Competitiveness of Short Sea Shipping

Analysis of the competitiveness of European Short Sea Shipping compared to road and rail transport

In this project TML and NECL analysed the market position of Short Sea Shipping (SSS) and assessed both quantitatively and qualitatively the impact on its competitiveness for 5 future policy scenarios. The project had three main objectives:

  • For a selected group of policies targeting improved environmental performance for Short Sea Shipping (SSS) in Europe, investigate the magnitude of the impact of these policies on:
    • Transport costs
    • Transport volumes
    • Emissions
  • Estimate the importance of non-cost drivers on the modal choice of shippers, and how they may change the results of calculations for the first objective.
  • Investigate potential effects these policies may have on trade flows between Europe and other continents.

As a first step, costs structures for all relevant modes were developed. To assess the competitiveness of European short-sea freight shipping compared to road and rail alternatives for 252 origin-destination freight routes, a model was developed. This model – using a CES-production function - allows for the choice between a route using mostly SSS (and partly road) or a route using mostly road (but which can also include rail or SSS) for each O/D pair. This choice mainly depends on the evolution in costs.

The results show that the effect on costs and volumes mainly depend on the ship type, the distance and the commodity transported. Overall, the effect on modal shares remains rather limited; varying between a decrease for SSS of on average 1 to 7%; while there is a clear effect on total emissions for all pollutants. The qualitative analysis focused on possible responses ship operators may take such as speed reductions or lower profit margins.
This was complemented with an analysis to assess the effect of a sulphur regulation of 0.1% in the ECAs on intercontinental trade. Given the marginal cost increase of intercontinental maritime transport and the marginal share of maritime transport cost in end user prices, the new legislation would cause negligible cost increase to end user prices

reports

Final report

You can also download the report from the website of the European Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/transport/pdf/sss_report.pdf

publications & presentations

December 2010, article in the Newsletter of Environment and Econmics (2010-5), University of Amsterdam, "Short Sea Shipping: the influence of policy on emissions and competition", (pdf, in Dutch)

November 2010, Eef Delhaye was speaker at the 'Vervoerslogistieke Werkdagen', "COMPASS: Analysis of the competitiveness of European short sea shipping compared to road and rail transport" (pdf)

period

2009 - 2010

funded by

European Commission, DG ENV

partners

Nautical Enterprise

researchers

Tim Breemersch, Eef Delhaye, Kris Vanherle

contact

Tim Breemersch

+32 16 74.51.23
reference: 09.39