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Short-sea shipping: myth or future of regional transport

Le transport maritime à courte distance : mythe ou avenir du transport régional

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Published on Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Following the success of the first “International conference on Ports, Maritime transport and regional development”, the DEVPORT’s group organizes a second conference on “Short-Sea-Shipping”. The main goal is to compare different disciplinary approaches referring to this thematic. Transport policies, the funding and policies of European Union as well as technical and organizational innovations, create new opportunities for road transport and for the creation of new regional shipping services.



Short-Sea-Shipping combined with fluvial transports could become the principal form of goods transport in Europe and in some other areas in the world where the geographic pattern is favourable. It can become a structuring element of continental flows if an organizational, legislative and technical environment which can provide a performing land-based Short Sea Shipping services is found. Shipping provides benefits on reducing energy consumption and pollution as well as the shipping costs due to an economy of scale. However, modal road competition impedes its development.

In Europe, freight volumes traveling by sea and by road are almost equivalent but the short-sea-shipping should develop the shipping of manufactured goods. It involves a port specialization for the roll-on roll-off and for the handling of containers dedicated to short sea shipping services as well as a specialization of the lines according to the market.

At an international level, dynamics of shipping tends to move the centralization of the freight on regional “Hubs” ports towards the intercontinental shipping lines and to complete the distribution from the “Hubs” to the different ports of continental regions.

Possibilities to develop the « short-sea-shipping » are multiple but the conditions of its competitive position have to be studied, in particular by analyzing the geographic, economical and geopolitical context of each project. At the same time, policies and port strategies are being more and more complex and require various and multi-disciplinary starting points.

Short sea shipping and its potential increase triggers further questions as the control of maritime traffic, operations practices and funding of the shipping lines, the study of the most valuable services for a geographic area or a specific market, or even the study of the competitive position required for its development.

Short-sea-shipping raise other subjects as the shipping security because most accidents happen near the coasts, in the area where most of the shipping traffic take place.  Technical devices designed to monitor and regulate shipping traffic are subject to researches that deserve to be represented.

Because of the place of shipping industry in the air and water pollution, new laws as the “Sulphur directive” are now setting up in European Union waters.  It causes mutations in the ships’ propulsion mode that will considerably change the physiognomy of ports and shipping in the coming years.

Finally, we can’t talk about Short-Sea-Shipping without talking about the access to island territories. What economical devices should be adopted to develop services which are usually out of the market? What social and economic impacts can be noticed on the concerned populations?

The scientific committee will give the priority to criteria as the originality and novelty of the research. The DEVPORT conference is interdisciplinary and contributions are expected in plural academic disciplines (geographs, historians, economists and international transport specialists).

Main themes

Young searchers’ inputs are especially welcome. Authors are invited to send their articles (in French or in English) in relation with the following central themes (non-exhaustive list):

  • Regional ports system « Hub & fedders »
  • Inland connectivity of ports and  hinterland
  • The passage of the container
  • Infrastructures and actors of  the « maritime/terrestrial » intermodality
  • River-sea navigation traffic
  • Ports and accommodations dedicated to Short-Sea-Shipping
  • Motorways of the Sea
  • Short-Sea-Shipping’s market analyze
  • Hinterland strategies
  • Regional studies of modal transfer « sea/road »
  • Economy of the Short-Sea-Shipping lines
  • « Maritime/Terrestrial » modal competitiveness
  • Transports policies and regulatory aspects
  • Access to island territories
  • Environmental impacts of Short-Sea-Shipping
  • Safety of Short-Sea-Shipping in high traffic density areas
  • Organization and operational practices in regional groupings (Baltic, Channel, Mediterranean region, China Sea)

Submission guidelines

The final deadline for proposals is

October 31th, 2015.

DEVPORT welcomes papers in English  and French. The proposal must include an abstract (One A4 page maximum, Times New Roman 12 points), the title of the presentation, 5 keywords, the name of the presenter(s), short CV, e-mail address of the author(s).

International scientific committee

  • Alfred Baird, Professor (Maritime economy) - Edinburgh Napier University (Scotland)
  • Jelena Belova, Associate professor (Economy) - Lithuanian Maritime Academy (Lithuania)
  • Yves Boquet, Professor (Géography) - University of Burgundy (France)
  • Pascal Buléon, Senior researcher (Géography) - University of Caen (France)
  • Pierre Cariou, Professor (Maritime economy) - Kedge Business School (Bordeaux)
  • Jacques Charlier, Professor (Géography) - Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium)
  • Hipolito Martell Flores, Associate professor (Planning-Geography) - Université de technologie de Compiègne (France)
  • Olivier Joly, Maîtres de Conférences, Associate professor (Planning-Geography) - University of Le Havre (France)
  • Xavier Martinez de Oses, Professor (Nautical Science and Engineering) - Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Spain)
  • Colette Ranely Vergé-Dépré, Associate professor (Geography) - French West Indies and Guiana University (France)
  • Jean-Paul Rodrigue, Professor (Géography) - Hofstra University (Etats-Unis)


  • Université du Havre
    Le Havre, France (76)


  • Saturday, October 31, 2015


  • transport maritime, courte distance, géographie


  • Arnaud Serry
    courriel : arnaud [dot] serry [at] univ-lehavre [dot] fr

Information source

  • Arnaud Serry
    courriel : arnaud [dot] serry [at] univ-lehavre [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Short-sea shipping: myth or future of regional transport », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, June 24, 2015,

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