The CSGL strengthens the position of KLU in Global Container Logistics, leveraging on the partnership with Hapag-Lloyd, promoting KLU as a leading university in this field and contributing to establish Hamburg as an international maritime knowledge hub.
To produce and disseminate evidence that promotes the evolution of a future competitive and sustainable (economic, social and environmental) shipping and port sector, and the adoption of policies, strategies, actions and programs that generate the conditions and capacities to be competitive in a digitalized world.
To be a platform for interdisciplinary research, collaboration and knowledge transfer, creating a point of reference for the community of researchers, professionals and public sector (in Germany/Europe/World) to promote the investigation of the future evolution and transformation of the maritime and port sector.
Clean Cargo Initiative – Sustainability in the cargo shipping industry
Differentiated port infrastructure charges to promote environmentally friendly maritime transport activities and sustainable transportation
Feasibility study and support for missing data for maritime sector technical specifications
The Green Shipping Project Governance and Innovation for a Sustainable Maritime Supply Chain
WASP - Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion
Pomaska, Lara and Michele Acciaro (2022): Bridging the Maritime-Hydrogen Cost-Gap: Real options analysis of policy alternatives, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 107.
Abstract: Alternative, and especially renewable, marine fuels are needed to reduce the environmental and climate impacts of the shipping sector. This paper investigates the business case for hydrogen as an alternative fuel in a new-built vessel utilizing fuel cells and liquefied hydrogen. A real option approach is used to model the optimal time and costs for investment, as well as the value of deferring an investment as a result of uncertainty. This model is then used to assess the impact of a carbon tax on a ship owner’s investment decision. A low carbon tax results in ship owners deferring investments, which then slows the uptake of the technology. We recommend that policymakers set a high carbon tax at an early stage in order to help hydrogen compete with fossil fuels. A clear and timely policy design promotes further investments and accelerates the uptake of new technologies that can fulfill decarbonization targets.
Brooks, Mary R., Geraldine Knatz, Athanasios A. Pallis and Gordon Wilmsmeier (2022): Transparency in port governance: setting a research agenda, Journal of Shipping and Trade, 7 (1).
Abstract: This study examines the concept of transparency as practiced (or not) in ports. It explores the availability of information to the general public and port stakeholders through the ports’ most public face—its website, studying public ports in North America, Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean. This exploratory research centred on identifying the parameters that would be useful for the general public to have sufficient information to monitor, review and in many cases, participate in the decision-making processes carried out by the port authority, irrespective of whether or not laws mandate such disclosure. Fifty-one items were identified for the examination of each port’s website, focusing primarily on four major categories: decision-making governance, port communications and accessibility, transparency in reporting and in port operational activities. Using nine items as proxies for the 51, the research reveals uneven levels of port transparency both regionally and by governance model. The study reveals a need for increasing and differentiating the existing levels and standards of transparency in the governance of the port industry, and for greater consistency between ports within and across regions. The study concludes with a research agenda for future research.
Monios, Jason and Gordon Wilmsmeier (2021): Deep adaptation and collapsology, in: Francisco Javier Carrillo (ed.): Knowledge for the Anthropocene, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd: Cheltenham, UK, 145-156.
Abstract: This chapter discusses the recent concepts of “deep adaptation” and “collapsology”, which argue that, rather than climate change bringing discrete challenges to which cities can adapt separately, we should rather expect “disruptive and uncontrollable levels of climate change, bringing starvation, destruction, migration, disease and war”. These perspectives are then extended via the “fragile world” hypothesis, which argues that the interconnectedness of modern systems produces a level of fragility that leads to an existential risk. It is argued that these perspectives have arisen as a response to climate mainstreaming and post-politics that have co-opted climate concerns and prevented meaningful action. While cities can adapt to individual climate change threats such as sea level rise and storms by various methods such as reinforced infrastructure, the fragility arising from the interconnectedness of modern systems leaves them vulnerable to systems collapse(s). These collapses can arise from the breakdown of global supply chains disrupting supply of food and other essential goods as well as the breakdown of global or even national energy, water and communication systems. This chapter accordingly argues that normal concepts of resilience that aim to overcome disruptions and return to business as usual are flawed. Instead, “deep adaptation” is needed, moving towards economic models based on degrowth and key systems reoriented towards localised supply and storage designed on principles of redundancy rather than efficiency.
Wilmsmeier, Gordon and Jason Monios (2021): Dry Ports, in: Vickerman, Roger (ed.): International Encyclopedia of Transportation, Elsevier, 344-348.
