Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

A greener maritime sector on the horizon

New research into more efficient logistics and better management of emissions is opening the door to a more environmentally friendly and more competitive maritime sector in Europe.
A greener maritime sector on the horizon
The maritime sector can become much greener on two key fronts. On one hand, if logistics systems are more efficient, routes become quicker and shorter, demanding less fuel and resources. On the other, if emissions from shipping are reduced overall, air and sea pollution diminish.

With this dual approach in mind, the EU-funded GREENSHIPPING (Greenshipping) project conducted advanced maritime logistics research and emissions-related research in a cross-disciplinary manner. It considered the challenge of improving environmental performance while maintaining conventional economic performance criteria.

To achieve its aims, the project team reworked existing models and developed new ones that incorporated emissions issues. It developed software algorithms such as metaheuristics to enhance the models, integrating the emissions dimension in several ways. These include minimisation of time, distance, operational costs and fuel consumption, as well as maximisation of profit.

Among its key findings, the project team ascertained that optimising speed represents the most crucial parameter in overcoming the green challenge. In addition to a bi-objective approach based for example on total cost and emissions, the project also considered a multi-objective approach for more accurate results. Issues addressed include ship routing challenges and types of emissions (e.g. carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides and sulphur oxides), in addition to time, distance and economic considerations.

On another front, the project tackled policy issues related to logistics and emissions research. It looked at the relevant policies of the EU and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), including monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions, as well as enforcement of regulations.

If exploited, the research could help the shipping sector become more environmentally friendly, raising the standard of living not only for coastal communities but for the planet as well. It will no doubt help private shipping companies and related businesses become more competitive and look to a greener future.

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Life Sciences


Maritime, logistics, emissions, shipping, GREENSHIPPING
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