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TECHNICAL PAPER Q


Many parties are interested in


the effects of such regulatory changes. Some merely speculate about the consequences, while others make more substantial efforts towards modelling the impact on maritime transport and the environment. A cost-benefit analysis of (low sulphur) marine gas oil (MGO) versus scrubbers favours MGO in cases when there is little price difference to the (high sulphur) heavy fuel oil (HFO) or when the remaining lifespan of the vessel in question is short. A larger divergence in


MGO-HFO prices drives ship operators to optimise their sailing behaviour with respect to fuel consumption, which is a cubic function of speed. Hence, it is expected that vessels will sail more slowly in ECAs compared to the open sea. The drawback of this behaviour is that a deviation from a uniform speed profile leads to increased CO2


emissions, as


would a modal shift from sea to land traffic caused by increased transport costs. On the bright side, the projection of savings related to health benefits from decreased emissions in North American coastal areas ranges between $47-110 billion. Most of the studies to date


examine the impact of ECAs from a theoretical standpoint and concentrate on the Baltic and North Sea area. Very few studies have taken an empirical approach to analysing whether and how ships actually comply with the regulations. One study from 2013 by the


Seafarers International Research Centre at Cardiff University reviews sulphur laboratory tests of fuel samples, bunker-fuel delivery notes and oil-record books. While it found high levels (~97%) of compliance locally, the results cannot be extrapolated across the entire North and Baltic Sea.


Another study presented at the International Association of Maritime Economists conference in 2015 examined the impact that market conditions and the ECA introduced in 2007 have on vessel speed in the North Sea between 2005 and 2009. The study’s before and after exploration found little or no measurable impact.


Data-analysis steps


For our analysis on sailing behaviour before and after the North American ECA came into effect we also choose vessel speed as our most important metric. The goal is to compare differences in vessel speeds in two geographic areas, said ECA and a 200 nautical mile (nm) buffer zone. We exclude the California waters (up to 24nm off the Californian baseline) from our analysis because vessels sailing in that area have to follow an additional set of air pollution regulations.


This gives us a set of four


time-area combinations for each vessel to analyse: a1) in a buffer zone of 200nm adjacent to the North American ECA over the course of 1 January to 31 July 2012; a2) in the same area between 1 August and 31 December 2012; a3) in the area that constitutes the future North American ECA from 1 January to 31 July 2012; and a4) in that same area now the ECA is in effect between 1 August and 31 December 2012. This ECA imposed a reduction


of sulphur content in fuel from 3.3% m/m to 1.0% m/m. In this work, we concentrate on container ships because they operate at a comparably high speed and, therefore, consume greater quantities of fuel. In the interests of a transparent


and reproducible analysis, we lay out the individual steps we are going to perform on the data:


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