Research team

Transport and Regional Economics

Expertise

My research focuses on business economics in the maritime sector and, by extension, the maritime chain (incl. Hinterland connections). Further research interest: transport economics, innovation in the maritime supply chain

Through a smart legal framework towards Smart autonomous Inland Shipping. 01/12/2020 - 30/11/2022

Abstract

Europe's waterways are a vital resource that we have underused for most of the last century. Now, with the possibility for mass autonomous shipping, these canals and rivers offer a network of opportunities for sustainable logistics. A number of operational and technological research projects aiming at setting up such system are currently taking place. Apart from operational and technologic innovations being required for such market introduction, important legal innovations also stand in the way of a successful commercial market introduction. These legal challenges exist both at the level of Regulation and at the level of contract law. The project aims to eliminate obstacles in both fields. A large number of provisions in existing regulation oppose against unmanned inland navigation. The underlying problem with this, is that a legal framework acknowledging unmanned shipping, going beyond (ad hoc) experiment legislation is absent. This project aims to map the state of the art of legal aspects of autonomous transportation, bring together stakeholders and draft international project proposals.

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Novel inland waterway transport concepts for moving freight effectively (NOVIMOVE). 01/06/2020 - 31/05/2024

Abstract

Inland Waterborne Transport (IWT) advantages as low-energy and low CO2 emitting transport mode are not fully exploited today due to gaps in the logistics system. Inland container vessels pay 6-8 calls at seaport terminals with long waiting times. More time is lost by sub-optimal navigation on rivers and waiting at bridges and locks. In addition, low load factors of containers and vessels impact the logistics systems with unnecessary high numbers of containers being transported and trips being made. NOVIMOVE strategy is to "condense" the logistics system by improving container load factors and by reducing waiting times in seaports, by improved river voyage planning and execution, and by facilitating smooth passages through bridges and locks. NOVIMOVE's innovations are: (1) cargo reconstruction to raise container load factors, (2) mobile terminals feeding inland barges, (3) smart river navigation by merging satellite (Galileo) and real time river water depths data, (4) smooth passage through bridges/locks by dynamic scheduling system for better corridor management along the TEN-T Rhine-Alpine (R-A) route, (5) concepts for innovative vessels that can adapt to low water condition while maintaining a full payload, and (6) close cooperation with logistic stakeholders, ports and water authorities along the R-A route: Antwerp, Rotterdam, Duisburg, Basel. NOVIMOVE technology developments will be demonstrated by virtual simulation, scaled model tests and full-scale demonstrations. NOVIMOVE innovations will impact the quantity of freight moved by IWT along the R-A corridor by 30% with respect to 2010 baseline data. The NOVIMOVE 21-members consortium combines logistics operators, ports, system-developers and research organisations from 4 EU member states and two associate countries. The work plan contains 4 technical Work Packages. The project duration is four years; the requested funding is 8,9 MIO.

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How to make SNCB future-proof? 15/11/2019 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

The main objective of this research is to develop strategies for SNCB to deal with uncertain future developments concerning the demand for passenger rail transport. These strategies will be developed based on multiple scenarios, which in turn are identified based on scientific literature, trends and forecasts. Best-practices from foreign rail operators are identified. The main focus of the scenarios is on disruptions of passenger behaviour, leading to a potential change in the demand for passenger rail transport. Amongst others, ageing and sanitary disruptions, such as for instance COVID-19, are included in the analysis. Ageing is treated in the broad sense, i.e. with respect to digitalisation and physical mobility. For each scenario a strategy is developed, well defined within the scope of the priority objectives of SNCB. The strategies also take into account SNCB's aim to shift part of peak demand to the off-peak period. Consequently, an optimal strategy to be followed by SNCB is formulated, i.e. a strategy that is as robust as possible with respect to the different above mentioned scenarios.

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Scientific Chair Dennie Lockefeer. 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2022

Abstract

The Chair Dennie Lockefeer is the result of an unique crowdfunding by the industry in memory of Mr. Dennie Lockefeer. The Chair is working on the topic 'future vision for inland shipping. The chair can be used for research (e.g. to support the inland shipping sector, innovative inland shipping concepts, etc.), education (e.g., awarding a biennial award for best thesis / doctorate, etc.) and services (colloquium, organizing a series of lectures, etc.)

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Novel iwt and maritime transport concepts (NOVIMAR). 01/06/2017 - 30/11/2021

Abstract

NOVIMAR aims to adjust inland/short-sea shipping such that it can make optimal use of the waterborne system of waterways, vessels and ports/terminals. To achieve this NOVIMAR introduces the waterborne version of 'platooning', the Vessel Train. This is in essence a number of unmanned Follower Ships with own sailing/manoeuvring capabilities being temporarily led by a manned Leader Ship. Vessels will be able to join and leave such trains at places adjacent to their points of origin and destination at seaside or inland. Envisaged main benefits and impacts are: reduction of crew costs result in up to 47% total cost reduction for IWT and up to 88% crew cost reduction for short sea transport, enhanced logistic flexibility, 10-15% less energy use/emissions, solutions for overcoming barriers betrween transport modes and high potential for reducing road congestion and associated costs.

