Corporate and intergovernmental actors recognize the importance of the international shipping industry for its role in facilitating trade and providing countries and firms with access to global markets. About 90% of all goods traded internationally are transported by sea (BIMCO, 2016a). This promotes economic development, creates jobs and boosts living standards around the world. Moreover, shipping is the most carbon-efficient mode of commercial transportation, with much lower carbon emissions per unit weight carried per unit distance than the other main transport modes. Since the early 2000s, transparency on social and environmental issues has been on the rise in international shipping.
This special issue includes five papers that analyse the potential, limitations and effects of CSR within the international shipping industry, examining what is required to promote more widespread social and environmental upgrading among shipping companies and their wider set of stakeholders.