Abstract: Dry ports are one key option in effective port hinterland integration. This article discusses the development of the dry port discussion over the last three decades and identifies the current main challenges and potential to make these part of more sustainable transport systems.
Brooks, Mary R., Geraldine Knatz, Athanasios A. Pallis and Gordon Wilmsmeier (2021): Visibility and verifiability in port governance transparency: exploring stakeholder expectations, WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs: 435-455.
Abstract: Transparency remains an under-analyzed topic in port research, and previous research has shown that port decision-making and governance reporting are inconsistent across countries. While transparency might be imposed through legislation or voluntarily adopted, effective transparency also includes (a) an organization’s willingness to consistently communicate and make transparent information available to internal or external stakeholders and (b) the stakeholder`s expectations on the visibility and verifiability of information. This paper focuses primarily on the second of these, extending an earlier study that explored the availability of information accessible to the public and port stakeholders through a port’s most public face—its website (Brooks et al. 2020). This research examines a subset of 27 governance variables from Brooks et al. (2020), who explored 59 separate items to identify transparency practices by ports, revealing uneven levels of port transparency. The scope is to identify what different port stakeholders expect to be visible and readily available in terms of board meeting openness, board director conflict of interest, board provided information, and board reports/publications. Stakeholders also provided their perceptions of how trustworthy board reporting was perceived. The data set includes 134 usable responses from 38 countries and this paper analyzes similarities and differences across stakeholders and countries. The responses from the survey are also considered in the light of the results from Brooks et al. (2020) and the extent that ports currently make these variables visible and available. The study concludes by discussing a further research agenda towards a more transparent and thus better port industry.
Wilmsmeier, Gordon, Jason Monios and Ballén, Adriana Francesca Farfán (2021): Port system evolution in Ecuador - Migration, location splitting or specialisation?, Journal of Transport Geography, 93.
Abstract: Port facilities expand or are relocated from their original locations according to several factors, such as outgrowing a limited space or avoiding clashes of use with expanding cities. Previous spatial models such as the famous Anyport model imply a natural evolution in port systems which can in reality be complicated by issues of port governance and competition. The goal of this paper is to enrich the Anyport model with insights from port governance and the port life cycle model, focusing on strategies of port actors to avert a potential decline when the port reaches geographical or economic constraints. The empirical application explores the evolution over five decades of the port of Guayaquil, Ecuador's primary port and the second-busiest container port on the west coast of South America. In the 1990s and 2000s, port governance reform introduced devolution from the national level to local port authorities, the signing of terminal concessions to private operators and competition from other ports in the vicinity. In 2006 a new deep-water port, 85 km downriver and in a different governance jurisdiction, was proposed. Continuous legal and operational challenges stalled the construction of the new port, until it finally entered into operation in 2019. Despite this development, the existing Guayaquil port decided to go ahead with more channel dredging and to extend the existing container terminal concession for an additional 20 years in order to maintain its operations. Thus, rather than a simple port migration to deeper water based on specialisation of tasks between deep sea and feeder activities, what has emerged is a competitive situation for the same hinterland between old and new ports. The port life cycle model provides a more dynamic view than purely spatial models, highlighting governance conflicts between local and national levels, power dynamics between global carriers and port terminal operators, changes in intra- and inter-port competition and horizontal complexities arising from municipal and regional boundaries between existing and available port locations.
Monios, Jason and Gordon Wilmsmeier (2020): Deep adaptation to climate change in the maritime transport sector - a new paradigm for maritime economics?, Maritime Policy & Management, 47 (7): 853-872.
Abstract: In recent years a significant body of work has been established on climate change adaptation by ports. Like climate change mitigation, work towards adaptation has stalled on the same collective action problem, whereby public and private sector actors avoid commitment to necessary investments. Recently the concept of ‘deep adaptation’ has appeared, which suggests that, rather than climate change bringing simply incremental challenges that can be adapted to in a piecemeal fashion, in fact, we should expect ‘disruptive and uncontrollable levels of climate change, bringing starvation, destruction, migration, disease and war’. However, current port and shipping forecasts continue to predict uninterrupted growth with only minor incremental policy changes already known to be insufficient for mitigation and adaptation. Thus, this paper argues that actors in the maritime transport sector need to consider greater threats than those currently identified and also prepare for a more advanced adaptation timetable.
