International Academic Conference on Sustainable Maritime Business

Hamburg, 27-28-29 of May 2020

International Academic Conference on Sustainable Maritime Business

Hamburg, 27-28-29 of May 2020

In view of the current developments regarding the spread of coronavirus and in accordance with the General Ruling of the Hamburg Senat of March 15th KLU will cancel or postpone all events on KLU campus until the end of May.

This includes the Sustainable Maritime Business Conference (SMB2020). The event will be cancelled. Please find further information about the current procedure of KLU regarding the coronavirus on our homepage. The measures adopted serve the protection of our guests, students and employees and are based on the current recommendations of governmental organizations to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your understanding. Registration fees will be refunded in full.

The role of shipping and ports in global supply chains and in promoting economic development is well established. Shipping and ports, however, generate also substantial negative social and environmental impacts. The increasing awareness of these impacts has resulted in an array of policy measures and industry initiatives and is often seen as one of the drivers behind new technologies. Following the adoption of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the commitment in the International Maritime Organization in 2018 to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping, and the increasing pressure on coastal cities and communities to limit the negative impacts of port activities, there is an increasing interest on how to transform the maritime industry as to account for its external effects.

An increasing number of scientific contributions can be categorized in the broader domain of sustainable shipping and ports and in the maritime academic community this is often intended to include a variety of topics, ranging from GHG emissions, to global maritime policy, seafarers’ wellbeing, environmental costs, alternative forms of propulsion, gender issues, new technologies, maritime zone protection, biodiversity, and port-city relations. Notwithstanding the increase in academic and industry interest in these topics, important questions related to the role of sustainability in the shipping and port industries remain unanswered.
The urgency of some of the challenges faced by the maritime business and by society call for increasing attention from the research community to addressing some of the sustainability issues further. The complexity associated with transforming shipping and ports in more sustainable businesses requires the application of existing and novel methodological approaches and the interaction among various disciplines, from engineering, to ecology, from social sciences, to psychology, to economics and management. In view of the above, the Kühne Logistics University (KLU) and its Hapag-Lloyd Center for Shipping and Global Logistics (CSGL) invite authors and practitioners to convene in Hamburg from the 27th to the 29th of May 2020 for an International Academic Conference on Sustainable Maritime Business (SMB).

The conference will offer the opportunity to discuss the necessary steps toward improving the sustainability profile of the maritime sector and contribute with qualitative and quantitative analyses to the assessment, modelling and estimation of environmental, social and economic aspects related to shipping and ports, with particular focus on management, operations, strategy, regulation, technologies and stakeholders. The SMB conference will provide a forum for a debate on emerging sustainability issues in global supply chains.

The conference is partially supported by the Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion (WASP) project which is funded by the Interreg North Sea Region program of the European regional Development Fund.


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Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion (WASP)

Conference structure

Depending on the number of submissions, the conference will be structured in parallel sessions. In addition to presentations of existing and ongoing research, participants will have the opportunity to submit a version of their work, which will be circulated to an assigned expert that will act as a discussant. Depending on interest special sessions will be organized.

Important Dates

  • 01 September 2019: Abstract submission opening
  • 31 October 2019: Abstract submission closed
  • 15 November: Authors notified of abstract acceptance
  • 15 February 2020: Full paper submission deadline
  • 15 March 2020: Authors notified of full paper acceptance
  • 15 April 2020: Final paper submission deadline and extended abstract submission deadline
  • 27-29 May 2020: Conference delegates meet in Hamburg


17:00 - 18:00Registration
18:00 - 21:00Welcome address and welcome reception


09:00 - 09:30Registration
09:30 - 10:30Conference opening and key-note addresses
10:30 - 11:00Coffee break
11:00 - 12:30Parallel sessions A
12:30 - 14:00Lunch
14:00 - 15:30Parallel sessions B
15:30 - 16:00Coffee break
16:00 - 17:30Parallel sessions C
18:30 - 22:00Conference dinner
09:00 - 09:30Registration
09:00 - 10:30Parallel sessions D
10:30 - 11:00Coffee break
11:00 - 12:30Parallel sessions E
12:30 - 14:00Lunch
14:00 - 17:30Technical visits and panel seminars



