Special Issue "Green Maritime Transport"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Transportation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Thalis Zis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Technical University of Denmark
Interests: maritime logistics; port operations; sustainable shipping
Prof. Dr. Mihalis Gkolias
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Memphis
Interests: maritime logistics; ports; multiobjective optimization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Maritime shipping is considered the most fuel-efficient mode of transport, moving approximately 90% of global trade and accounting for less than 3% of the global anthropogenic CO2 emissions. However, there has been increasing regulatory pressure to improve its environmental performance, particularly considering its contribution to harmful pollutant emissions to human health. Research in maritime transportation has been on the rise in the last two decades and one research direction that has been attracting increasing interest, from the public and private sector and academia, is addressing the externalities thereof. At the same time, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) decided to cut greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping by at least 50% compared to 2008 levels. Considering the steady increase of maritime trade, population growth, and the arising economies of scale, it is evident that a combination of operational measures, policy instruments, and development of green technologies are necessary in order to achieve the aspired reductions.

This Special Issue intends to look into theoretical models, optimization problems, and applications in all subsectors of maritime shipping, spanning all shipping types (spot market, liner shipping, Ro-Ro, crude, bulkers, tankers). Articles with a strong methodological background, applications based on real world data, emissions inventories, and literature overviews are of particular interest. Topics of interest of this Special issue on Green Maritime Transport include, but are not limited to:

  1. Liner shipping and port related emissions;
  2. Technologies to reduce externalities from maritime transport;
  3. Design and evaluation of policies to decarbonize maritime transport;
  4. Market based measures;
  5. Policy enforcement;
  6. Alternative fuels;
  7. Weather routing;
  8. Vessel routing and scheduling;
  9. Terminal operations;
  10. Applications based on AIS data.

Dr. Thalis Zis
Prof. Dr. Mihalis Gkolias
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Sustainable transport
  • Green maritime logistics
  • Maritime emissions
  • Energy efficiency of port operations
  • Marine environment

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Bi-Objective Optimization of Vessel Speed and Route for Sustainable Coastal Shipping under the Regulations of Emission Control Areas
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6281; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226281 - 08 Nov 2019
Abstract
To comply with the regulations of emission control areas (ECAs), most operators have to switch to low-sulfur fuels inside the ECAs. Besides, a low-carbon objective is essential for long-term environmental protection; thus, is regarded as important as making profit. Therefore, the operators start [...] Read more.
To comply with the regulations of emission control areas (ECAs), most operators have to switch to low-sulfur fuels inside the ECAs. Besides, a low-carbon objective is essential for long-term environmental protection; thus, is regarded as important as making profit. Therefore, the operators start making speed and route decisions under the two objectives of minimizing carbon emissions and maximizing profit. Drawing on existing methods, this paper formulates the profit and carbon emissions in sustainable coastal shipping, investigates the speed and route principles, and determines the best tradeoff between profit and carbon emissions. It is found that vessel speed should be set between emissions-optimum speed and profit-optimum speed, and the route must be selected in light of the speed decision. Next, the optimal choices of speed and route were examined under different scenarios and vessel types. The results show that the operation measures and objectives depend greatly on fuel price, vessel load, and vessel parameters. The operator should speed up the vessel if he/she wants to make more profit or if the scenario is favorable for profit making; e.g., low fuel price and high vessel load (LFHL). Large vessels should pursue more profit under LFHL conditions, without having to sail further outside the ECA. But this rule does not apply to small vessels. In addition, the operator should slow down the vessel inside the ECA and sail further, outside the ECA, with the growth in the price spread between marine gas oil (MGO) and heavy fuel oil (HFO), especially at a low HFO price. The research findings help operators to design operational measures that best suit the limit on sulfur content in fuel and the situation of the shipping market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Maritime Transport)
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Open AccessArticle
Monitoring the Carbon Footprint of Dry Bulk Shipping in the EU: An Early Assessment of the MRV Regulation
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 5133; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11185133 - 19 Sep 2019
Abstract
Aiming at reducing CO2 emissions from shipping at the EU level, a system for monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) of CO2 emissions of ships was introduced in 2015 with the so-called ‘MRV Regulation’. Its stated objective was to produce accurate information [...] Read more.
Aiming at reducing CO2 emissions from shipping at the EU level, a system for monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) of CO2 emissions of ships was introduced in 2015 with the so-called ‘MRV Regulation’. Its stated objective was to produce accurate information on the CO2 emissions of large ships using EU ports and to incentivize energy efficiency improvements by making this information publicly available. On 1 July 2019, the European Commission published the relevant data for 10,880 ships that called at EU ports within 2018. This milestone marked the completion of the first annual cycle of the regulation’s implementation, enabling an early assessment of its effectiveness. To investigate the value of the published data, information was collected on all voyages performed within 2018 by a fleet of 1041 dry bulk carriers operated by a leading Danish shipping company. The MRV indicators were then recalculated on a global basis. The results indicate that the geographic coverage restrictions of the MRV Regulation introduce a significant bias, thus prohibiting their intended use. Nevertheless, the MRV Regulation has played a role in prompting the IMO to adopt its Data Collection System that monitors ship carbon emissions albeit on a global basis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Maritime Transport)
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Open AccessArticle
Energy Efficiency in European Ports: State-Of-Practice and Insights on the Way Forward
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 4952; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11184952 - 11 Sep 2019
Abstract
The changing energy landscape in Europe, marked with the development of the Energy Union in 2015, had a profound impact also on the European port sector. With European ports becoming key points of energy production, but also being prominent energy users, energy consumption [...] Read more.
