Understanding Port & Terminal Emissions


While the maritime industry has faced scrutiny over greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions primarily within the shipping sector, other stakeholders, notably Maritime Ports and Terminal Operators, also contribute to emissions albeit to a lesser extent. This segment examines how these entities impact emissions and suggests measures for emission control, according to an article published on the Marine Insight website.


  • Ports and terminals contribute to emissions through construction and operational activities.
  • Aligning with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is crucial for prioritizing ecological and societal impacts in port development.
  • Emissions from ports are categorized into three scopes: direct, indirect from power generation, and other indirect emissions.
  • Measures for emission control include optimizing energy consumption, adopting green energy sources, implementing smart lighting systems, providing shore-based power (cold ironing), enhancing productivity, utilizing technology, and establishing green shipping routes.

Construction And Operational Emissions

Ports and terminals, serving as vital links between sea and land transport, engage in extensive construction activities and ongoing operational processes, which generate emissions. From equipment usage to administrative functions, emissions are inherent to port operations.

Considering Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

In aligning with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), port development and operations should prioritize ecological and societal impacts. For instance, feasibility studies should assess ecological consequences, while waste management plans should be incorporated into port designs.

Categorization Of Emissions

Emissions from ports are categorized into three scopes: direct emissions from operations (Scope 1), indirect emissions from power generation (Scope 2), and other indirect emissions (Scope 3).

Measures For Emission Control

1. Energy Consumption Optimization: Designing efficient processes to minimize energy usage, such as optimizing container storage layouts, reduces energy consumption.

2. Adoption of Green Energy Sources: Substituting conventional fuel-based energy with renewable sources like solar power helps reduce emissions and energy costs.

3. Smart Lighting Systems: Implementing sensor-activated lighting systems improves safety and reduces energy consumption.

4. Cold Ironing: Providing shore-based power to vessels during berthing reduces emissions by eliminating the need for onboard power generation.

5. Enhanced Productivity and Efficiency: Improving port productivity reduces vessel turnaround times, leading to lower emissions from reduced idling and sailing speeds.

6. Utilization of Technology: Employing technological solutions such as logistics software and RFID tracking optimizes operations, reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

7. Green Corridors: Establishing eco-friendly shipping routes with regulatory measures, green fuel availability, and financial incentives reduces emissions between ports.

By implementing these measures, port and terminal operators can play a significant role in controlling emissions and promoting sustainable maritime practices.

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Source: Marine Insight


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