Sustainable Ports and Circular Economy Challenges

Past event — 29 May 2019

Kühne Logistics University
Grosser Grasbrook 17, 20457 Hamburg, Room EE Lecture 2

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Prof. Fabio Ballini, PhD

Assistant Professor in the Maritime Energy Management

World Maritime University (WMU), Malmö, Denmark


In the era of globalization, the world faces wide-reaching challenges: climate change, natural resource depletion, etc. This necessitates a transition towards resilient and reliable low-carbon developments. Sustainability has recently gained substantial attention in all industries. In the face of rising growth in the world economy together with natural resource depletion there is a need for new economic approaches. As a response to improvement in resource performance, economies have already started to explore ways not only to reuse products but also to recycle and upcycle more precious materials and store energy. The concept of a ‘circular economy' can promise a move towards sustainability in both business and economies. Among all areas, sustainable relations between port city stakeholders is one of the emerging factors.

This talk is about the relation between port city stakeholders. Ports can be considered the main gateway between the land and sea and are therefore vital and important activity hubs with high energy demand in relation to the different activities, mainly because ports are surrounded by metropolitan industrial area and regions where they are an essential economical factor in the supply chain transportation system. 

This lecture will explore the potential application of the circular economy approach to sustainable ports by proposing a circular framework. Within the framework, a methodology is introduced on how to collect data and later the applicability of the proposed framework is investigated by applying it to Copenhagen-Malmö Port (CMP). The model consists of four key elements: ship-waste management, port-waste management, biogas plant, and cold ironing. Two scenarios are defined and compared in the scope of the model for the CMP. To show the economic feasibility and to support the port decision-makers, a cost- benefit analysis and payback period calculation are included in this study. Furthermore, the study will discuss the relevant challenges and potentials of the Port Energy Management plan application.


Dr Fabio Ballini has Economic and Maritime Transportation background. He obtained his MSc in Maritime Economics and Transport at the Faculty of Economics in Genova (Italy) and holds a Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, awarded a European Ph.D. label, from the University of Genova (Italy), Dept. of Naval, Electrical, Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering (DITEN).

At World Maritime University (WMU), Dr Fabio Ballini is currently an Assistant Professor in the Maritime Energy Management specialization and is a member of the Maritime Energy Research Group (MarEner) dealing with research topics related to Port Energy Management Planning, Gaseous Emissions from Ships in Harbours, Externality Cost in Transportation, Externality Modeling, Clean-Tech Solutions and Energy Audit Systems in Port.
His recent research areas of interest at the WMU in Malmö have focused on Circular Economy in relation to ports and renewable energy and alternative fuels as a marine fuel.

He has published results of his research in leading, internationally peer-reviewed journals such as: Transportation Research Part D Journal and Research in Transportation Business & Management: Energy Efficiency in Maritime Logistics Chains Journal.

More info about Prof. Fabio Ballini


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Birgit Kappert

Program Manager