Lessons Learned during the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Need to Promote Ship Energy Efficiency

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Article Open Access

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Journal of Marine Science and Engineering

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The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the way we do business and trade. As a result of the pandemic, a variety of stakeholders in the maritime sector have been adversely affected; nevertheless, they adapted successfully to the new circumstances and learned how to make the necessary compromises. The purpose of this study is to examine the status of ships’ energy efficiency during the pandemic. It is hypothesized that the pandemic has strengthened barriers to ship energy efficiency, and shipping decarbonization has not been a priority for stakeholders throughout the pandemic. To examine this hypothesis, by conducting a literature review and utilizing the barrier models, the energy efficiency barriers were revisited through the lens of the COVID-19 pandemic. The established focus group assessed the impact of the pandemic on these barriers. The pandemic revealed the vulnerability of shipping’s energy efficiency, and a majority of barriers were strengthened as a result. A number of factors have contributed to the marginal decarbonization of shipping during the pandemic period, including inadequate and lenient energy regulations (policy gap), economic crisis within shipping companies (low freight rates and a decline in charter markets), and extremely low fuel prices.