Decomposing growth in Norwegian seaport container throughput and associated air pollution
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionRødseth, K. L., Schøyen, H., & Wangsness, P. B. (2020). Decomposing growth in Norwegian seaport container throughput and associated air pollution. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 85, 21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trd.2020.102391
While policy makers worldwide view maritime transport as a sustainable alternative to road freight transport, increased cargo volumes by sea inevitably boost activities in ports that are in the proximity of where people live. This paper proposes a production analysis framework for examining intertemporal changes in cargo volumes and in-port air pollution that decomposes the contributions of ship characteristics and port container handling productivity, efficiency, and technical changes to the overall changes. The framework is applied to analyze container handling in Norway from 2010 to 2015. The results indicate that increasing ship sizes lead to more pollution per hour spent berthing, but at the same time it often leads to higher container handling productivities and thus possibly to ships spending less time in port per container loaded/unloaded. While technical changes are found to reduce the duration of container handling by about 2–3 percent per quarter, port container handling productivity and efficiency changes appear to be the main drivers of environmental productivity growth.