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Slow steaming as part of SECA compliance strategies among RoRo and RoPax shipping companies

Conference contribution
Authors Zeeshan Raza
Johan Woxenius
Christian Finnsgård
Published in International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME) 2017 Conference, June 27-30, Kyoto
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Business Administration
Department of Business Administration, Industrial and Financial Management & Logistics
Centre for Environment and Sustainability
Language en
Keywords Slow steaming, SECA compliance, short sea shipping, competitiveness
Subject categories Transport Systems and Logistics, Business Administration


Many geographically-peripheral member states of the EU are critically dependent on short sea RoRo and RoPax shipping services for intra-European trade and passenger transport. The implementation of sulphur emission control areas (SECAs) regulation was expected to amplify operating costs for RoRo and RoPax shipping. Earlier research has approached the issue of slow steaming and SECA from multiple angles. However, from the perspective of the RoRo and RoPax shipping firms, the feasibility of slow steaming as a contributing factor to mitigate the expected additional SECA compliance costs has yet to be explored. In addition, the knowledge regarding the impact of slow steaming on the competitiveness of RoRo and RoPax with respect to service quality is limited. This paper addresses these issues through the analysis of multiple cases focusing on RoRo and RoPax firms operating in the North and Baltic seas. We have found that, due to decline in bunker prices, out of 11 case firms, only one RoRo and one RoPax firm have currently reduced vessel speed to compensate for the additional SECA compliance costs. We conclude that bunker prices, rigorous competition, and, most importantly, customers´ different service quality (SQ) requirements restrict the potential of slow steaming for the RoPax and RoRo segments.

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