A model for the evaluation of environmental impact indicators for a sustainable maritime transportation systems

Abstract

Maritime shipping is considered the most efficient, low-cost means for transporting large quantities of freight over significant distances. However, this process also causes negative environmental and societal impacts. Therefore, environmental sustainability is a pressing issue for maritime shipping management, given the interest in addressing important issues that affect the safety, security, and air and water quality as part of the efficient movement of freight throughout the coasts and waterways and associated port facilities worldwide. In-depth studies of maritime transportation systems (MTS) can be used to identify key environmental impact indicators within the transportation system. This paper develops a tool for decision making in complex environments; this tool will quantify and rank preferred environmental impact indicators within a MTS. Such a model will help decision-makers to achieve the goals of improved environmental sustainability. The model will also provide environmental policy-makers in the shipping industry with an analytical tool that can evaluate tradeoffs within the system and identify possible alternatives to mitigate detrimental effects on the environment.

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Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the funding from the Engineering Management & Systems Engineering Department at Missouri University of Science and Technology along with a special thanks to the US Geological Survey for partially funding this research through US Geological Survey award number G13AC00028.

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Correspondence to Suzanna Long.

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Pérez Lespier, L., Long, S., Shoberg, T. et al. A model for the evaluation of environmental impact indicators for a sustainable maritime transportation systems. Front. Eng. Manag. 6, 368–383 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42524-019-0004-9

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Keywords

  • environmental sustainability
  • maritime transportation system
  • environmental impact indicators
  • fuzzy analytic hierarchy process
  • fuzzy TOPSIS
  • decision-making tool