Prof. Dr. Dirk Max Johns

Vice President Teaching & Didactics, Professor of Maritime Management

Short Profile

Professor Dr. Dirk Max Johns is the academic head of the MSc Business Development and MSc Innovation Management programmes, head of the Maritime Business School, since June 2024 Vice President for Teaching and Didactics, and was Vice President for Research and International Affairs beetween June 2021 and 2024.

In addition to his current teaching and research activities at HSBA, he was Managing Director of the VDR Association of German Shipowners until 2019. In this position, he represented the interests of German shipowners in national and international bodies. After studying archaeology, art history and business administration in Montpellier, Leuven, Harvard and Tübingen, Professor Johns taught at numerous universities and worked successfully in the media industry from 1992 to 2005, focusing on new media. 

In the field of Maritime Management, Professor Johns focuses on the economic implications of ship finance, social issues and the impact of the financial crisis on the maritime industry. 


  • Ship Finance I + II
  • Ship Management
  • Microeconomics

Research Areas

  • Ship Finance
  • Ship Management
  • Organization
  • Piracy

Doctoral Students


Journal articles (refereed)

Willer, Carsten, and Dirk Max Johns. 2021. "Reduction of GHG emissions from ships: evaluation of inter-company R&D cooperation models in the case of Hapag-Lloyd." Journal of Shipping and Trade  : .

Monographs and edited books

Johns, Max. 2018. See – Schiff – Ladung, Das Fachbuch für Schifffahrtskaufleute. 2. Stern Verlag.

Schinas, Orestis, Carsten Grau and Max Johns, eds. 2014. The HSBA Handbook on Ship Finance. Berlin: Springer.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2011. Organisation der "Neuen Medien" in öffentlich-rechtlichen Sendern Europas. Berlin, Pro Business Verlag.

Johns, Dirk Max (Ed.). 2007. 100 years German Shipowners' Association / 100 Jahre Verband Deutscher Reeder. Hamburg, Seehafen Verlag.

Johns, Dirk Max. 1998. Wirtschaftsmacht Fernsehen - Märkte und Mythen der Medienindustrie. Frankfurt am Main, Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag.

Johns, Dirk Max and André Reifenrath. 1991. Kunst an der Universität Hamburg. Hamburg: Verlag Johns & Reifenrath.

Journal articles (non-refereed) / newspaper

Johns, Max. 2020. "Re-writing All Known Rules: How Digitalization is Affecting the Maritime Industry." Studi Emigrazione  218: 230-235.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2019. "Digitale Disruption und Seeleute – Die Auswirkungen autonomer Schifffahrt auf die Arbeit auf See, die Rolle der Seeleute und der Schifffahrtsindustrie." Journal für Mobilität und Verkehr  4/2019: 4-15.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2019. "Scrubber users will be held over a barrel if basic economics apply." Trade Winds - The Global Shipping News Source, 25.10.2019, p. 12.

Johns, Max. 2016. "Schifffahrtsstandort Deutschland 2016 – aktuelle Perspektiven für die Maritime Personalwirtschaft." Beiträge zum Maritimen Peronalmanagement  2016 (1): 4.

Book chapters

Johns, Max. 2021. "Containerships and Black Swans: The Impact of Disruptive Events on the Industry." In New Maritime Business - Uncertainty, Sustainability, Technology and Big Data, ed. by Byoung-Wook KoDong-Wook Song, . Springer.

Johns, Dirk Max, and Wolfgang Drobetz. 2018. "The Evolution of Modern Ship Finance." In Funding International Logistics and the Supply Chain: Strategies for Finance and Risk Management, ed. by Gong, Stephen, and Kevin Cullinane, 85-107. Elsevier.

Johns, Max, Stefan Albertijn and Wolfgang Drobetz. 2016. "Maritime Investment Appraisal and Budgeting." In The International Handbook of Shipping Finance: Theory and Practice, ed. by M.G. Kavussanos, I.D. Visvikis, 285-313. Palgrave Macmillan: UK.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2015. "The German KG System." In HSBA Handbook on Ship Finance, ed. by Schinas, Orestis, Carsten Grau und Max Johns, 71-85. Heidelberg.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2015. "Piraterie aus der Sicht von Seeleuten, Handelsschifffahrt und Reedereien." In Maritime Sicherheit – Moderne Piraterie. Hintergründe, Gefahren und mögliche Gegenmaßnahmen, ed. by Moritz Brake, . Frankfurt, Peter Lang.

Schinas, O., and S. Kewitsch. 2014. "Loans and Risk Management Considerations." In The HSBA Handbook on Ship Finance, ed. by Schinas, O., C. Grau, and M. Johns, 33-54. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2012. "Die gegenwärtige Piraterie." In Piraterie von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. Historische Mitteilungen. 235-240, ed. by Volker Grieb and Sabine Todt, . Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2008. "Kunst und Auftraggeber." In 20 Fuß – Mit Containern um die Weltmeere, ed. by Klaus-Peter Kiedel, . Bremen, Hauschild Verlag.

Conference proceedings

Johns, Max. 2021. "Containerships and Black Swans: The Impact of Disruptive Events on the Industry." New Maritime Business.

