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Decarbonizing the International Shipping Industry

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 546

Special Issue Editors

College of Transport and Communications, Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai 201306, China
Interests: green shipping; port governance; shipping management
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Singapore
Interests: innovation and technology management; technology and public health management; resilience and continuity; supply chain management and logistics; sustainable shipping management; sustainable cities; maritime strategy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Faculty of Technology, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, 1097 DZ Amsterdam, The Netherland
Interests: mainport logistics; urban technology
Department of Industrial Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100083, China
Interests: maritime logistics; marine policy; shipping digitalization
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

International shipping, the most energy efficient mode of mass transport, is the backbone of global trade. According to the Third GHG Study 2020 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of total shipping (international, domestic, and fishing) have increased from 977 million tonnes in 2012 to 1,076 million tonnes in 2018 (9.6% increase). It is estimated that emissions from the shipping industry could grow from about 90% of 2008 emissions in 2018 to 90–130% of 2008 emissions by 2050, mainly due to the growth of world maritime trade. Moreover, CO2 emissions from international shipping cannot be attributed to any particular national economy due to its global nature and complex operation. Therefore, the IMO has been energetically engaged in a global effort to further improve ships’ energy efficiency and develop measures to reduce GHG emissions from ships, as well as to provide technical cooperation and capacity building activities. For example, in 2011, the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) adopted a package of technical measures for new ships (e.g., Energy Efficiency Design Index) and operational reduction measures (e.g., Ship Energy Efficiency Plan) for all ships.

More recently, in June 2021, the MEPC adopted resolution MEPC.328(76), which contained amendments to MARPOL Annex VI concerning mandatory goal-based technical and operational measures to reduce the carbon intensity of international shipping. These amendments will enter into force on 1 November 2022. It is worth noting that binding international legal agreements to regulate GHGs are still evolving slowly, as technical solutions remain expensive, and crucial industrial support is absent. Thus, thoroughly reviewing and converging global efforts to mitigate shipping GHG emissions are of great importance.

The purposes of this Special Issue in Sustainability are to publish the state-of-the-art research on the effective solutions to reduce GHG emissions from ships on the environmental performances of different mitigation measures. We invite submissions that present original and high-quality research on decarbonizing the international shipping industry.

We will consider submissions that introduce new research problems and concepts, develop novel and rigorous methodologies to tackle problems, and present innovative applications. Papers may employ a range of research methods including, but not limited to, analytic modelling, theoretical investigation, data-driven methodologies, simulation, and case studies.

The scope of this Special Issue includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Solutions to reducing shipping GHG emissions;
  • Barriers to reducing GHG emissions in international shipping;
  • Carriers' strategies to reduce GHG emissions;
  • Economic analysis of carriers' strategies for decarbonization;
  • International governance on shipping decarbonization;
  • Data analysis to quantify the environmental and/or social benefits from decarbonization;
  • Potential effects of shipping decarbonization;
  • Policy recommendations for shipping decarbonization;
  • Case studies of decarbonization in the maritime sector.

This issue will coincide with the IAME (International Association of Maritime Economist) annual conference 2022 in Jeju, Korea. Relevant special sessions will be held at the conference and the issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the conference. We also encourage authors unable to participate in the conference to submit articles for this call.

Dr. Qiang Zhang
Prof. Dr. Kum Fai Yuen
Dr. Abdel El Makhloufi
Dr. Xiwen Bai
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2400 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.

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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