The demand for information on shortsea services is still growing; that becomes apparent from the evaluation of the activities in 2006. The Shortsea Promotion centre (SPC) received more enquiries in 2006, had more visitors on the website, the search engine liner services and the freight enquiry system. Also the total of saved road ton/km has increased. The future looks bright for the Dutch SPC. More cooperation between modalities - in any case in the information supply -, restrictions for road transport and the shortage of drivers will have the result that also in 2007companies will investigate alternatives for the transport of their cargo in Europe.
In 2006 the number of enquiries has increased again in comparison to the previous year. The increase was 13.4%; an all-time high. In total the centre received 533 enquiries (in 2006: 470). Two things are worth mentioning; firstly more requests for general information were received and secondly more companies made the enquiries. These are companies from the primary target group (shippers, forwarders and transport companies), but also companies working in the sector (384 in 2006 vs 257 in 2005).
Savings of 14 million road ton/km
All enquiries that are done at the Shortsea Promotion Centre are followed-up. The saving of road kilometres is at least 14 million ton/km in 2006. This is only a part of the total savings; because orders can have sequel orders and/or companies can do their own search via the website. These sequel orders and enquiries cannot be followed by the SPC.
Coupling of activities
The activities of the SPC were linked even more in 2006 than the previous years. The activivities strengthen each other in this way. For the ShortSea Journal the themes have been re-introduced. The ShortSea Journal with Russia as theme, was also included in the mailing of the factsheet on Russia. The impression is that by combining these two publications the information gets more attention.
This year the keynote was cooperation and the move to new primises. In 2005 discussions started with Railcargo information Netherlands (RCIN) on cooperation and the conclusion was that cooperation would be easier by having one office. This resulted in the move to a joint office in Hoogvliet Rotterdam.
In 2006 the discussions started with the Dutch Promotion Council of Inland Shipping (Bureau Voorlichting Binnenvaart) and RCIN about developing joint activities. In 2006 the first joint activities took place.
European Shortsea Network
The SPC has cooperated with the EU programme “Expert assistance to develop the ESN and enhancing European co-operation between the SPCs”. The project concerns activities of SPCs that go beyond the national promotion activities. International cooperation of the ESN members is important, as shortsea shipping by nature crosses the national borders. This programme strengthens the network and supports the individual members. Next to this SPC Holland has joined the “Intermodal pre-feasibility study”. This study researches the possible extension of the activities of the SPCs to intermodality, hence promotion both in the field of shortsea, rail and inland shipping.