Conference presentations

Johns, Dirk Max. 2020. "Containerships and Black Swans: The Impact of Disruptive Events on the Industry." Presentation held at the 4th KMI-WMU Seminar on Container Shipping Business and Maritime 4.0: Policy and Strategy, Seoul (Online-Conference), 12-13 November 2020.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2020. "“Shipowner perspectives on implementation and enforcement of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006.”." Presentation held at the EMSA Conference on the Status of the MLC, Lisbon,20 February 2020.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2019. "“The Impact of Automation on Seafarers.”." Presentation held at the IMEC Annual Conference, Southampton,11 April 2019.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2019. "“Understanding the Future of Shipping”." Presentation held at the ICMA World Conference, Taipeh, 03 October 2019.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2019. "Automation and autonomous vessels: Impact on jobs, training and social partners." Presentation held at the CrewConnect Global Conference, 23 -25 November, Manila.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2019. "History of Ship Finance." Presentation held at the 27th Annual Conference of the International Association of Maritime Economics (IAME), Athens, 25/28 June 2019.

Johns, Dirk Max, and Sarah Jastram. 2018. "“Corporate Social Responsibility in the Shipping Sector - State of the Art and Learnings from other Industries”." Presentation held at the Crew Connect Summit, Hamburg May 21st 2018.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2018. "“Remote Controlled: Social Impact of Automation”." Presentation held at the German Norwegian Ocean Forum, Hamburg,04 December 2018.

Jastram, Sarah, and Dirk Max Johns. 2018. "Corporate Social Responsibility in the Shipping Sector - State of the Art and Learnings from other Industries." Presentation held at the .

Johns, Dirk Max. 2017. "Decent Work for Seafarers: Are we delivering." Presentation held at the ICS International Shipping Conference, London, 13.09.2017.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2015. "German shipping policy." Presentation held at the WMU World Maritime University, Hamburg. 05.06.2015.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2014. "Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Shipping." Presentation held at the Asia Pacific Manning & Training Conference, Philippines, 26.11.2014.

Other Publications / Presentations

Johns, Dirk Max. 2021. "Fairplay Towage: From Tug-war in the Port of Hamburg to Expansion in Europe." The Case Center.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2017. "Maritime Politik und Perspektiven." Hafenstammtisch der VDU Hamburg. Hamburg, 22.03.2017.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2017. "Shipping Policy and Lobbying." Presentation at Kühne Logistics University. Hamburg, 20.04.2017.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2017. "Maritime Geschäftsmodelle." Presentation at the Deutschen Verkehrswissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft. Hamburg, 20.06.2017.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2016. "Schifffahrtsstandort Deutschland 2016 – aktuelle Perspektiven für die Maritime Personalwirtschaft." Presentation held at 10. Bremer Schifffahrtskongress. Bremen, 12.04.2016.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2016. "Shipping Policy." Presentation held at Kühne Logistics University. Hamburg, 21.04.2016.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2016. "Was ist eine Reederei?." Presentation held at Maritime Academy im Verband Deutscher Reeder. Hamburg, 13.07.2016.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2015. "Handelsschifffahrt und Piraterie." Presentation held at Frankfurt School of Finance. Frankfurt am Main, 17.09.2015.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2015. "Arbeitgeber Meer. Die Bedeutung der maritimen Wirtschaft." Presentation held at Jahreskongress des deutschen Marinebundes. München. 16.10.2015..

Johns, Dirk Max. 2014. "German ship finance." Keynote speaker at Informa Conference Hamburg. Hamburg, 22.05.2014.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2012. "Handelsschifffahrt und Piraterie." Presentation held at Frankfurt School of Finance. Frankfurt am Main, 24.02.2012.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2011. "Piracy: Help or stumbling stone in public communication." Int. Hamburg Congress on Business Communication. Hamburg, 10.09.2011.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2006. "Eurovision Song Contest (Case Study)." Hamburg Media School.

Johns, Dirk Max, Neil Regan, John McDonaugh and Giesela Süle. 2003. "Archives in Digital Broadcasting." EBU/Eurovision. Grand Saconnex - Geneva.

Johns, Dirk and Simone Emmelius. 2000. "Das Inhaltsangebot: Fernsehen und Multimedia." Das Programmbouquet. ZDF Schriftenreihe 58. Mainz.

Johns, Dirk Max and Heidrun Huber. 1994. "Television and Film Industries in Germany. Partners in Production Series." International Institute for Communications.. London.

Other Activities

Johns, Dirk Max. 2020. "Expert Dialogue: Sustainable Shipping in the Year 2050." Panel Discussion, HSBA Sustainability Lounge, 14 February 2020.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2019. "Digital transformation in shipping and opportunities for diversity." Panel Discussion, Women in Shipping Conference, Manila, 18 November 2019.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2019. "IMO Sulphur Cap 2020 - Industry News." Panel Discussion, HSBA Maritime Lounge; 11 December 2019.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2018. "See – Schiff – Ladung. 2nd Edition." Co-editor and author. Stern Verlag.

Johns, Dirk Max. 2018. "Seafarers and digital disruption. The effect of autonomous ships on the work at sea, the role of seafarers and the shipping industry." Study prepared for the International Chamber of Shipping. Hamburg/ London: October 2018.