Prof. Michele Acciaro, PhD

Associate Professor of Maritime Logistics

Director of Hapag-Lloyd Center for Shipping and Global Logistics (CSGL)

Michele Acciaro is Director of the Hapag-Lloyd Center for Shipping and Global Logistics (CSGL) and Associate Professor of Maritime Logistics at Kühne Logistics University (KLU), where he works since 2013. Before he held the position of Senior Researcher Green Shipping at the Research and Innovation department of Det Norske Veritas AS (now DNV-GL) in Høvik, near Oslo. Between 2004 and 2010 he worked as deputy director and researcher at the Center for Maritime Economics and Logistics (MEL) of Erasmus University Rotterdam, with which he is still associated.

He holds a BSc and a MSc (cum Laude) in Statistics and Economics from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”; a MSc in Maritime Economics and Logistics from Erasmus University Rotterdam for which he was awarded the NOL/APL Prize for Student Excellence; and a PhD in Logistics also from Erasmus University. He was awarded the Young Researcher Best Paper Prize at the Int. Association of Maritime Economists (IAME) Annual Conference in 2005, and the Prize for Best Reviewer during IAME 2018. He is Member of the Editorial Board of Maritime Economics & Logistics (since 2015), Member of Editorial Advisory Board for Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives and was Associate Editor of Maritime Policy & Management (2015- 2017). He is the Editor of the IAME Newsletter (since 2015) and Secretary of IAME (since 2018) and co-hosted the Annual Conference of IAME in 2016.

Since 2001 he worked as a consultant, advisor and researcher in the areas of liner shipping economics, terminal management and operations optimisation, green shipping, container logistics integration and supply chain pricing and finance. He has lectured at several institutions around the world and has been invited speaker at industry events such as TOC Europe and Intermodal.

Selected Publications

DOI: 10.1057/mel.2015.5 

Abstract: It is widely felt that in order to strengthen the competitiveness of European ports it is needed to ensure fair competition among ports and the sector is anew facing new and old challenges related to its long-term development.These challenges, and arguably the inability of the port sector and the European Union (EU) Member States to meaningfully react to them on their own, are at the basis of the renewed attempt of the European Commission (EC) to develop a uniform and coherent policy package for ports. The article provides a critical account of recent EU policy initiatives, focusing on the most recent attempt of the EC to address some of the issues facing the port sector. The article discusses some of the controversies arising from the new EC policy approach, which, although milder in its contents than the previous attempts, recalls the content of the previous policy proposals, especially in the areas of liberalization of port services; pricing; competition; administrative simplification; financial and operational autonomy; and state aid provisions. The article concludes that the EU not only does not go far enough but, by trying to introduce compromises and conditions of considerable vagueness and ambiguity renders its policy proposals practically useless, thus allowing Member States the freedom to continue unabated as before.

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Open reference in new window "The new European port policy proposals: Too much ado about nothing?"

DOI: 10.1016/j.trd.2013.12.007 

Abstract: A wide array of technical and operational solutions is available to shipowners in order to comply with existing and upcoming environmental regulation within Emission Control Areas (ECAs). Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is a promising alternative since it offers potential cost savings in addition to ensuring compliance with ECA regulation. But investment to retrofit existing vessels to be able to use LNG carries significant upfront costs, and a high degree of uncertainty remains on the differential between the prices of LNG and conventional maritime fuels, as well as on the availability of LNG and the reliability of its supply chain. New technologies such as LNG inherently carry substantial risk and an ill-chosen investment strategy may have irreversible consequences that could jeopardise the future of the shipping company. One important question is whether interested owners should invest in LNG now to comply with ECA rules in 2015 and reap the benefits of lower LNG prices, or whether it would be advisable to wait until some of the uncertainty is resolved. While traditional discounted cash flow techniques are unable to account for the value of managerial flexibility linked, for example, to the possibility of deferring an investment, real option analysis can be used to analyse such cases. The paper discusses the optimal time for investment in LNG retrofit and takes specific account of the value of an investment deferral strategy versus the advantages obtainable from the immediate exploitation of fuel price differentials. Through the use of a real option model the paper shows that there is a trade-off between low fuel prices and capital expenses for investment in LNG retrofit. The development in LNG is critically dependent on its future price as well as the reduction in capital costs and ship retrofitting costs. In this respect, policy makers can play a critical role in providing support to advance technical knowledge, maintain LNG prices at favourable levels and in avoiding ambiguity on regulation.

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Open reference in new window "Real option analysis for environmental compliance: LNG and emission control areas"

DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2014.04.013 

Abstract: Ports are characterised by the geographical concentration of high–energy demand and supply activities, because of their proximity to power generation facilities and metropolitan regions, and their functions as central hubs in the transport of raw materials. In the last decades the need to better understand and monitor energy-related activities taking place near or within the port has become more apparent as a consequence of the growing relevance of energy trades, public environmental awareness and a bigger industry focus on energy efficiency. The uptake in the port sector of innovative technologies, such as onshore power supply, or alternative fuels, such as LNG, and the increasing development of renewable energy installations in port areas, also calls for more attention to energy matters within port management. So far, however, few port authorities have actively pursued energy management strategies. The necessity for port authorities to actively manage their energy flows stems from their efforts to plan, coordinate and facilitate the development of economic activities within the port, and as a consequence of the heavier weight that sustainability is given within the port management strategies. Through the analysis of the experiences of two European ports, Hamburg and Genoa, that have already attempted to coordinate and rationalise their energy needs, this paper will argue that for the ports of the future active energy management can offer substantial efficiency gains, can contribute to the development of new alternative revenue sources and in the end, improve the competitive position of the port.

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Open reference in new window "Energy management in seaports: A new role for port authorities"

Abstract: This paper examines the role of ports in the economy of Sardinia by means of the employment generated by port and port-related industries. The subject is important since Sardinia and other Mediterranean islands suff er from chronic unemployment and poor economic performance. The increase of the Europe-Asia commercial fl ows, the European Union enlargement and the renewed centrality of the Mediterranean have induced optimistic expectations on the development opportunities that may be created for the island communities by the maritime and port sectors. The employment generated by the maritime and port industry is an essential, although partial, measurement of the development impact of ports. Therefore its quantifi cation is indispensable in order to correctly estimate the impacts that a more central role of the Mediterranean might have on the local island economies. In the case of Sardinia, ports generate approximately three percent of the total island employment, and over eight percent on average of the employment of the single municipalities. This result adds to the vital role that ports have to play as transportation nodes and in creating value added.

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Open reference in new window "The Role of Ports in the Development of Mediterranean Islands"

Academic Positions

since 2018

Hapag-Lloyd Center for Shipping and Global Logistics, Kühne Logistics University, Hamburg, Germany

since 2016

Kühne Logistics Unitversity, KLU, Großer Grasbrook 17, Hamburg, Germany; Associate Professor of Maritime Logistics


Kühne Logistics Unitversity, KLU, Großer Grasbrook 17, Hamburg, Germany; Assistant Professor of Maritime Logistics

2011 - 2012

Det Norske Veritas AS (DNV), Research & Innovation Department, Vertasv. 1, Høvik, Norway; Senior Researcher – Green Shipping

2011 - ongoing

Center for Maritime Economics and Logistics – Erasmus University Rotterdam: Burg. Oudlaan, 50, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Visiting Fellow

2004 - 2011

Center for Maritime Economics and Logistics – Erasmus University Rotterdam: Burg. Oudlaan, 50, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Deputy Director (from 11/2007) and Associate Researcher


Visiting Fellow, Singapore Management University


Visiting Fellow, National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University