  • Prof. Dr. Michelle Adams, Dalhousie University, Canada
  • Prof. Dr. Pierre Cariou, KEDGE Business School, France
  • Prof. Dr. Elizabeth R. DeSombre, Wellesley College, USA
  • Prof. Dr. Assunta Di Vaio, University of Naples Parthenope, Italy
  • Prof. Dr. Young-Tae Chang, Inha University, Korea
  • Prof. Dr. Michaël Dooms, University of Brussels, Belgium
  • Prof. Dr. Rommert Dekker, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • Prof. Dr. Carlos Jahn, TUHH, Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Momoko Kitada, World Maritime University, Sweden
  • Prof. Dr. Jette Steen Knudsen, Tufts University, USA
  • Prof. Dr. Jasmine Siu Lee Lam, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Prof. Dr. Judith van der Leeuwen, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
  • Prof. Dr. Taih-Cherng Lirn, National Taiwan Ocean University, Taiwan
  • Dr. Elizabeth Lindstad, SINTEF Ocean, Norway
  • Dr. Jane Lister, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Prof. Dr. Alan McKinnon, Kühne Logistics University, Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Adolf K.Y. Ng, University of Manitoba, Canada
  • Prof. Dr. Athanasios A. Pallis, University of the Aegean, Greece
  • Prof. Dr. Francesco Parola, University of Genoa, Italy
  • Prof. Dr. Harilaos Psaraftis, DTU, Denmark    
  • Dr. Nishatabbas Rehmatulla, UCL, UK
  • Dr. Katharina Renken, Kühne Logistics University (KLU), Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Orestis Schinas, HSBA, Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Christa Sys, University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • Prof. Dr. René Taudal Poulsen, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
  • Prof. Dr. Beatriz Tovar, Universidad de las Palmas, Spain
  • Prof. Dr. Stefan Voß, University of Hamburg, Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Gordon Wilmsmeier, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
  • Dr. Hulda Winnes, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Sweden

Please find a PDF version here.

Call for papers

The conference organizers welcome contributions focusing on, but not limited to:

  • Shipping and sustainable development goals
  • Energy management in shipping and port operations
  • Market-based measures for emission reduction
  • New green technologies
  • Wind-assisted ship propulsion
  • Alternative zero and low emission fuels
  • Circular economy issues in shipping and ports
  • Green finance
  • Ballast water management and biodiversity issues in shipping and ports
  • Port-city relations
  • Green port pricing
  • Social and human resources issues in shipping and ports
  • Security and safety issues in the maritime industry
  • Stakeholders’ management
  • Incentives and pricing mechanisms for sustainable shipping and ports
  • Global and local regulatory instruments to advance more sustainable shipping and port practices
  • Gender issues in shipping and ports
  • Managerial issues in promoting sustainability cultures in shipping and ports
  • Environmental and social issues in ship recycling
  • Environmental and social issues in ship constructions
  • The use of new technologies and their social and environmental impacts
  • Applications of digitalization as a tool to reduce environmental and social impacts in shipping and ports
  • Humanitarian issues related to shipping and ports, such as migration by sea, search and rescue operations, port use in disaster relief and preparedness
  • Automation in relations to social and environmental issues


All submissions for the conference will take place exclusively through the COMS paper management system.

Please register in the system or use your existing credentials to upload an abstract, a paper or an extended abstract. SMB2020 only accepts submissions written in English. For papers and extended abstracts to be included in the programme, at least one author needs to have registered by the 5th of May 2020.

Abstracts should not exceed 300 Words. Papers should not exceed 6000 words from beginning to end, including authors’ names, title, abstract, references and appendixes. In case of large appendixes, please omit them and indicate that they are available upon request from the authors. They will not be part of the review process. Extended abstracts should not exceed 1250 words (see template for details).

Further details on the formatting of the papers and extended abstracts are included in the templates below and guidance will be provided during the submission process in the COMS paper management system.

Conference Registration

The registration fees include access to the conference venue and all academic sessions on all three days, coffee breaks, lunches, and welcome reception on May 27th:

Regular participants, including dinner on May 28thEUR 342
Students, without dinner on May 28thEUR 168
Retired academics, including dinner on May 28thEUR 280
Dinner only on May 28th, includes transfer to and from dinner locationEUR 118
Technical visits will be charged separately (more information will be available later)EUR 35-70


Conference fees exclude accommodation and travel, technical visits any other activities not specified above.

More information on the location of the dinner on May 28th as well as technical visits and leasure activities will be provided in due time.

The conference organizers are negotiating with potential sponsors to maintain conference fees as low as possible and provide discounts for members of professional associations and low income countries. This information will be provided here in due time.

Refund Policy:

The conference organizers will try to accommodate the needs of delegates as much as possible, but for organizaitonal rasons we are obliged to limit refunds as the deadline of the conference approaches.

  • Full refund will be provided for cancellations communicated up to March 30th 2020 (inclusive).
  • Half refund will be provided for cancellations communicated up to April 15th (inclusive)
  • No refund will be provided for cancellations communicated after May 10th (inclusive)

If you are a consortium member of the Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion (WASP) project, supported by the Interreg North Sea Region program of the European regional Development Fund and you wish to register for the conference please contact us at 

Further information

Hamburg has a wide variety of hotels available for different budgets. The conference main location is the Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg HafenCity. The conference organisers have selected the Hotel 25h HafenCity as official conference hotel, that is walking distance from the conference venue. Details on how to access the rooms set aside for the conference will be available soon.

Please note that May is considered high-season in Hamburg.

As the conference theme is sustainability, the organisers have made an effort to ensure that the impact of the environmental event is minimised.

To this end we would encourage attended to use the excellent public transport system of Hamburg that allows to reach the conference venue fast and cheaply.

To reach the KLU from Hamburg Airport, please use the S1 line to central station (Hauptbahnhof) then change to the U4 to stop Überseequartier. The journey would be about 35 minutes.

Hamburg offers various low carbon mobility options, from green taxies, to electric vehicles, car share, bike share and electric e-scooters.