Research in European Shortsea Shipping: the State of the Art

Harilaos N. Psaraftis, Orestis D. Schinas

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


There has been an explosive growth in shortsea shipping related research during the last six years. In this period there have been about 80 papers presented at the three European Research Roundtable on Shortsea Shipping conferences to date (1992, 1994, and 1996). In addition, the three FAST international conferences on fast waterborne transport (1991, 1993, and 1995) presented close to 300 papers, of which about 70 directly focus on shortsea shipping. Various projects, national and international, have been also initiated in this area. In the context of the 4th Framework Programme, the European Commission/ Directorate General for Transport (DGVII) has launched in early 1996 several shared cost projects, as well as a concerted action explicitly targeted to shortsea shipping. Other directorates such as DGXII and DGXIII have also launched related projects in early 1996. In view of such a boom of research activity, it becomes imperative to critically survey such work, and also make a taxonomy of it, so that all this work is sorted out, and the baseline for further research becomes clear. Failure to do this will inevitably result in duplication of effort, gaps in research, lack of vision on what is needed, and other negative ramifications. The purpose of this paper is to carry out a critical survey and taxonomy of such work. The survey has involved a European-wide solicitation of input on related work, and also a collection of input from other sources. The paper also presents a software tool developed to assist in information entry, update, and retrieval, and also attempts to identify common trends on research topics. Without claiming that the contents of the paper are encyclopaedic, or that each and every piece of material collected has been reviewed in depth, we can at least claim that the 442 entries catalogued represent an unprecedented compilation of material in this area. Perhaps the most important trend identified within this vast collection the material is a significant degree of “fragmentation” of R&D effort in the SSS field, in the sense that problems that are methodologically similar in many contexts have been typically addressed in isolation. The most obvious consequence of this fragmentation is that the impact of R&D efforts to serve the real needs of European SSS has been so far limited. Commission-sponsored activities such as the SSS Roundtable Conferences, the Concerted Action on SSS, the collaborative R&D projects under way, and other related activities are expected to alleviate this situation in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date1996
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes
EventThird European Research Roundtable Conference om Shortsea Shipping - Bergen, Norway
Duration: 20 Jun 199621 Jun 1996
Conference number: 3


ConferenceThird European Research Roundtable Conference om Shortsea Shipping


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