Wilmsmeier, Gordon and Jason Monios (2020): Arctic sea routes - a new geography for shipping, in: Wilmsmeier, Gordon and Jason Monios (ed.): Geographies of Maritime Transport, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd: Cheltenham, UK, 346-358.
Abstract: Arctic shipping is frequently seen as a way of reducing transit time and distance on traditional East–West shipping routes. However, this potential of trade and making it economically viable and competitive has to be differentiated by the type of shipping sector and traffic, and according to changing market environments. Arctic shipping might also play a key role in exploiting recently discovered natural resources close to the Arctic Sea Routes. The exploitation of these resources is challenging, but also offers significant market prospects and commercial opportunities. The use of tankers in the Arctic is not a new phenomenon, but the volume of exploitable cargo would make Arctic shipping one of the biggest future tanker markets. A significant challenge is to deliver shipping services in the most environmentally sound manner and adapting to the extreme physical conditions, with temperatures below -50°C and multiyear ice covering the water surface. The pristine ecosystem in the Arctic is particularly vulnerable as the natural breakdown of pollutants is slower in these climatic conditions. Before the Arctic can reliably be used on a large scale for transit by shipping along its routes and passages, more investment is required in infrastructure and the provision of marine services. Integration will be a key issue as navigation in the Arctic may impact stakeholders beyond the region, as the region has the potential to evolve as one of the critical waterways for international shipping in the future.
Wilmsmeier, Gordon and Jason Monios (2020): Container shipping: beyond the era of maturity?, in: Wilmsmeier, Gordon and Jason Monios (ed.): Geographies of Maritime Transport, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd: Cheltenham, UK, 192-209.
Abstract: This chapter analyses the evolution of the container shipping sector and considers whether the market can now be considered mature, and, if so, what comes next, drawing on traditional theoretical concepts relating to market cycles and economies of scale. The life cycle theory is applied to the container shipping sector, demonstrating that the sector is at the stage of maturity; but whether it will decline or be reinvigorated is open to question. Finally, the chapter considers whether the current challenges to the sector will lead to a new phase or to a decline.
Wilmsmeier, Gordon and Jason Monios (2020): The geography of maritime trade: globalisation and beyond, in: Wilmsmeier, Gordon and Jason Monios (ed.): Geographies of Maritime Transport, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd: Cheltenham, UK, 16-32.
Ashrafi, Mehrnaz, Michele Acciaro, Tony R. Walker, Gregory M. Magnan and Michelle Adams (2019): Corporate sustainability in Canadian and US maritime ports, Journal of Cleaner Production, 220: 386-397.
Abstract: Despite the rising popularity of the corporate sustainability discourse in recent years, its role in the maritime industry, and in ports in particular, has been limited. Through an online survey, this study assessed the current state of corporate sustainability in ports in Canada and the US. The study ascertained the perception of port executives towards sustainability, analyzed port sustainability strategies and practices, and identified the main factors (motivations/driving factors and key challenges/barriers) influencing future adoption and implementation of corporate sustainability in ports. Results show that the majority of ports perceive sustainability as important and have adopted a number of sustainability strategies and practices, such as sustainability awareness and training programs, sustainability reporting, and sustainability initiatives and standards (e.g., Green Marine and ISO 14001 certification). Results also show that sustainability strategies have resulted in improved stakeholder relations in ports mainly with government/policy makers, customers, local communities, and industry associations. Yet, findings indicate that although corporate sustainability is regarded as important in the majority of ports, it is not fully integrated in strategic decision-making processes and operations in most ports. This study also investigated influencing factors for adoption of corporate sustainability in ports. Motivations/driving factors identified are growth, return on investment, risk management, and corporate citizenship, while main key challenges/barriers include cost associated with sustainability actions, lack of sustainability competences within the organization, limited customer interest for more sustainability services, and difficulty in implementing sustainability practices. Findings reveal that although many of the identified influencing factors for adoption and implementation of corporate sustainability in ports are similar to those identified in other studies, some are more sector specific which has allowed this study to contribute to advancing knowledge of corporate sustainability in the context of ports with novel insights.
Kosmas, Vasileios and Michele Acciaro (2017): Bunker levy schemes for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction in international shipping, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 57: 195-206.
