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Unnecessary emissions

15 January 2020

If all goods transported by road through Skåne are transported on water instead, between 4 and 11 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from heavy transport in Sweden could be avoided. So why not do it? There are no physical or technical barriers, according to a new report.

Sweden mainly deals with European neighboring countries and a large part of the goods are transported to and from ports in Skåne and Blekinge. This means that the roads are heavily trafficked in southern Sweden - almost a third of the freight flow in Skåne consists of transit transport between the continent and Central Sweden, Gothenburg or Norway/Oslo. It is unnecessary. According to the study Förlängda sjöben, there are really no physical or technical obstacles to move goods by sea instead. Not even in the short term. Our ports have the capacity for more port calls and the availability of vessels is no problem either, the study, which is a collaboration between the University of Gothenburg and the Region of Skåne, shows.

"The idea is to get shipping companies to use ports further north, closer to the recipients, as the Gothenburg-Kiel and Nynäshamn-Gdansk ferries do," Johan Woxenius, professor of shipping economics & logistics at the University of Gothenburg and a member of the Lighthouse program committee, says.

It would save some emissions. Depending on the type of vessel used, a reduction of between 140,000 and 360,000 tonnes are expected. This equals between 4 and 11 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions from heavy transport in Sweden.

“It is clear that the calculation is based on several assumptions, but at leastit’s an indication.”

Although there are no technical and physical obstacles, there are many others. Of course, these are economic factors such as increased transport costs and increased administrative fees, for example through fairway fees. Many respondents in the study also mention transport time, efficiency and frequency as factors that play a role.

The study Förlängda sjöben: när- och kustsjöfartens potential (the potential of near-coastal and coastal shipping) has been funded by Region Skåne, the Swedish Transport Administration via Triple F and SMTF. It’s based on survey questions (transport buyers) and in-depth interviews with a product owner, nine ports and three shipping companies. In addition, data from a previous interview study with truck drivers in Skåne ports has been used to analyze freight flows and what needs to be changed to realize a transfer.

The author is Petra Stelling, Johan Woxenius, Catrin Lammgård, Björn Petersson och Anastasia Christodoulou.Related content: 

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