A Swift Turnaround? Abating Shipping Greenhouse Gas Emissions via Port Call Optimization

René Taudal Poulsen*, Helen Sampson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Waiting times for trucks, trains, airplanes and ships in service represent apparent transport system inefficiencies, and measures to reduce these may have the potential to abate transport GHG emissions. In international shipping, transportation researchers have pointed out that reduced waiting time in association with port calls holds such promise. We explore the potential for GHG abatement through port call optimization, focusing on crews and their employers - the shipping companies. Adding new empirical evidence to the transportation literature, we confirm the existence of idle time during port calls, and go beyond this in describing the causes for it. We show how several port stakeholders, including government officials, limit the crews’ and shipping companies’ room for maneuver in relation to port calls. We also show why the process of reducing waiting time in shipping is more complex than that for onshore transport modes, where real-time traffic information guides drivers’ route choices, and reduces congestion and waiting time. Our findings have implications for both policy makers and transportation research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102460
JournalTransportation Research. Part D: Transport & Environment
Volume86
Number of pages13
ISSN1361-9209
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Greenhouse gas abatement
  • Waiting time
  • Port call optimization
  • Speed reduction
  • Energy efficiency
  • Real-time traffic information

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