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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

INTERTANKO’s Short Sea Tanker Group to press for recognition of advantages of sea transport

The International Association of Independent Tanker Owners’ (INTERTANKO) short sea operators have welcomed the opportunity to promote the advantages of the sea transport of oils, gases and chemicals over land transport through a new forum created by its members. Delegates to the inaugural meeting of INTERTANKO’s Short Sea Tanker Group, held in Gothenburg in January 1997, agreed to highlight the safety and environmental supremacy of sea transportation compared to transportation over land. Subsidies of land transportation and unfair apportioning of infrastructure and environmental costs do, however, create severe competitive disadvantages for sea transportation.

This situation, say the short sea tanker operators, means that shipments of dangerous cargoes that could travel in bulk by sea are today moving overland through highly populated areas and in road tankers on passenger ferries instead. As a result of the harmonisation of regulations in Europe, for example highly poisonous cargoes such as epichlorohydrin previously shipped from Riga to Hamburg by sea due to German safety regulations are now carried in road trucks.

Sea transportation is responsible for only some 5% of the environmental and infrastructure costs of transport in Europe. Land transportation, however, pays considerably less than its fair share of these costs. European freight movements have increased by 50% over the last 20 years and road transport now accounts for 70% of the total traffic. Road accidents result in some 50,000 deaths in the region each year and road congestion is estimated to cost the European Union approximately $150 billion annually. Seagoing tankers operate to stringent international safety standards, are engaged on routes well away from any population centres and require an infrastructure which is much less costly and more environmental-friendly than that utilisedby trucks and railways.

To reduce the strain on the environment and roads and the risk of exposure to people from dangerous goods transportation, it is necessary to find a more equitable method of apportioning the costs between the different means of transportation. [A "Green Book" worked out in the Common Market uses the term Fair and Efficient Pricing in transportation, and INTERTANKO and its Short Sea Tanker Group aims to influence the process that is going on in Brussels in this respect.]

INTERTANKO was encouraged by the support for this position from the short sea tanker operators at the meeting in Gothenburg. Other topics discussed in Gothenburg were the tug and pilot boat rules, co-operation with oil companies, lack of reception facilities for oily residues and chemicals, and difficulties associated with the overboard discharge requirements of the MARPOL Convention on certain short sea routes. INTERTANKO invites members to the next meeting of this Group which is scheduled to take place in Oslo on 10 June 1997, to coincide with the Nor-Shipping conference.

The INTERTANKO membership includes some 255 tanker companies with 1,750 tankers totalling some 155 million dwt. This is equivalent to some 70% of the independent tonnage world wide. The membership of operators with smaller tankers operating mainly in short sea trades is increasing, and INTERTANKO aims to expand its service to these operators. INTERTANKO is also strengthening co-operation with the other participants in the tanker industry. In this respect, the Association has expanded the number of Associate Members by some 60 over the past year to more than 210 companies, including ship brokers, agents, charterers, insurers, banks, law firms and others.

For more information contact:
Erik Ranheim, Manager, Market Research and Statistics
Direct telephone: +47 22 12 26 75
Telefax: +47 22 12 26 41
E-mail: erik.ranheim@intertanko.wwis.no