Linking innovation with sustainability in shipping and ports: a comprehensive study on disruptive technology

Zoom Research Seminar

Hydrogen container ship

Past event — 16 March 2022

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Michael Stein

PhD Candidate & External Researcher

Hapag-Lloyd Center for Shipping and Global Logistics (CSGL)

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The study aims at evaluating innovative and potentially disruptive technologies for the maritime industry (including shipping operations and port management) and connect its outcome towards sustainable operations. Sustainability in this study is defined as the triple-bottom line of economic, social and ecological operations. The study focuses on the application of drone technology, AI, e-learning / VR learning, and sustainable operations in the shipping sector. The study originates in applied science and draws conclusions from both academic theory (qualitative) and industrial data (quantitative) approaches. The state of the art character of this research is underlined by the huge potential that the introduced disruptive or discontinuous technologies imply. Paper 3 has a statistical optimal potential to reduce global ship fuel consumption by up to 15% representative 165.44 million tons of CO2, a value that is as high as the annual CO2 emission of some European countries. Paper 4 has a potential of changing the way how 37.000 employees can be educated in one shipping industry (cruise) alone.


Michael started his career in the shipping sector with a traditional vocational education as “Schifffahrtskaufmann” in the port of Kiel and the Kiel Canal in 2011. Later he finished his dual bachelor study of shipping trade and transportation in Hamburg while working for a ship-owner in the controlling department. In 2014 he finished his master study at the KLU and the Center for Maritime Economics and Logistics (MEL) in Rotterdam focusing on maritime logistics. As a student worker he stayed in the maritime domain, first working for a classification society and later for a maritime consultancy. From 2015 he worked for a security company as a business development manager for maritime services. Here, his focus on maritime logistics changed from the ship-owner to the port sector side. Since October 2018 Michael Stein operates as an independent consultant for the maritime sector. His services deal with the integration of unmanned Systems in port operations, maritime online learning, 3D maping and programming of infrastructures for innovative inspection services. The research area of Michael Stein was firstly oriented in ship finance and strategic maritime investments. In 2015 he began looking at the port operator side of the maritime supply chain with regard to researching maritime innovations. His current research focuses (parallel to his work profession) on unmanned technology in shipping, be it Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) as well as online education in the port sector. Combining photogrammetry with drone-driven aero triangulation, Michael also researches innovative approaches of heavy-infrastructure inspections in ports. In 2019 his research focus is extended by virtual reality frameworks in e-learning and human behavior simulation in the maritime domain as well as global port sustainability. His PhD will furthermore address the topics of human-machine interactions and the valuation of innovations in maritime logistics.



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Bärbel Wegener

Assistant to Resident Faculty