Short Sea Shipping Cost Benefit Analysis

Short Sea Shipping Cost Benefit Analysis


Emilie Jeannesson-Mange, Sétra, Ministère des transports, FR


The paper will describe how short sea shipping projects can be selected through the calculation of a collective value that includes external impacts and to show how this methodology can be implemented on the Toulon Rome (Civitta Vecchia) link.


Short sea shipping appears today as a successful environmentally friendly mode that can reduce the forecasted increase of heavy goods vehicles traffic. The UE strongly promotes this sustainable transport. It wishes to develop a real transeuropean shipping network and help financing projects. The Marco Polo program for example gives funds up to a maximum of 30% to set up a new service.

In France, short sea shipping also called motorways of the sea is considered as a frequent and regular service, offering a door-to-door solution to customers and that can substantially contribute to bypass road congestion. Its development is a real political will.

France is in particular involved in the implementation of one short sea shipping service on the Atlantic coast, in partnership with Spain and promoted by the UE. It aims to a modal shift of about 100 000 heavy goods vehicles around the bottlenecks of the Pyrenees per year.
A grant to help setting up the service will be delivered from both the French and Spanish governments and the UE. Its amount is still under discussion. To select the best project, a common French and Spanish tender will be put out on 2007. The choice will be made on the classical economic and financial criteria but the collective value of the project will also be considered which is quite innovative.

This value will be calculated in accordance with a cost benefit analysis methodology specially developed by the French ministry of transport. It takes into account the socio-economic effects of short sea shipping including road congestion, pollution, greenhouse effect, road safety on both the French and the Spanish project area. To be approved, the methodology will be tested on an existing shipping link between Toulon and Rome (Civitta Vecchia) provided by the operator GLD.

The aim of the paper will be to explain the general context of freight transport in the UE and the Pyrenees, to describe the calculation of a short sea shipping collective value and its implementation on the Toulon Rome (Civitta Vecchia) motorway of the sea.

The following subject will be discussed:

1) The heavy goods vehicle traffic on the Atlantic coast, the need to develop alternative to road transport, the advantages of short sea shipping services.

2) A socio-economic appraisal of a short sea shipping service:
- the difficulties of setting up of monetary values: maritime transport values of time that take into account accompanied and unaccompanied transport, monetary values for environmental impacts, valorisation of road congestion bypass?
- the definition of stakeholder surplus (state, road haulage operator, maritime operator, harbour, road carrier?)
- the internal rate of return calculation: the choice of a discount rate, duration of life
- the sensitivity tests and how to take the risk into account.

3) The results of a cost benefit analysis of the shipping link between Toulon and Rome (Civitta Vecchia).


Association for European Transport