Economic and Environmental Benefits of Short Sea Shipping Essay

  • Length: 6 pages
  • Sources: 10
  • Subject: Transportation
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #84089767

Excerpt from Essay :

Sea Shipping Services in Europe

The study aims to identify the impact, benefits, and drawback of implementing a short sea shipping policy within Greece. Within the paper, arguments have been made for supporting the adoption of the policy, and there have been clear facts presented. The paper also attempts to make comparisons between the different modes of transport available with an aim to show how cost effective and environmentally friendly short sea shipping is to a country. The results presented are backed by previous research that has shown the impact of marine transportation and made comparisons with road or rail transportation.

Short Sea Shipping is defined as the movement of passengers and cargo by sea, between ports that have a shared coastline without crossing an ocean. Short seas shipping has been at the forefront of the European Union's transport policy mainly because it offers the potential to reduce road congestion and reduce pollution (Fafaliou, Lekakou, & Theotokas, 2006). Currently, short seas shipping accounts for about 40% of all freight that is moved within Europe (Denisis, 2009). It has been noted that using short sea shipping services offers a country environmental and economic benefits when compared to the traditional modes of transportation. Using short sea shipping a country can have consistent, timely, and reliable services. Transportation of cargo is vital and having a scheduled timeline for delivery ensure that the cargo arrives as expected and there are reduced cost transportation costs incurred when cargo is delayed. There has been an increase in traffic growth on the roads, and this has resulted in unnecessary congestions that could result in delays on the road (Blonk, 1994). The delays not only increase the cost of transporting goods, but they also have a huge impact on our environment. Currently, Europe suffers severe congestion problems, and there is need to have solutions that would assist in alleviating congestion on the roads. Therefore, there is a need to find a balance between transport volumes and development of society (Paixao & Marlow, 2002). Making use of underestimated transport modes is a good strategy that would ensure there is a balance between environmental protection and growth. Moving the transportation of cargo from the roads to the sea would assist in reducing the current road congestion and also reduce the rel="follow">environmental impact of road transport (Sambracos, Paravantis, Tarantilis, & Kiranoudis, 2004). This report looks into the Greece short sea services with an aim to establish the benefits the country has received from using the service and the drawback to their policy.

Literature Review

According to Eurostat Statistics Explained (2016), it has been established that in 2015 the total gross weight of goods moved within the European Union short sea shipping was 1.8 billion tonnes. This was an increase of 0.9% from the previous year. However, this increase is still lower than what was experienced before the economic downturn of 2009 (Sambracos & Maniati, 2012). Greece has been at the forefront of short sea shipping, and it has been ranked together with the top countries like Netherlands. Greece has the longest coastline within the European Union, and it also possesses the largest number of islands within the region. Therefore, it is not a surprise that it has an extensive number of ports of all kinds. However, not all the ports can be used for cargo movement since they were developed mostly as cruise and passenger ports. It is considerably cheaper for a shipper to use the port of Piraeus as their gateway to Europe rather than Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Hamburg (Douet & Cappuccilli, 2011). The reason being that it takes one week shorter and this reduces the duration it takes for onward cargo transportation, which all contribute towards a lower transportation cost. The reduction in timelines for shipping have a positive impact on the environment and also reduce the amount of pollution (Paixao & Marlow, 2001).

There was a consistent push by the Hellenic Shortsea Ship-owners Association (HSSA) for the government to support the Naiades II action plan by the European Union. The HSSA indicated that the plan would allow the country to strengthen its inland waterways, and it would also reduce the distance between different ports in Greece. The association also aimed at putting Greece on the short sea shipping map within the European Union. By adopting the policy, Greece ensured that it was not left out and it forms part of the legislative process, which would increase the Greek ship's presence within the European waters (Beskovnik, 2006). The adoption of the policy also saw an increase in the management of its different ports from external countries like China. The Chinese companies have already taken over some ports, and they are doing a tremendous job especially for short sea…

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