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Slow steaming of liner trade: its economic and environmental impacts

Jingbo Yin, Lixian Fan, Zhongzhen Yang and Kevin X. Li

Maritime Policy & Management, 2014, vol. 41, issue 2, 149-158

Abstract: From 2000s, there have been three forces provoking slow steaming practice in the liner industry: (1) oversupply of shipping capacity, (2) increase of bunker price and (3) environmental pressure. This paper analyses the background and the recent application of slow steaming in liner shipping. The research looks into the questions of how slow steaming can save bunker consumption and bring benefits to the environment. On the other hand, solutions are also examined to the adverse side of slow steaming practice, i.e., how it affects the container transit time. For which, a cost model is developed to demonstrate the impact of slow steaming on the revenue change, with application to the North Europe-Far East Trade as a case study. The final result shows that the optimal speed for the shipowner is correlated with the designed speed, bunker price and the price of CO 2 . With the increase of the bunker price and the price of CO 2, the optimal speed will also increase, which means that slow steaming practice has a positive impact on the environmental protection.

Date: 2014
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