Prof. Dr. Michele Acciaro

Visiting Professor

Associate Professor, Department of Strategy and Innovation, Copenhagen Business School (CBS)

Prof. Dr. Michele Acciaro

Visiting Professor

Associate Professor, Department of Strategy and Innovation, Copenhagen Business School (CBS)

Michele is Associate Professor at the Department of Strategy and Innovation of the Copenhagen Business School. His main research interests are sustainability, the energy transition, global logistics, maritime policy and climate change.

Until December 2021 he was Associate Professor at the Department of Operations and Technology and the Director of the Hapag-Lloyd Center for Shipping and Global Logistics (CSGL) at Kühne Logistics University (KLU) in Hamburg. He joined KLU in 2013 as Assistant Professor. In his function, he focused on container transport, ports, terminals, and shipping at the intersection of transport economics, supply chain management, sustainability, policy and business studies. Between 2016 and 2018 he was also Head of the Logistics Department.

Before accepting the appointment at KLU, Michele held the position of Senior Researcher – Green Shipping in the Research and Innovation department of Det Norske Veritas AS (DNV) in Høvik, Norway. From 2004 until 2010, he was deputy director and researcher at the Erasmus University Rotterdam Center for Maritime Economics and Logistics (MEL)/Erasmus SmartPort.

He has a BSc and an MSc cum laude in Statistics and Economics from La Sapienza University of Rome, an MSc in Economics from Erasmus University Rotterdam (with a focus on Maritime Economics and Logistics, for which he was awarded the NOL/APL Prize for Student Excellence), and a PhD in Logistics from Erasmus University Rotterdam. Michele was awarded the Young Researcher Best Paper Prize at the IAME Annual Conference in Cyprus in 2005 and the Best Reviewer Prize at IAME 2018 in Mombasa.

Selected Publications

DOI: 10.1080/01441647.2019.1587794 

Abstract: ABSTRACTThe port sector is often perceived to be lagging behind in terms of innovative initiatives. It is unclear whether this is the result of a more limited engagement of the scientific community, or poor external marketing from port operators or whether the limited number of port-related scientific studies is not representative of the real volume of innovation in the sector. In order to offer deeper insight into the connections between the academic (port) innovation literature and actual innovation practices in the port sector, firstly, the literature is reviewed over the 2011–2018 period. Secondly, the paper proposes a typology, which supports the management of the innovation process and upon which future research could be based. Last, the analysis of 75 port-related innovation initiatives provides an application of the proposed typology. The findings from the study of innovation in the port-related sectors show that multi-dimensional innovation encompassing technological, managerial, organisational and cultural aspects is prevailing in this industry. So far only a handful of innovation cases are the result of co-operation, generally with other firms upstream or downstream in the maritime supply chain. Ultimately, it emerges, however, that collaborative innovation or co-innovation is the way forward for future maritime- and port-related innovation.

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Open reference in new window "A serving innovation typology: mapping port-related innovations"

Abstract: This article reports on an analysis of the potential alternative fuel options available for the shipping industry. The authors also assess the emission reductions that could be obtained through a fuel shift in this sector. The article begins with a literature review relevant to alternative fuels for shipping. The authors then stress that urgent action is needed in terms of environmentally-friendly technologies uptake, operational measures, and new forms of propulsion based on alternative fuels. They discuss the costs associated with a transition to alternative fuels, investigating eight fuels: two fossil-based, four biomass-based, and two blended fuels. The eight fuels are ranked according to their projected profitability in four price scenarios. The authors also develop a simulation that shows that a maximum of 24% greenhouse gas emission reduction can be achieved by using alternative fuels. This reduction would be achieved at varying cost levels. The authors conclude by proposing an optimal fleet mix to be achieved by 2050, to help with policy and planning in the shipping sector.

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Open reference in new window "Alternative Fuels for Shipping: Optimising Fleet Composition Under Environmental and Economic Constraints"

DOI: 10.1057/mel.2015.5 

Abstract: It is widely felt that in order to strengthen the competitiveness of European ports it is needed to ensure fair competition among ports and the sector is anew facing new and old challenges related to its long-term development.These challenges, and arguably the inability of the port sector and the European Union (EU) Member States to meaningfully react to them on their own, are at the basis of the renewed attempt of the European Commission (EC) to develop a uniform and coherent policy package for ports. The article provides a critical account of recent EU policy initiatives, focusing on the most recent attempt of the EC to address some of the issues facing the port sector. The article discusses some of the controversies arising from the new EC policy approach, which, although milder in its contents than the previous attempts, recalls the content of the previous policy proposals, especially in the areas of liberalization of port services; pricing; competition; administrative simplification; financial and operational autonomy; and state aid provisions. The article concludes that the EU not only does not go far enough but, by trying to introduce compromises and conditions of considerable vagueness and ambiguity renders its policy proposals practically useless, thus allowing Member States the freedom to continue unabated as before.

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Open reference in new window "The new European port policy proposals: Too much ado about nothing?"

DOI: 10.1016/j.trd.2013.12.007 

Abstract: A wide array of technical and operational solutions is available to shipowners in order to comply with existing and upcoming environmental regulation within Emission Control Areas (ECAs). Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is a promising alternative since it offers potential cost savings in addition to ensuring compliance with ECA regulation. But investment to retrofit existing vessels to be able to use LNG carries significant upfront costs, and a high degree of uncertainty remains on the differential between the prices of LNG and conventional maritime fuels, as well as on the availability of LNG and the reliability of its supply chain. New technologies such as LNG inherently carry substantial risk and an ill-chosen investment strategy may have irreversible consequences that could jeopardise the future of the shipping company. One important question is whether interested owners should invest in LNG now to comply with ECA rules in 2015 and reap the benefits of lower LNG prices, or whether it would be advisable to wait until some of the uncertainty is resolved. While traditional discounted cash flow techniques are unable to account for the value of managerial flexibility linked, for example, to the possibility of deferring an investment, real option analysis can be used to analyse such cases. The paper discusses the optimal time for investment in LNG retrofit and takes specific account of the value of an investment deferral strategy versus the advantages obtainable from the immediate exploitation of fuel price differentials. Through the use of a real option model the paper shows that there is a trade-off between low fuel prices and capital expenses for investment in LNG retrofit. The development in LNG is critically dependent on its future price as well as the reduction in capital costs and ship retrofitting costs. In this respect, policy makers can play a critical role in providing support to advance technical knowledge, maintain LNG prices at favourable levels and in avoiding ambiguity on regulation.

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Open reference in new window "Real option analysis for environmental compliance: LNG and emission control areas"

Academic Positions

since 2018

Hapag-Lloyd Center for Shipping and Global Logistics (CSGL), Kühne Logistics University, Hamburg, Germany

since 2016

Kühne Logistics Unitversity, KLU, Großer Grasbrook 17, Hamburg, Germany; Associate Professor of Maritime Logistics


Kühne Logistics Unitversity, KLU, Großer Grasbrook 17, Hamburg, Germany; Assistant Professor of Maritime Logistics

2011 - 2012

Det Norske Veritas AS (DNV), Research & Innovation Department, Vertasv. 1, Høvik, Norway; Senior Researcher – Green Shipping

2011 - ongoing

Center for Maritime Economics and Logistics – Erasmus University Rotterdam: Burg. Oudlaan, 50, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Visiting Fellow

2004 - 2011

Center for Maritime Economics and Logistics – Erasmus University Rotterdam: Burg. Oudlaan, 50, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Deputy Director (from 11/2007) and Associate Researcher


Visiting Fellow, Singapore Management University


Visiting Fellow, National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University