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Roro shipping vs. trucking : revisiting the impact of low-sulphur marine fuel use on cost competitiveness of routing options in north Europe

Theo Notteboom (UGent)
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Abstract
Academic studies and policy documents have elaborated on the 0.1% sulphur cap in roro shipping and its potential impact on vessel operating costs, the competitiveness of roro shipping compared to other transport modes and the risks for triggering a 'modal back shift' from sea to road. This study revisits the paper 'The impact of low sulphur fuel requirements in shipping on the competitiveness of roro shipping in Northern Europe' published in this journal as reported by Notteboom (WMU J Marit Aff 10(1), 63-95) by applying a cost model to measure route competitiveness in north Europe in October 2018 and May 2020. We find that the use of low sulphur fuel has only a moderate impact on the cost competitiveness of shortsea routes. Only in a few cases do we see the cost balance in modal competition tilting towards the 'truck only' option. Compared to the findings by Notteboom (WMU J Marit Aff 10(1), 63-95), the compulsory transition to low sulphur emission solutions so far had far less significant impacts on the cost competitiveness of shortsea-dependent routing options. The smaller differences in cost competitiveness compared to Notteboom (WMU J Marit Aff 10(1), 63-95) are partly explained by smaller observed price gaps between HFO and low sulphur fuels and higher road charge costs for trucking. We further demonstrate that lower vessel utilization degrees can seriously affect the cost competitiveness of routing alternatives involving long and shorter roro sections and increase the risk of a modal back shift from sea to road. Contrary to most earlier studies, the combination of many routes and different periods of observation allows to test the robustness of the outcomes taking into account these spatial and temporal dimensions.
Keywords
Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law, Safety Research, Human Factors and Ergonomics, Transportation, Roro shipping, Fuel costs, Modal competition, Baltic, Sulphur, IMO, SECA

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MLA
Notteboom, Theo. “Roro Shipping vs. Trucking : Revisiting the Impact of Low-Sulphur Marine Fuel Use on Cost Competitiveness of Routing Options in North Europe.” WMU JOURNAL OF MARITIME AFFAIRS, vol. 19, no. 4, 2020, pp. 399–426, doi:10.1007/s13437-020-00221-z.
APA
Notteboom, T. (2020). Roro shipping vs. trucking : revisiting the impact of low-sulphur marine fuel use on cost competitiveness of routing options in north Europe. WMU JOURNAL OF MARITIME AFFAIRS, 19(4), 399–426. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13437-020-00221-z
Chicago author-date
Notteboom, Theo. 2020. “Roro Shipping vs. Trucking : Revisiting the Impact of Low-Sulphur Marine Fuel Use on Cost Competitiveness of Routing Options in North Europe.” WMU JOURNAL OF MARITIME AFFAIRS 19 (4): 399–426. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13437-020-00221-z.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Notteboom, Theo. 2020. “Roro Shipping vs. Trucking : Revisiting the Impact of Low-Sulphur Marine Fuel Use on Cost Competitiveness of Routing Options in North Europe.” WMU JOURNAL OF MARITIME AFFAIRS 19 (4): 399–426. doi:10.1007/s13437-020-00221-z.
Vancouver
1.
Notteboom T. Roro shipping vs. trucking : revisiting the impact of low-sulphur marine fuel use on cost competitiveness of routing options in north Europe. WMU JOURNAL OF MARITIME AFFAIRS. 2020;19(4):399–426.
IEEE
[1]
T. Notteboom, “Roro shipping vs. trucking : revisiting the impact of low-sulphur marine fuel use on cost competitiveness of routing options in north Europe,” WMU JOURNAL OF MARITIME AFFAIRS, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 399–426, 2020.
@article{8683112,
  abstract     = {{Academic studies and policy documents have elaborated on the 0.1% sulphur cap in roro shipping and its potential impact on vessel operating costs, the competitiveness of roro shipping compared to other transport modes and the risks for triggering a 'modal back shift' from sea to road. This study revisits the paper 'The impact of low sulphur fuel requirements in shipping on the competitiveness of roro shipping in Northern Europe' published in this journal as reported by Notteboom (WMU J Marit Aff 10(1), 63-95) by applying a cost model to measure route competitiveness in north Europe in October 2018 and May 2020. We find that the use of low sulphur fuel has only a moderate impact on the cost competitiveness of shortsea routes. Only in a few cases do we see the cost balance in modal competition tilting towards the 'truck only' option. Compared to the findings by Notteboom (WMU J Marit Aff 10(1), 63-95), the compulsory transition to low sulphur emission solutions so far had far less significant impacts on the cost competitiveness of shortsea-dependent routing options. The smaller differences in cost competitiveness compared to Notteboom (WMU J Marit Aff 10(1), 63-95) are partly explained by smaller observed price gaps between HFO and low sulphur fuels and higher road charge costs for trucking. We further demonstrate that lower vessel utilization degrees can seriously affect the cost competitiveness of routing alternatives involving long and shorter roro sections and increase the risk of a modal back shift from sea to road. Contrary to most earlier studies, the combination of many routes and different periods of observation allows to test the robustness of the outcomes taking into account these spatial and temporal dimensions.}},
  author       = {{Notteboom, Theo}},
  issn         = {{1651-436X}},
  journal      = {{WMU JOURNAL OF MARITIME AFFAIRS}},
  keywords     = {{Management,Monitoring,Policy and Law,Safety Research,Human Factors and Ergonomics,Transportation,Roro shipping,Fuel costs,Modal competition,Baltic,Sulphur,IMO,SECA}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{4}},
  pages        = {{399--426}},
  title        = {{Roro shipping vs. trucking : revisiting the impact of low-sulphur marine fuel use on cost competitiveness of routing options in north Europe}},
  url          = {{http://doi.org/10.1007/s13437-020-00221-z}},
  volume       = {{19}},
  year         = {{2020}},
}

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