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Table 11 Strengths and weaknesses of SSS

From: Short sea shipping: a statistical analysis of influencing factors on SSS in European countries

Strengths Weaknesses
- SSS can solve congestion problems
- SSS can play a significant role in curbing transport growth, rebalancing the modal split, and bypassing land bottlenecks
- SSS is more energy-efficient (than road transport)
- SSS is safer (than road transport)
- SSS is environmentally-friendly
   SSS removes dangerous goods from the roads
- SSS is green for bulk shipping (not for RO-RO).
- The sea has an unlimited capacity (i.e. it does not require a huge land-take)
- Port investments and port maintenance are low
- SSS can offer services at lower freight rates due to inherent economies of scale and distance
- It has no time restrictions, and has the ability to use the oceans 7 days per week, 52 weeks per year
- Shippers perceptions of SSS are favorable (on the East coast of North America)
- SSS is flexible: increase in volume does not require infrastructure improvement
- Depending on load factors of the vessel and the trailers, the effective load factor may vary between 25% and 40% making RO-RO much less efficient and green than is claimed
- Regulatory safety and security frameworks are required that contribute to increasing industry costs
- Costs associated with improving or increasing the port infrastructure (SSS terminals) are considerable
- SSS is a capital-intensive industry (both vessels and terminals)
- Capacity-filling due to high fixed costs is necessary
- There is a lack of port capacity
- SSS can hardly offer a door-to-door transport service: part of a broken chain
- SSS has old/traditional organizational cultures
- SSS has low vessel speed
- There is a lack of information technology/information systems compatibility
- SSS port operations are at low speed
- There are low levels of port reliability
- SSS has a poor image
- There is port congestion at the land-side of large container ports
- SSS has additional handling costs
- The door-to-door price by sea would have to be 35% less if door-to-door transport were to switch to SSS
- Market suffers from overcapacity, and is obliged to lower rates to be competitive
- There is a lack of service differentiation
- There is a higher risk of damage to goods
  1. Sources: based on Perakis and Denisis 2008; Paixão-Casaca and Marlow 2005; Brooks and Trifts 2008; Medda and Trujillo 2010; Hjelle 2010; Paixão-Casaca and Marlow 2007; Paixão-Casaca and Marlow 2009; Garcia-Menendez and Feo-Valero 2009; Gouvernal et al. 2010; Bendall and Brooks 2011; Morales-Fusco et al. 2013; Baindur and Viegas 2011; Martell et al. 2013