Energy efficiency in ship operations - Exploring voyage decisions and decision-makers

René Taudal Poulsen*, Martin Viktorelius, Hanna Varvne, Hanna Barbara Rasmussen, Hannes von Knorring


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To mitigate climate change due to international shipping, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) requires shipowners and ship technical managers to improve the energy efficiency of ships’ operations. This paper studies how voyage planning and execution decisions affect energy efficiency and distinguishes between the commercial and nautical components of energy efficiency. Commercial decisions for voyage planning depend on dynamic market conditions and matter more for energy efficiency than nautical decisions do for voyage execution. The paper identifies the people involved in decision-making processes and advances the energy-efficiency literature by revealing the highly networked nature of agency for energy efficiency. The IMO's current energy efficiency regulations fail to distinguish between the commercial and nautical aspects of energy efficiency, which limits the ability to mitigate climate change through regulatory measures. Policymakers should expand their regulatory focus beyond shipowners and technical managers to cargo owners to improve energy efficiency and reduce maritime transport emissions.

TidsskriftTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2022

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
We would like to express our gratitude to all the companies, which enabled us to carry out studies onboard their vessels, ports and other sites, and to interviewees for their kind help. Ren? Taudal Poulsen would like to thank the Danish Maritime Fund [Grant No. 2011-85] and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Green Shipping Partnership Project [Grant No. # 895?2017?1003] and Copenhagen Business School for financial support., Hanna Varvne would like to thank the Swedish Energy Agency for funding her PhD project through the Graduate School in Energy Systems [Project No. 302881]. Thanks are due to colleagues, who provided feedback to an earlier version of our paper: Pierre Cariou, Jason Monios, Trevor Heaver, Harilaos Psaraftis, Peter de Langen, George Panagakos, Christian Hendriksen, and Niels Tolstrup. Colleagues at Copenhagen Business School and in the Green Shipping Partnership Project also kindly provided us with valuable feedback. The usual caveat applies.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)


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