Shipping emission reduction is one of the most critical issues in the transportation industry and world emission reduction research. Ports, as important hubs and sources of emissions have also received much attention. This paper investigated the development process of port emission reduction from earlier ‘environmental factors and energy scheduling’ to ‘low-carbon and green ports’ by conducting a systematic review and Citespace visual analysis. It can be also concluded that the policy has a great impact on the development of this research field. Meanwhile, this review found that among the emission reduction measures for ships in port, the average percentage of the energy measures potential is 25%–70%. The range of optimization operation measures is 30%–50%. There is a gap between the two measures. According to the diverse emission sources in the port, there is no significant difference (20%–60%) for the potential of measures application in land area. Therefore, before setting the reduction targets, ports need to know their emission level and establish emission inventories, as well as consider external factors (policy, economy, technology, etc.). Overall, port energy measures are the key points to achieving low and zero carbon targets. In the future, by addressing technical bottlenecks in energy use (such as hydrogen storage and maintenance), ports and ships will be able to further reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and increase their potential to reduce emissions. This paper aims to systematically review and explore the effects (experiences) and problems (challenges) of the abatement measures taken by different ports, to help low-abatement capacity ports to learn and find the measures that suit the emission reduction development most. For the choice of future energy, the port needs to analyze the corresponding policy factors and improve the abatement capacity through the integration of multiple measures, to understand the ‘zero carbon goal’ as soon as possible and make contributions to the environmental protection and ecological development of the region and world.