Unaccompanied transport as a strategy for international road hauliers in Ro-Ro short sea shipping

Short sea shipping (SSS) has attracted attention from the European Union in recent years due to problems of sustainability caused by the growth of road transport. Road hauliers, as clients of shipping companies, are key players in the development of SSS. The use of this transport mode implies a change to traditional all-road transport operations for these firms. Consequently, if these firms want to maintain stable operations in the SSS context, they need to face the challenge of modifying their profile and adopt an appropriate organisational structure. The aim of this article is twofold. First is to analyse, in the context of roll on-roll off SSS, the two possible operating strategies for road transport firms - accompanied versus unaccompanied transport, in an attempt to determine their characteristics and the factors that condition their use. Second is to analyse the challenges facing international hauliers by changing the process from the all-road transport option to the use of unaccompanied transport in SSS operations, and how these challenges are addressed. A study is made of five international road hauliers that have adapted to become intermodal transport operators. Findings reveal five key areas for change: organisation of haulage and fleet restructuring, restructuring of driving staff, changes in the operating model and development of coordination capabilities, improving the commercial capacity at destination, and establishing an adequate infrastructure to organise haulage in the destination country. Proper management of the adjustment process largely determines the success of road hauliers in the use of unaccompanied SSS.


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  • Accession Number: 01492048
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 30 2013 3:33PM