Short Sea Shipping

Defining Short Sea Shipping

According to the EU, Short Sea Shipping is defined as «the movement of cargo and passengers by sea, between ports situated in geographical Europe or between those ports and ports situated in non European countries having a coastline on the enclosed seas bordering”.

Moreover, Short Sea Shipping activity includes “the domestic and international maritime transport, including feeder services along the coast, to and from the islands, rivers and lakes. The concept of short sea shipping also extends to maritime transport between the Member States of the Union and Norway and Iceland and other States on the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

COM(1999) 317 Final


SSS has environmental and economic benefits over traditional modes of transport. SSS has a geographical advantage over other transport modes facilitating the door to door transport of specific cargoes by sea. This advantage can have an important impact on the European economy, since SSS can contribute to the integration, cohesion and economic development of the peripheral regions of the EU. SSS is an integral part of global transportation network and mean of expanding freight capacity.

Why Short Sea Shipping:
  • Economical and cost effective transport
  • Consistent, reliable and timely services with guaranteed transit times
  • Geographical coverage across Europe
  • Energy efficient and environmental friendly services
  • Reduced road and traffic congestion
  • Safer per ton mile mode