The changing energy landscape in Europe, marked with the development of the Energy Union in 2015, had a profound impact also on the European port sector. With European ports becoming key points of energy production, but also being prominent energy users, energy consumption has naturally risen into a top environmental priority for port authorities. To this end, the paper provides a pragmatic and comprehensive overview of the main policies, technologies and practices that European ports have adopted to-date for enhancing their energy efficiency. Addressing a gap that has been identified in relevant recent literature, it gathers actual data and port experiences from many different sources in a first attempt to better facilitate knowledge and experience-sharing activities, that will support ports in collectively moving towards a zero-emission and climate-neutral future. Most importantly, it presents an effort to rationalize research findings, assist in aligning them with practice, shed more light on the exploitation path of this line of research and better inform future research efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Maritime Transport)
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Open AccessArticle
Carbon Mitigation Strategies of Port Selection and Multimodal Transport Operations—A Case Study of Northeast China
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 4877; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11184877 - 06 Sep 2019
Abstract
In the last few decades, the progression of climate change has made people aware of the need to reduce CO2 emissions. In this study, the effect of this awareness on container transport in Northeast China is used as an empirical case study. [...] Read more.
In the last few decades, the progression of climate change has made people aware of the need to reduce CO2 emissions. In this study, the effect of this awareness on container transport in Northeast China is used as an empirical case study. Firstly, we propose that the freight demand index, calculated by the entropy weight TOPSIS (technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution) method, reflects the degree of container demand in destination cities. Then, we describe five scenarios against the background of China’s container development plan and use them to evaluate the cost and carbon emissions of container rerouting. The overall objective of the study is to assess the effects of changes in port selection on the formation of new routes and multimodal transport. The results show that carbon taxes do not significantly affect multimodal transport networks, and the impact of loading and unloading costs on the total cost is far greater than that of corresponding carbon emissions. Despite the railway transportation capacity of Dalian Port, the results show that Yingkou Port and Dandong Port will expand by 227.8% and 191.4% over 2017, respectively. Therefore, Liaoning Port Group needs to reposition its different ports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Maritime Transport)
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Open AccessArticle
Performance Evaluation and Investment Analysis for Container Port Sustainable Development in China: An Inverse DEA Approach
Sustainability 2019, 11(17), 4617; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11174617 - 25 Aug 2019
Abstract
Container ports play an important role in international maritime trade. However, the rapid growth of the port and terminal industry has caused many environmental pollution problems. This paper intends to develop an inverse data envelopment analysis (IDEA) model for measuring container ports’ efficiency [...] Read more.
Container ports play an important role in international maritime trade. However, the rapid growth of the port and terminal industry has caused many environmental pollution problems. This paper intends to develop an inverse data envelopment analysis (IDEA) model for measuring container ports’ efficiency and analyzing their resource consumption by considering undesirable outputs. Statistical data from 16 main ports are empirically examined using the proposed method in accordance with the 13th Five-Year Plan in China. The results indicate that the proposed IDEA is a feasible approach for performance evaluation, and provides policymakers with insights into resource optimization of container ports. A comparative study with another DEA model is also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Maritime Transport)
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Open AccessArticle
The Need to Amend IMO’s EEDI to Include a Threshold for Performance in Waves (Realistic Sea Conditions) to Achieve the Desired GHG Reductions
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3668; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133668 - 04 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has established the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) as the most important policy measure to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping. A vessel’s EEDI is based on sea trials at delivery, and vessels cannot exceed a threshold [...] Read more.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has established the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) as the most important policy measure to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping. A vessel’s EEDI is based on sea trials at delivery, and vessels cannot exceed a threshold for emitted CO2 per ton-mile, depending on vessel type and size. From other industries such as cars we have learnt that testing methods must reflect realistic operating conditions to deliver the desired emission reductions. Present sea-trial procedures for EEDI adjust to ‘calm water conditions’ only, as a comparative basis, despite calm sea being the exception at sea. We find that this adjustment procedure excessively rewards full bodied ‘bulky’ hulls which perform well in calm water conditions. In contrast, hull forms optimized with respect to performance in realistic sea-conditions are not rewarded with the current EEDI procedures. Our results indicate that without adjusting the testing cycle requirements to also include a threshold for performance in waves (real sea), the desired reductions will be short on targets and GHG emissions could potentially increase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Maritime Transport)
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Open AccessArticle
Uncovering CO2 Emissions Patterns from China-Oriented International Maritime Transport: Decomposition and Decoupling Analysis
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2826; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102826 - 17 May 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Given that most commodity transportation depends on the maritime industry, the growing economy and increasing international trade volume are expected to accelerate the development of shipping activities and thus increase associated CO2 emissions. In order to identify the driving factors of CO [...] Read more.
