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Transport Problems

Silesian University of Technology

Subject: Economics, Transportation, Transportation Science & Technology


eISSN: 2300-861X



VOLUME 12 , ISSUE SE (December 2017) > List of articles


Marino LUPI * / Alessandro FARINA / Antonio PRATELLI / Letizia BELLUCCI

Keywords : Motorways of the Sea (MoS), italian MoS network, MoS routes, ro-pax services, ro-ro services, competitiveness against all-road transport

Citation Information : Transport Problems. Volume 12, Issue SE, Pages 127-140, DOI:

License : (CC BY 4.0)

Received Date : 02-March-2017 / Accepted: 24-November-2017 / Published Online: 31-March-2018



In this paper, the development of Motorways of the Sea (MoS) services offered at Italian ports from 2008 to 2015 is analyzed. In particular, a detailed research on MoS routes calling at Italian ports in the year 2015 is carried out; within MoS routes: ropax and only cargo ro-ro services are identified. MoS routes in the year 2015 are compared with those in the years 2008, 2010 and 2012. The study highlights two main aspects. First, the great majority of MoS routes in Italy are ro-pax ones: ro-ro routes are only 31% of the total, but ro-pax service frequencies are highly variable during the year, from high to low season. Second, due to the economic crisis, carriers are trying to operate services with high load factors and trying to find new markets: in fact, from 2008 to 2015, route frequencies have decreased, whereas the number of port calls in each route has increased. Finally, the capability of ro-ro and ro-pax routes of being competitive versus all-road transport has been analyzed. The analysis has shown that both ro-ro and ro-pax routes show relevant problems in terms of their competitiveness against all-road transport. Ro-pax routes are not reliable and ro-ro routes are not fast and frequent; thus, they both do not fulfill essential requirements for MoS services.

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