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Oil Price Scenarios and Energy Efficiency in Maritime Transport and Logistics

D3.3.7 Oil Price Scenarios and Energy Efficiency Transport_VTT_10 June 2011...

Hanna Askola, Jarkko Lehtinen, Tapio Nyman (VTT)

The purpose of this paper is to consider the future changes in energy consumption in maritime transport and logistics. The data used is based on reports of different well known institutes and recent articles. The purpose is to understand the potential of dramatic oil price changes in the market. The time scale is to year 2035.


Energy consumption of the world is estimated to increase by 49 per cent from 2007 to 2035. Total energy demand in non-OECD countries is predicted to increase by 84 per cent, compared with an increase of 14 per cent in OECD countries.


The transport sector consumes almost 20 per cent of the world’s total delivered energy. Volumes of cargos, variation in delivery time demands and freight rates direct goods to different modes. Innovative solutions could reduce maritime fuel costs and consumption.


When examining container freights, it was noticed that oil price is not necessarily reason for high freight rates but the costs rise as a consequence of unbalance in exports and imports.

Rail transport becomes more efficient when considering transport times and total costs. Maritime transport remains attractive because of its capability to transport large volumes of goods. 


Sulphur and carbon dioxide emission limits have a great impact in profitability of maritime transportation. Overall, impact of political aspects is increasing in transportation costs. Countries not being oil producers try to substitute oil with other energy sources. Their motives seem to be political and environmental instead of price. Strict sulphur emissions policy has a significant effect on the contracting parties. Meanwhile, emission policy accelerates marginal economies.


Further studies are recommended to model the dependency of emissions and transport costs of typical vessels and cargos. Besides, European natural gas technologies and networks might need urgent R&D investments.

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