What if sustainable shipping was a source of profitability and not considered as a mere cost factor?
Sustainable shipping can bring competitive advantage. New research shows that especially refined goods can benefit from using renewable fuels in transportation.
Research shows that people are more and more willing to pay for sustainable solutions. Based on a recent study conducted by researchers from Åbo Akademi University, University of Turku, and PBI Research Institute, specific goods can be shipped cost-efficiently with sustainable fuels. In this study, it was analysed how much sustainable shipping would affect the prices of different good categories.
“The study shows that transportation of goods using renewable fuels instead of fossil fuels would increase the prices of electronics and transportation equipment with less than a percentage making renewable fuels a rational option for shipping,” says doctoral student Henry Schwartz.
The impact of renewable fuels on the goods transported varies with the value of the goods. Prices of low valued goods were more influenced by the increased fuel costs.
“For refined goods the impact is small whereas for unrefined goods the impact is high. Instead of focusing on costs, sustainable transportation can be seen as a source of profitability. Sustainable shipping may turn out to be a business opportunity for high valued goods whereas transportation of low valued goods will be more challenging,” explains research director Magnus Gustafsson.
The research was conducted in collaboration between Åbo Akademi University and University of Turku under the common profiling area called The Sea, together with PBI Research Institute. The research project was funded by Business Finland.
Read the article: Henry Schwartz, Tomi Solakivi and Magnus Gustafsson. “Is There Business Potential for Sustainable Shipping? Price Premiums Needed to Cover Decarbonized Transportation.” Sustainability 14, no. 10 (2022): 5888. Read the article at: https://doi.org/10.3390/su14105888
Research Director, Industrial Management, Åbo Akademi University
Phone: +358 40 554 0507