Well-functioning marine traffic is crucially important to our society and economy. Marine transports are a part of the marine logistics network. In the Merikotka research centre, this area is studied by Professor Tommi Inkinen’s research group from the University of Turku’s Brahea Centre’s Centre of Maritime studies, as well as the logistics and seafaring research group of the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences.
Maritime transport is critically important to Finland
The majority of Finnish imports and exports are transported by shipping. Our geographical location poses some challenges for us; we are far from many of our trading partners and our winter conditions require dedicated marine logistics solutions. Marine transports are also highly important for our supply security. Marine logistics research is built around a goal of trouble-free, cost-effective and safe marine transports with minimal environmental effects.
Maritime transport operators are a part of the maritime cluster
Ship traffic is a part of the marine transports system. In addition to infrastructure, the system involves piloting, sea route management, traffic control, ice breaking and port services. Ports are major logistics hubs, and the network they form plays a significant role in logistics as a whole. They are also significant regional actors in terms of e.g. the economy, land use and environmental effects.
When studying marine transport, it is important to view ship traffic and related operators as a part of the maritime cluster. This entity involves both businesses and actors from the public sector. As such, this is a large and complex research subject.
Environmental viewpoints and technology are major drivers of change
Global traffic development trends also apply to marine transport. New technological developments and the reduction of environmental effects are an integral part of developing maritime transports. Environmental regulations, in particular international emission regulations, are a major guiding force in the development of seafaring.