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Special edition 2E3S

Date: 15/12/2010

During the first weekend of November the Escola Europea de Short Sea Shipping, in short 2E3S, has organised a special edition of the "Motorways Of the Sea (MOS) Training courses". This time representatives of European organisations took part instead of students and professionals. Grimaldi, DFDS Seaways and Brittany Ferries were the participating operators, but representatives of IRU, ECSA, ECASBA, ESPO, ESN, Clecat, DG Move etc. took part also. In the special training course the viability of SSS, the part played by the operators and MoS's role in Ten-T were examined.

Giving a number of practical examples, Willy De Decker, the chairman of the European Shortsea Network (ESN), demonstrated the versatility of SSS, although he also had to point out that a quarter of the European Shortsea Promotion Centres (SPCs) are currently under threat for want of financial means. Next to the promotion of SSS, ESN is currently exerting itself to refute a number of fallacies concerning volumes and times. Indeed, the extensive SSS networks of Grimaldi, DFDS Seaways, as well as Brittany Ferries, lead to rising volumes and an extension of the frequencies and services, thus demonstrating that the concept works.

The road-sea policy continues to have but a limited success, says ESPO's Santiago García-Milá: the MoS should not only link ports but also hinterlands, which have to be seen as the maritime part of a major network. An analysis of road transport led Xavier Lluch of the 2E3S school to the conclusion that limitations indeed exist, such as increased transit times, transport costs, the working time legislation etc. Still, he said, intermodal transport is not possible without road haulage.

Co-modality offers a solution for said limitations. With SSS, for instance, the working time regulations can be circumvented. Also, higher frequencies can be provided. The fact that the road haulage sector advocates multimodality was stressed by Jens Hügel of IRU. Simplification of the transhipment process is an important aspect in that context. The European budget for MoS projects will amount to 130 million euros in 2011 and 2012. At the end of 2011 a second call for proposals will be launched, the first call having expired in August 2010.


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