? What were the necessary preparations?   

“In 2021, while contemplating our growth strategy, we began discussing the need for sustainable logistics. We predicted that hydrogen and battery logistics would become more active and started to strategize accordingly. In 2022, we learned that SK E&S was pushing for hydrogen energy as a future business and formalized our collaboration with an MOU.”

“There were no existing regulations for licensing, and liquefied hydrogen had never been attempted, so it took over a year. We needed extensive preparations, and we sought technical advice from SK E&S, the leading hydrogen company, and Far East University’s Department of Environmental Energy Engineering. As a result, we became the nation’s first and currently only company capable of transporting liquefied hydrogen.”


Q. What will be CJ Logistics’ competitive edge if the liquefied hydrogen business becomes active?

“The trucks and equipment needed to transport liquefied hydrogen are high-cost specialized equipment, creating a high barrier to entry. Additionally, converting ultra-low temperature gas into liquid, storing it in tanks, and maintaining pressure during transport requires expertise and know-how in all aspects. The extensive experience of a leading company will be a competitive advantage and differentiator.”

Q. What are the future plans and direction for the liquefied hydrogen transportation business?


“We plan to expand the transportation volume of liquefied hydrogen in collaboration with SK E&S. We currently operate 40 vehicles from the Incheon plant and plan to increase to 70 vehicles by 2027 from the Boryeong plant. With the high interest and demand for hydrogen among energy companies, the market potential is significant. Our goal is to quickly capture this market. 

However, we will not limit ourselves to hydrogen transport and logistics but will lead in various areas to activate the hydrogen economy. We are preparing to gradually convert CJ Logistics’ trucks to eco-friendly energy vehicles. By 2025, second-generation hydrogen trucks will be available, and we plan to introduce hydrogen vehicles for large and internal cargo trucks.

Hydrogen is increasingly becoming an essential energy source. South Korea announced its Hydrogen Economy Roadmap in 2019, accelerating its progress toward becoming a leading hydrogen economy. CJ Logistics, as an innovative logistics company pioneering new areas, is establishing systems and standards for the hydrogen logistics market, contributing to the global hydrogen economy and advancing as a leading global logistics company.”

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