Abstract: A fuel levy is one of the market-based measures (MBMs) currently under consideration at the International Maritime Organization. MBMs have been proposed to improve the energy efficiency of the shipping sector and reduce its emissions. This paper analyses the economic and environmental implications of two types of levy on shipping bunker fuels by means of an analytical model built on the cobweb theorem. A unit-tax per ton of fuel and an ad-valorem tax, enforced as a percentage of fuel prices, are examined. In both cases, a speed and fuel-consumption reduction equivalent to an improvement in the energy efficiency of the sector would be expected as a result of the regulation enforcement. The speed reduction in the unit-tax case depends on fuel prices and the tax amount, whereas in the ad-valorem case it relies upon the enforced tax percentage. Both schemes lead to industry profit decline, the extent of which depend on the structure of the levy and market conditions. Since there is concern that the costs resulting from the policy will be passed from shipping companies to their customers along the supply chain, the paper dwells on how the costs arising from the enforcement of the levy will be actually allocated between ship-owners and operators, and cargo-owners. In a market characterised by high freight rates and with no or limited excess capacity, a higher percentage of the total tax amount is transferred from ship-owners to shippers. In case of a recession the opposite happens.
Acciaro, Michele (2015): Corporate responsibility and value creation in the port sector, International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications, 18 (3): 291-311.
Abstract: The paper reviews existing literature on corporate responsibility (CR) in the port sector and proposes a conceptual framework that brings together the CR drivers in port environmental strategies. The conceptual framework is derived from the existing literature and is based on institutional theory. The literature review is supported by a discussion on CR strategies in 10 major ports around the world. The paper argues that ports tend to replicate environmental strategies across regions and learn from each other, and that a competitive focus on logistics tends to strengthen the importance of CR and in particular of environmental performance in ports. For some ports CR has become an integral part of their value creation proposition mostly as a result of competitive pressure. Furthermore, the paper advances also a correspondence between the degree of port agility and the CR profile of the port. Managerial and policy implications are also discussed.
Acciaro, Michele, Hilda Ghiara and Maria Inés Cusano (2014): Energy management in seaports: A new role for port authorities, Energy Policy, 71: 4-12.
Abstract: Ports are characterised by the geographical concentration of high–energy demand and supply activities, because of their proximity to power generation facilities and metropolitan regions, and their functions as central hubs in the transport of raw materials. In the last decades the need to better understand and monitor energy-related activities taking place near or within the port has become more apparent as a consequence of the growing relevance of energy trades, public environmental awareness and a bigger industry focus on energy efficiency. The uptake in the port sector of innovative technologies, such as onshore power supply, or alternative fuels, such as LNG, and the increasing development of renewable energy installations in port areas, also calls for more attention to energy matters within port management. So far, however, few port authorities have actively pursued energy management strategies. The necessity for port authorities to actively manage their energy flows stems from their efforts to plan, coordinate and facilitate the development of economic activities within the port, and as a consequence of the heavier weight that sustainability is given within the port management strategies. Through the analysis of the experiences of two European ports, Hamburg and Genoa, that have already attempted to coordinate and rationalise their energy needs, this paper will argue that for the ports of the future active energy management can offer substantial efficiency gains, can contribute to the development of new alternative revenue sources and in the end, improve the competitive position of the port.
Becker, Austin H., Michele Acciaro, Regina Asariotis, Edgard Cabrera, Laurent Cretegny, Philippe Crist, Miguel Esteban, Andrew Mather, Steve Messner, Susumu Naruse, Adolf K.Y. Ng, Stefan Rahmstorf, Michael Savonis, Dong-Wook Song, Vladimir Stenek and Adonis F. Velegrakis (2013): A note on climate change adaptation for seaports: a challenge for global ports, a challenge for global society, Climatic Change, 120 (4): 683-695.
Abstract: With 80 % of world trade carried by sea, seaports provide crucial linkages in global supply-chains and are essential for the ability of all countries to access global markets. Seaports are likely to be affected directly and indirectly by climatic changes, with broader implications for international trade and development. Due to their coastal location, seaports are particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events associated with increasing sea levels and tropical storm activity, as illustrated by hurricane “Sandy”. In view of their strategic role as part of the globalized trading system, adapting ports in different parts of the world to the impacts of climate change is of considerable importance. Reflecting the views of a diverse group of stakeholders with expertise in climate science, engineering, economics, policy, and port management, this essay highlights the climate change challenge for ports and suggests a way forward through the adoption of some initial measures. These include both “soft” and “hard” adaptations that may be spearheaded by individual port entities, but will require collaboration and support from a broad range of public and private sector stakeholders and from society at large. In particular, the essay highlights a need to shift to more holistic planning, investment and operation.