Report 2005.TL.6968, Transport Engineering and Logistics.
Shortsea is the modern equivalent of coastal shipping. For centuries it
provided a cheap and reliable means of transporting goods along the
European continent. In the 20th century, it lost its leading position to
the truck, however because of the build-up of traffic on European
highways, the European Union decided to make shortsea shipping one of its
focus points in decreasing traffic generated by trucks through its
'Motorways of the sea' program.
The vessels in shortsea service today are relatively small compared to
deepsea vessels, for they have to be able to berth at numerous port and
terminals through Europe and be capable of being loaded and unloaded very
rapidly, because of very low transit times. A new development is the
introduction of 45' palletwide containers with special corner castings and
a shortsea ship especially designed and built for those containers.
The shortsea container network is widespread throughout the entire
coastline with almost all terminals having one of two or a combination of
two different types of layouts.a
Equipment like straddle carriers are hardly used, however containers are
handled by reachstackers, and forklifters. This is because of the stack
configuration, a straddle carrier cannot pickup containers from a stack
that is packed together.
- The first layout is more or less traditional type with the stack and
- The second layout is more suitable for shortsea purposes with its high
throughput of containers with short time in stack.
The shortsea initiative outside Europe viewed in this report, Oceanex,
does not have the high throughput per quay length, but can still compete
with truck transport, because of the long distances between urban areas in
North-America, especially Canada. This is an example that shortsea can
compete with the road if well equipped and adapted to the local
Reports on Transport Engineering and Logistics (in Dutch)
, TU Delft