Strategic Market Segments and Prospects of Short Sea Shipping in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea

Strategic Market Segments and Prospects of Short Sea Shipping in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea


S Kapros, University of the Aegean;



This paper attempts to identify, analyze and quantify the structural changes and major developments in the Short Sea Shipping market in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea region. The importanceof maritime transport and seaport activities in the area is gradually increasing since several of the adjacent countries are in the process of transition from a planed economy to a market economy. In parallel, the on going restructuring of the Short Sea Shipping market is accelerated by policy developments (e.g. commercialization of ports), in both the EU and the third countries. The concept of Intermodality, reflected in the EU seaports policy, places seaports as interfaces between sea and land transport, thus, considering them links in integrated transport chains. Various policy developments (COM(99)317 final, Council Resolution 2000/C 56/02) aiming at a modal shift from road to intermodal transport significantly influence the Short Sea Shipping opportunities and practices. Given the above, the paper firstly aims to identify and analyse the most important factors controlling the restructuring process of Short Sea Shipping from the supply side. These factors include:

* (a) the network (spatial) configuration of Short Sea Shipping operators in the region - related to port choice criteria,
* (b) the service characteristics, and
* (c) the technological developments.

The analysis reveals the intensification of competition between ports and operators, the growing interdependence among actors and some persisting problems of network operations in the region. Certain particularities, compared to the network characteristics of the western Mediterranean are also addressed at the level of cargo procedures, spatial hierarchy and services. The paper then attempts to quantify the potential of Short Sea Shipping demand. Using different combinations of socio-economic and transport policy scenarios the freight transport flows on major sealinks are estimated as underlying assumptions change. Subsequently, an Origin-Destination Matrix is generated, consisting of trade flows between regions of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea (for the year 2015) using the following segmentation: solid bulk (low value goods, solid), liquid bulk (low value goods, liquid), general cargo (medium value goods and other goods) and containerised cargo (high value goods).

For all the examined scenarios the freight volumes (in million tons per year) are computed for:

* (a) the "do nothing policy" - which assumes that none of the scheduled projects for the development of inland corridors between the EU and the CEEC/CIS, will be carried out and,
* (b) other "possible transport policies" -promoting, for example, new investments for infrastructure, new traffic management techniques, inter-modal traffic, etc.

The paper results provide the basis for specifying policy measures and developing particular technical and organisational plans for the promotion of Short Sea Shipping and Intermodality in the Eastern Mediterranean.


Association for European Transport