The Impact of Introducing Environmental Control Areas at Sea
C Sys, T Vanelslander, M Adriaenssens, Univesity of Antwerp, BE
The central question of the present paper is whether enhanced environmental legislation provides the Mediterranean ports with a competitive advantage, and provokes a potential port shift and growing hinterland.
The environmental record of shipping is globally on the agenda. The central question of the present paper is whether enhanced environmental legislation provides the Mediterranean ports with a competitive advantage, and provokes a potential port shift and growing hinterland. The focus in on the deep sea shipping industry. The approach is novel, as most literature focused on short sea shipping, and more in particular the main container liners and European ports of call. Furthermore, the environmental issues are addressed both from a policy and an economic viewpoint.
After a review of the relevant literature, a qualitative analysis, founded on interviews with key actors on both fields, is performed. It is found that various factors explain the very strict and fast lowering of the emission threshold. Contrary to other studies, the economic conclusions are not that pessimistic. The potential port shift from Northern Europe towards Mediterranean ports seems not that likely due to logistical disadvantages, service problems, port consolidation, economies of scale, the specific nature of long distance container shipping and a growing awareness in Northern European ports, causing strong emerging projects and co-operation in the environmental field. Finally, no convincing proof is delivered that the main liner companies would be unprepared for this legislation and should be persuaded to rearrange their routes in favour of Mediterranean ports solely due to the various emission regulations.
Association for European Transport