Table of Contents

Handbook on Trade and the Environment

Handbook on Trade and the Environment

Elgar original reference

Edited by Kevin P. Gallagher

In this comprehensive reference work, Kevin Gallagher has compiled a fresh and broad-ranging collection of expert voices commenting on the interdisciplinary field of trade and the environment. For over two decades policymakers and scholars have been struggling to understand the relationship between international trade in a globalizing world and its effects on the natural environment. The authors in this Handbook provide the tools to do just that.

Chapter 2: International Trade and Global Shipping

James J. Corbett and James J. Winebrake

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, international economics, environment, environmental economics, environmental law, environmental politics and policy, law - academic, environmental law, international economic law, trade law, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, european politics and policy, international politics


James J. Corbett and James J. Winebrake The freight transportation system is the network of specialized vessels, the ports they visit, and transportation infrastructure from factories to terminals to distribution centers to markets (MARAD, 1999). Within such a definition, it is nearly impossible to consider ocean shipping separately from the goods movement context. On a worldwide basis, nearly 50 000 oceangoing vessels move cargo more than 33 billion tonne-km annually. In the European Union, marine transportation moves more than 70 percent (by volume) of all cargo traded with the rest of the world; in the USA, more than 95 percent of imports and exports are carried by ships (MARAD, 2000). This work is accomplished by ships using 2 to 4 percent of the world’s fossil fuels (Corbett, 2004). These inbound and outbound freight flows through national ports are connected to truck and train movement of goods through a transportation network. In fact, ocean shipping can be considered to be a ‘trip-generator’ for intermodal cargoes in global trade, blending with domestic freight movements on nations’ roads and rails. This intermodal context is important when considering impacts of ocean shipping, particularly where modal tradeoffs in energy intensity and emissions differ. This chapter discusses the role of ocean shipping within the context of international goods transportation, with specific attention paid to the energy and environmental impacts of such shipping. Multimodal freight context International maritime shipping is a critical element in the global freight transportation system that includes ocean and...

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