The main impacts on land of Maritime Cargo Transport - case studies

Maritime Cargo Transport is of great strategic significance to the European economy with 74 % by volume and 50% by value of goods entering or leaving Europe doing so by sea.  In 2016 around 235.000 persons were directly employed in the Maritime Transport sector and the GVA generated amounted to just over 27 billion EUR, up 20 % compared to 2009 (EC, 2018). European ports provide vital gateways, linking its transport corridors both seaward to the rest of the world and inland within the internal market. The European Commission envisages maritime cargo transport as a land/sea continuum including both sea and coastal freight transport and inland freight and water transport as well as associated service industries. 

In the framework of the ESPON project MSP-LSI a value chain analysis of Maritime Cargo Transport was undertaken as part of the Netherlands, Gulf of Gdansk and Croatian Coast and Islands case studies. The significant findings highlight the landward impacts and strategic significance of the sector to the economy nationally, regionally and across Europe.  

Also in all case studies public sector recognition of the strategic importance of Maritime Cargo Transport was evident and was reflected in support for the development of associated landward infrastructure including port facilities, logistics sites and improved transportation connectivity to their hinterlands. 

The case of the Netherlands

Maritime Cargo Transport is a key economic activity in the Netherlands. Since 2010, it handles the largest volumes of seaborne freight in Europe, amounting to 589 million tonnes or 15.2% of the EU total in 2016. The largest port in the Netherlands and in Europe is Rotterdam, which together with Amsterdam, Moerdijk, and Zeelan and Groningen Seaports account for 48% market share in the Hamburg- Le Havre area.  Rotterdam is regarded as the ‘gateway’ to Europe, and serves a hinterland with hundreds of millions of inhabitants through its links to Asia (including Vietnam, Taiwan, India, Singapore, and Malaysia) Brazil and South Africa and other European countries (including Russia). From the port of Rotterdam, inland shipping is responsible for roughly 50% of incoming and outgoing cargo to and from destinations in Europe. Road and rail connections from the port are also critical to the value chain. For example, the port of Rotterdam is served by more than 250 international rail services.  For the Netherlands as a whole inland cargo transport is a significant source of employment. In 2014, for example, 35 municipalities were involved in the transshipment of at least 10,000 TEU of container cargo. Download the full report of the case study of the Netherlands

 The case of the Gulf of Gdansk

Maritime Cargo Transport in the Pomorskie Voivodeship in the Gulf of Gdansk is also of strategic significance. It has been developing rapidly and the region is becoming one of the most important logistics centres in Central and Eastern Europe. Ports in Gdynia and Gdańsk are among the largest in the Baltic Sea region serving almost all types of cargo and ships. Their geographical as well as the market location allows them to serve as centres of distribution and logistics across the Baltic Sea region and act as important links in the transport chain connecting with countries in Southern Europe, especially in the Adriatic and the Black Sea regions. Merchandise lands directly in Poland, from where it is distributed by land transport (road and rail) or smaller vessels to other countries.
Download the full report of the case study of the Gulf of Gdansk

 The case of Croatia

Maritime Cargo Transport has become more significant since Croatia’s independence in 1990. The Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure has defined 6 ports as “ports in cities of special (international) interest for Croatia which are the Ports of Rijeka; Ploče, Zadar, Šibenik, Split; and Dubrovnik. Whilst these are the six with highest cargo volumes another 22 county-level ports complete the list of Croatia’s ports. The majority of arrivals to Croatian ports involve small ships (GT < 7000) with the main cargo by volume relating to the countries' need for secure energy supply and minerals.
Download the full report of the case study of Croatia