EDI-SHORT: the Use of EDI in the Shortsea Transport Chain
VERWEIJ K, DONSELAR P van, Netherlands Economic Institute, The Netherlands
In 1995, the Dutch Ministry of Transport, Water Management and PubBc Works has commissioned the Netherlands Economic Institute (NEI) to investigate the possibilities for carrying out a pilot project regarding the use of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) i
In 1995, the Dutch Ministry of Transport, Water Management and PubBc Works has commissioned the Netherlands Economic Institute (NEI) to investigate the possibilities for carrying out a pilot project regarding the use of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) in the shortsea transport chain. The idea of having such a pilot project resulted from earlier research by NEI into the possible benefits of using telematics in the shortsea sector ~. The pilot project set up is called EDI-short.
The idea behind EDI-short is the following. In order to support the competitiveness of European trade and industry and to decrease the congestion on European roads, it is important that shippers and forwarders can make a choice between the use of several transport modes. Next to rail and inland waterways, shortsea shipping is an intermodal possibility which can especially be interesting for transport between different European coastal regions. Because the sea trip is in particular cost-effective, shortsea shipping is becoming more and more attractive on longer distances. Therefore, the Dutch Ministry is actively promoting the ~tse of shortsea transpor/ from the Netherlands' to four areas:
1. the Baltic area (Finland, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia)
2. the Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal)
3. Southern Italy
4. the Black Sea area (Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey)
The Dutch Ministry is promoting the use of shortsea shipping in several ways. First of all, a Shortsea Shipping Promotion Organisation has been established in 1997, which aims to inform shippers about the various possibilities of shortsea shipping. Secondly, the Ministry supports initiatives to set up new short sea services to one &the four mentioned areas. An example is a new service to St. Petersburg (Russia). Finally, the Ministry supports initiatives to enhance the general level of services in the shortsea sector. The idea is that with the aid of new and innovative telematics applications, shortsea operators can offer their clients reliable and up-to-date information in a short time frame. The EDI-short project is one of the initiatives in this respect.
There are many transport telematics applications on the market, but Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) was found to be of most value to shortsea market parties and their clients. EDI stands for regular exchange of structured information between computers of at least two different organisations. Market parties can gain substantial benefits from the use of EDI, because the information that has been sent from the in-house computer system of organisation A can directly be used in the in-house computer system of organisation B. The most important benefits of EDI include time savings, a decrease in the number of mistakes in messages and the elimination of repetitive administrative activities.
Association for European Transport