A Large Scale Analysis of the Competitiveness of New Short-sea Shipping Services in the Mediterranean

A Large Scale Analysis of the Competitiveness of New Short-sea Shipping Services in the Mediterranean


V Marzano, A Papola, Università di Napoli ?Federico II? IT; F Simonelli, Università del Sannio, IT


The paper proposes a large scale analysis, through an ad hoc DSS, of the competitiveness of new short-sea shipping services in the Mediterranean, in the light of the EU enlargement towards Eastern Countries and of the enforcement of EMFTA.


The enhancement and the development of Short-Sea Shipping (SSS) services in the Mediterranean is regarded by European Union and its Member States as a key topic both for promoting a sustainable and effective transport supply system and for supporting EU economy and markets, that is towards Northern Africa (as a consequence of the enforcement of the EMFTA agreements) and Eastern Europe (as a consequence of the EU enlargement). In order to support this development, from a planning viewpoint there is need for quantitative decision support systems (DSS), able to predict changes in freight demand due to new economic and transport scenarios from one side and to provide for a realistic representation of the target basin of SSS lines from the other side. In that respect, this paper deals with the implementation and the application of a DSS for the technical evaluation of new SSS services within the Mediterranean. In more detail, the DSS is made up by a supply model and a demand model.
The implementation of the transport supply model is described. The study area encompasses 49 countries, i.e. the EU27 countries plus Eastern Europe and all other Mediterranean coastal countries. Three different networks are implemented for road, rail (both traditional and combined) and maritime services (both Ro-Ro and containerized) respectively, with connections representing rail-road, sea-road and sea-rail intermodal modes. Furthermore, two different databases have been collected for containerized and SSS services respectively. In that respect, it is worth mentioning that the resulting maritime services supply model can be filtered on the basis of service frequencies (daily, twice a week, weekly, etc.), i.e. it is possible to compute o-d travel times separately for a given frequency segment. Times and costs provided by the supply model have been validated by means of several surveys carried out by national statistics bureaus across Europe.
With reference to the demand model, a generation-distribution demand model has been firstly specified and estimated on the basis of EUROSTAT COMEXT and WITS TRAINS datasets, in order to model freight flows among countries in the study area, both in value and in quantity and following the NSTR-0 commodity nomenclature. Model specification was designed so as to incorporate policy attributes for an explicit representation of the effects of EU enlargement and of the enforcement of EMFTA agreement. Then, a mode choice model has been specified and estimated, on the basis of aggregated data coming from the above mentioned data sources, for different commodity classes.
Two main applications are performed with the above described DSS.
The first deals with the EU enlargement to Eastern Countries, with specific reference to the already mentioned requirement for an effective maritime connection to/from the Black Sea. In more detail, in a first step, new maritime connections between Southern Italy, Greek and Black Sea ports are hypothesized in terms both of type of services and frequencies. Then, the assumed frequencies are effectively determined through iterative runs of both supply and demand models, that is solving a fixed point problem. In more detail, at the generic iteration service frequencies obtained from previous iterations (or hypothesized for the first iteration) are introduced into the supply model which provides new o-d travel times for all frequency segments. These travel times are then introduced both in the generation-distribution and in the mode choice model so as to evaluate the demand attracted by the new services and the frequencies justified by this demand. Once determined those services, the whole demand model will be finally applied to evaluate both short and long term impacts in terms of variation of national import/export, freight flows, arc saturations, etc.
The second application deals with the enforcement of the EMFTA agreements. The difference in the methodology used for this second application is only in the initial step, wherein a first application of the demand model is performed by varying in model attributes only policy variables related to EMFTA agreements. This allows drawing preliminary information on which o-d relations are mostly affected in terms of freight flow increase, to be therefore supported through new services.


Association for European Transport