Research Director Magnus Gustafsson from the Laboratory of Industrial Management at Åbo Akademi University explained that

Through operational and technological measures, it is possible to reduce both emissions and freight costs. Moreover, if the same cargo volume can be shipped using less fuel, the shipping companies will gain major savings in terms of fuel costs.

Åbo Akademi University stresses that in recent years, the shipping industry has witnessed both internal willingness and external pressure to reduce emissions, but development has been complicated by the tough competition in shipping.

Digitalization may come to offer tangible solutions. For instance, new digital planning and booking systems would facilitate smarter use of routes while also diminishing traffic with half-empty vessels or with no cargo onboard.

Henry Schwartz, Doctoral Student in Industrial Management at Åbo Akademi University highlights that

By sailing fewer nautical miles with little or no cargo, it is possible to improve the capacity utilization rate and eliminate emissions caused by the so-called ballast traffic.

It was added that

Our model demonstrated that solar panels, optimized propellers and cold ironing - the possibility to connect to land power network at ports - are among the economically profitable investments in new technologies. In contrast, for example, wind power installations did not appear profitable.

The research was carried out within one of the focal areas of research at Åbo Akademi University, The Sea, which combines Industrial Management, Marine Biology and Public Administration for the purposes of multidisciplinary marine and maritime research.

The study was continuation to the long and fruitful co-operation between the Laboratory of Industrial Management and the Stiftelsen för projektforskning foundation, and the results were obtained by combining emission abatement analysis and investment calculation.