Given that most commodity transportation depends on the maritime industry, the growing economy and increasing international trade volume are expected to accelerate the development of shipping activities and thus increase associated CO2 emissions. In order to identify the driving factors of CO2 emissions from China’s international shipping and find efficient mitigation strategies, this paper first estimates the CO2 emissions and presents the CO2 emissions features from 2000 to 2017. Second, the Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) method is applied to decompose the changes in CO2 emissions. Finally, the decoupling index is introduced to quantitatively examine the decoupling relationship between economic growth and CO2 emissions. The factors affecting the decoupling relationship are analyzed according to the LMDI results. The results indicate that CO2 emissions in maritime transport activities have experienced rapid growth during the study period. Economic growth appears to be the principal factor driving the CO2 emissions growth, whereas the overall effects of energy intensity and the commodity structure play a significant role in inhibiting CO2 emissions. The decoupling state over the study period has experienced four decoupling stages, with a distinct tendency towards weak decoupling. Economic activity has proven to be the most significant indicator influencing the decoupling relationship during the study period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Maritime Transport)
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Open AccessArticle
A System Dynamics Model for CO2 Mitigation Strategies at a Container Seaport
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2806; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102806 - 16 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
With the rapid development of the container shipping industry, the mitigation of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from container seaport activities have become an urgent problem. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to investigate dynamic problems in mitigation strategies at a [...] Read more.
With the rapid development of the container shipping industry, the mitigation of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from container seaport activities have become an urgent problem. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to investigate dynamic problems in mitigation strategies at a container seaport. As a result, a system dynamics model for CO2 mitigation strategies at a container seaport was established. Three methods were combined to construct the system dynamics model: the activity-based method to estimate CO2 emissions; the representation of a container seaport as a system with several sub-systems; the system dynamics modeling for strategic decision-making in CO2 mitigation strategies. The key model component was the amount of CO2 emissions produced by container seaport activities. The other components represented container seaport operations and the main spots of CO2 concentration at berth, yard, gates, and region areas. Several CO2 mitigation strategies were included in the model to be simulated. The real case of Qingdao Port in China was used to simulate the scenarios of the current situation with CO2 emission amounts and the increasing container throughput. The other scenarios demonstrate the effects from CO2 mitigation strategies, such as operating time optimization, spatial measures, equipment modernization, and modal shift. The obtained results enable container seaport executives to evaluate which mitigation scenario is more effective for every container seaport area. The system dynamics model serves as a useful decision-making mechanism providing flexibility and variability in strategic planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Maritime Transport)
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Open AccessArticle
Speed Optimization vs Speed Reduction: the Choice between Speed Limits and a Bunker Levy
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2249; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082249 - 15 Apr 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
“Speed optimization and speed reduction” are included in the set of candidate short-term measures under discussion at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), in the quest to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships. However, there is much confusion on what either speed optimization [...] Read more.
“Speed optimization and speed reduction” are included in the set of candidate short-term measures under discussion at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), in the quest to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships. However, there is much confusion on what either speed optimization or speed reduction may mean, and some stakeholders have proposed mandatory speed limits as a measure to achieve GHG emissions reduction. The purpose of this paper is to shed some light into this debate, and specifically examine whether reducing speed by imposing a speed limit is better than doing the same by imposing a bunker levy. To that effect, the two options are compared. The main result of the paper is that the speed limit option exhibits a number of deficiencies as an instrument to reduce GHG emissions, at least vis-à-vis the bunker levy option. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Maritime Transport)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Maritime National Single Window—A Prerequisite for Sustainable Seaport Business
Sustainability 2019, 11(17), 4570; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11174570 - 22 Aug 2019
Abstract
This paper presents a comprehensive review of National Single Window concept and its impact on sustainability in maritime transport and seaports. The theoretical frameworks of sustainability, maritime transport, seaports, the National Single Window and the Maritime National Single Window is provided. The importance [...] Read more.
This paper presents a comprehensive review of National Single Window concept and its impact on sustainability in maritime transport and seaports. The theoretical frameworks of sustainability, maritime transport, seaports, the National Single Window and the Maritime National Single Window is provided. The importance of stakeholder connectivity in maritime transport and seaports in improving sustainability is demonstrated, as well as the advantages of smoother data exchange through global analysis of National Single Window examples, the majority of which present national and regional best practices and initiatives. Empirical data has been provided in order to demonstrate the impact of National Single Windows and Maritime National Single Windows on seaport sustainability (economic, environmental, and social). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Maritime Transport)
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