Shipping agent reports changing landscape for short sea services vs overland logistics

3/16/12 9:20 AM

When it comes to lead times, sea transport has struggled to compete with overland logistics providers. In the past, this made land transport the first choice for many companies looking to import products from across Europe to the UK.

However, short sea shipping offers huge cost benefits, and is becoming an increasingly attractive option for companies looking to import products from Spain, Portugal and Turkey.

This is because rising fuel prices have significantly increased the price of overland transport, leaving sea transport better placed to absorb these increases through economies of scale.

The current economic climate and a drive amongst customers to reduce the overall cost of the logistics chain has seen many companies look towards short sea for the first time as John Good Shipping MD, Alan Platt, explains:

“We are already able to offer savings of around 30% against our overland competitors. The price differential will continue to increase for the foreseeable future, and we are seeing a huge rise in interest from companies who previously hadn’t considered using short sea.

“Companies might be reluctant to sacrifice shorter lead times on deliveries, but our customers have found they are able to alleviate any problems through effective forward planning and by tweaking their order process and scheduling.”

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Christopher Snelling