Short sea shipping – a smart and sustainable alternative

By Stefan Larsen, 8 June 2020

By establishing sustainable “sea motorways” over shorter distances and improve links between seaports and inland networks, it is possible to take substantial goods volumes off the European roads.

Embracing the concept of short sea shipping can contribute to solving the prevailing issues of European road transport whilst offering shippers a smart and sustainable transport alternative. Short sea shipping is not a matter of dismantling road transport. It is about finding green and innovative transport alternatives to improve the logistics flow for shippers.

An eco-friendly transport alternative

When it comes to reducing the ecological footprint, sea freight is known for winning the battle against road freight. Fewer heavy vehicles on the European roads means less negative impact on the environment. Moving significant goods volumes from the European roads to short sea routes would largely contribute to reducing the CO2 emissions caused by road transport.

Receive goods in a reliable, consistent, and timely manner

One of the major benefits of short sea shipping is that shippers get their goods in a reliable, consistent, and timely manner. Unlike road transport, which is more prone to delays and irregular logistics flow due to congestion, short sea shipping allows for scheduled departures and arrivals.

This means the goods are received in time and can then be efficiently distributed from the port terminals. Shippers do not have to worry about taking care of large goods volumes within short time frames or keeping stock in their own warehouses.

Less congestion, safer driving, and reduced noise levels

Moving significant goods volumes from road to short sea would have a positive impact on road congestion, road safety, and noise levels.

Fewer heavy vehicles on the roads would largely contribute to smoother traffic flows and safer driving with less stress and disturbance as well as greater potential for trucks to stay on schedule and meet delivery times. Less wear and tear from heavy vehicles would also loosen the strains on the upkeep of the European roads.

A cost-efficient alternative

Sea freight rates are lower than road freight rates, especially when shipping larger freight volumes and heavier cargo. Making a transition from road freight to short sea allows shippers to circumvent the high freight rates of road transport. In the long term, moving significant goods volumes from the roads of Europe to short sea would help restore the capacity imbalance in road freight and eventually remove lack-of-capacity surcharges.

Sustainable short sea shipping is the way forward

Moving significant goods volumes from road to short sea routes would have a positive impact on the prevailing capacity gap in the road transport market and ease the driver shortage crisis.

Sustainable short sea shipping is the way forward. Today, the EU is actively working to promote short sea shipping and European shippers are prepared to jump on the bandwagon. There is no doubt that sustainable short sea shipping is the way forward.

Greencarrier Freight Services offers shortsea shipping solutions from seaports all around Europe, and we have a wide range of road freight services to combine them with. If you want more information regarding our services, do not hesitate to contact us!

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AUTHOR
Stefan Larsen
Ocean Freight Manager Sweden

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