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BNP Paribas Fortis Chair in transport, logistics and ports. 01/10/2010 - 30/09/2023

Abstract

The University of Antwerp (Department of Transport and Regional Economics) and BNP Paribas Fortis have teamed to set up a Chair in transport, logistics and ports. Through the Chair, the University and the bank want to be able to react quickly and efficiently to new developments in the sea and logistics world. That world is constantly changing, and that is also true for the port and logistics sector. Large, new powers like India and Brazil will influence the transport sector. This Chair will respond to such issues, as well as to new trends in the field of logistics. There are also issues to act on at the micro level. For instance, once e-commerce gains strong ground, it will have consequences for the transport sector, the type of commodity flows, and the route that they follow. In the frame of this Chair, conferences and seminars will be organized to tackle these issues.

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Extension of the cost calculation program for the Belgian inland navigation 03/02/2020 - 08/05/2020

Abstract

In 2017, University of Antwerp (Department TPR) delivered an inland navigation cost model to Vlaamse Waterweg. In that model, the costs are calculated based on the user inputs of an inland waterway operator. In the updated version, for a same ship and same trip, a new calculation will be made, but in that case with a ship that is manageable autonomously / from a distance.

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Research into the economic effects of the Ballast Water Treaty 12/12/2017 - 31/10/2018

Abstract

On 8 September 2017, the Ballast Water Treaty was officially ratified by IMO. The goal of this Treaty is to protect the marine environment. This research therefore focuses on the economic (and societal) cost-benefit analysis of possible exceptions to the Treaty, in particular the possibility to of introducing a so-called 'Same Risk Area'.

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Green shipping: Governance and innovation for a sustainable maritime supply chain. 01/09/2017 - 31/08/2020

Abstract

In order to further advance the understanding of the impact of instruments related to maritime shipping, in preparation of the further work of the trade & logistics and the port governance working groups, a research sub-topic is handled in the area of quantifying environmental policy cost impact analysis.

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Open network of hyper connected logistics clusters towards Physical Internet (CLUSTERS 2.0). 01/05/2017 - 31/07/2020

Abstract

Clusters 2.0 vision is to leverage the full potential of European Logistics Clusters for a sustainable, efficient and fully integrated transport system. Clusters 2.0 will use an open network of logistics clusters operating in the frame of TEN-T. It will support local, regional and European development, while keeping neutral the local impacts such as congestion, noise, land use and local pollution levels.

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New elements of competition in the container liner shipping industry. 01/04/2017 - 31/03/2018

Abstract

Container shipping is experiencing some major issues (mergers and acquisitions, formation of new alliances,...) The pessimism in the containership sector has been re-enforced by the Hanjin bankruptcy. What is the impact of these recent developments on the degree of competition, intensity of competition, ... The project proposal consist of data collection to calculate some indicators of competition for the container liner shipping industry. The challenge is to collect monthly data and data for the container division of the carrier. A job student can support this research. the project starts from my doctoral research and results in an extended database, a developed Excel tool and a joint paper.

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Oil spill response information collection. 15/07/2016 - 15/10/2016

Abstract

Understanding the spill response readiness and the general regime in a country are important to documenting port practice effectively. With that knowledge, University of Antwerp will be able to conduct interviews for both Antwerp and Rotterdam with managers in the Port Authority, organisations responsible for clean up, local government offices as appropriate.

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Brain-Transversal Assessment of Intermodel New Strategies (BRAIN-TRAINS). 01/12/2013 - 28/02/2018

Abstract

BRAIN-TRAINS deals with rail freight intermodality, and the extent to which it can be made successful, under market, society and policy-making challenges, and analyzing how intermodality contributes to answering these challenges. Starting point is the relative weak usage of this type of transport. The research proposal aims at building on existing knowiedge, integrating, and approaching the problem from an interdisciplinary perspective.

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The development of research that focuses on the LNG bunker market, particularly in the context of the port of Antwerp. 01/09/2013 - 31/10/2014

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand het Gemeentelijk Havenbedrijf Antwerpen. UA provides het Gemeentelijk Havenbedrijf Antwerpen research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Working on competitiveness. Recommendations for a rail strategy for the Port of Ghent. 01/07/2012 - 30/11/2012

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand Havenbedrijf Gent. UA provides Havenbedrijf Gent research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Retrofitting ships with new technologies for improved overall environmental footprint (RETROFIT). 01/10/2011 - 31/01/2015

Abstract

Retrofitting is defined as the installation onboard ships of state-of-art or innovative components or systems and could in principle be driven by the need to meet new regulatory standards or by the ship owner interest to upgrade to higher operational standards. Retrofitting should become an established practice in the shipping industry involving the entire value chain and exploring the possibilities that may open to the industry on a continuous basis.

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