The future of maritime transport

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearch


Maritime transport carries around 80% of the world’s trade. It is key to the economic development of many countries, it is a source of income in many countries, and it is considered as a safe and environment friendly mode of transport. Given its undisputed importance, a question is what does the future hold for maritime transport. This chapter is an attempt to answer this question by mainly addressing the drive to decarbonize shipping, along with related challenges as regards alternative low carbon or zero carbon marine fuels. The important role of maritime policy making as a main driver for change is also discussed. Specifically, if maritime transport is to drastically change so as to meet carbon emissions reduction targets, the chapter argues, among other things, that a substantial bunker levy would be the best (or maybe the only) way to induce technological changes in the long run and logistical measures (such as slow steaming) in the short run. In the
long run this would lead to changes in the global fleet towards vessels and technologies that are more energy efficient, more economically viable and less dependent on fossil fuels than those today. In that sense, it would have the potential to drastically alter the face of maritime transport in the future. However, as things stand, and mainly for political reasons, the chapter also argues that the adoption of such a measure is considered as rather unlikely.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Transportation
Publication date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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