Purpose - The expansion of the Panama Canal that is completed in 2016 provides container carriers with new opportunities to redeploy global oceangoing trunk routes. The purpose of this paper is to examine the cargo sources and geographical locations of three trunk routes, the departure points of which are all in East Asia. Design/methodology/approach - The operating conditions of various shipping practices were used to simulate trunk route deployment after canal expansion. Subsequently, a clean-line strategy featuring liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a replacement for heavy oil is proposed to explore the effects that container carriers have on energy savings and emission reductions. Findings - The results showed that the unit emissions of ships traveling trunk routes in East Coast North America and East Coast South America did not differ significantly regardless of whether the container carrier employed a conventional method or the new deployment plan following the expansion of the Panama Canal. By contrast, the adoption of a new method for sailing through the canal yields significant emission reductions for Far East/Europe routes. In addition, the slow-steam strategy adopted by carriers and the more costly clean-line strategy of LNG-fueled ships are both effective when applied to trunk routes. Originality/value - The results of this study provide a reference to container carriers deploying route structures and the International Maritime Organization when promoting emission-reduction policies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business and International Management