Determinants of ship operators’ options for compliance with IMO 2020
Journal article, 2020

With the implementation of International Maritime Organization (IMO) 2020 sulfur cap, ship operators have three primary abatement options: (1) switching to low-sulfur fuels, (2) installing sulfur oxide scrubbers, and (3) running on liquefied natural gas (LNG). This study aims to identify the determinants of ship operators’ decisions by applying descriptive statistics and a multinomial logistic regression based on the data obtained from the Clarkson World Fleet Register database. The analysis provides the following key results: First, scrubbers and LNG are more attractive compliance choices for new vessels, while older vessels’ operators prefer low-sulfur fuels. Second, less compliant vessels are more likely to switch to low-sulfur fuels to comply with the regulation. Third, scrubbers, LNG, and low-sulfur fuels are the choices most preferred among tankers, containers, and roll-on/roll-off carriers; gas ships; and offshore ships and ferries, respectively.

IMO 2020 sulfur cap

Low-sulfur fuel


SOx emissions




Kevin Li

Zhejiang University

Min Wu

Zhejiang University

Xiaohan Gu

Student at Chalmers

Kum Fai Yuen

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Yi Xiao

Zhejiang University

Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment

1361-9209 (ISSN)

Vol. 86 102459

Subject Categories

Other Mechanical Engineering

Other Chemical Engineering

Marine Engineering



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