Environmental differentiated port dues

The project examines how environmentally differentiated dues and incentives in ports can reduce the environmental impact caused by transport modes that call at the port. Both land and sea transport are addressed, and an interdisciplinary approach was taken, including environmental, legal, policy and goods flow perspectives. By introducing these port dues, port can contribute to a shift to more environmentally efficient transport, vehicles, ships, technologies and alternative fuels.


There are incentive schemes in Swedish ports that offer lower port dues for ships with high environmental performance, but there is currently no similar scheme for trucks. However, larger environmental and city development problems related to road transports have resulted in increased pressure on ports to suggest and implement mitigating actions to reduce environmental impacts caused by road traffic to and from the port.

Four port-related incentives are analysed in this report: a port due discount for ships with reduced speed in the fairway channel; a port due discount for ships with very low NOX emissions from auxiliary engines; an entrance fee for trucks passing through the port gate during peak hours; and a differentiated entrance fee for trucks based on the truck’s environmental performance.

The national cost-minimizing freight transport model Samgods was used to simulate the impacts of the gate fees. From a legal perspective, some issues related to implementation have been identified but depend on the detailed design of the proposed charging. The main criterion for EU is that the fee or tax cannot have discriminatory effects or hinder the free movement of goods or services. This project also gives an overview of environmental policy measures to explore the possibility to implement the port dues.

Introduction of environmentally differentiated port dues globally, or at least in the EU, would include greater incentives for shipping companies, ship owners and road haulers to invest in emission abatement technologies or use alternative fuels.

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