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SMPorts - Small and medium-sized ports collaboration for efficient supply chains

Published: 17 February 2017

Small and medium sized ports (SMP) represent a “hidden” potential in Baltic Sea Region (BSR). If the ports handling less than 10 million tons of cargo are classified as SMPs there are about 160 small and medium-sized ports in Baltic Sea Region handling in total 270 million tons of cargo (1/3 of total volume in BSR).

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). If the threshold value is set to annual 3 million annual tons of cargo, even these ports handle well over 100 million tons of cargo in total (BSR defined here as all ports east of the most northern port of Denmark, Skagen).

In spite of these impressive figures very little is known on SMPs’ role in the transport network or importance to local economies. Furthermore, most of the public R&D efforts (like EU Connecting Europe Facility) have been directed to the larger ports.

The aim of the project is to conduct a literary review and SMP related projects review. In addition, a survey is made to SMPs in BSR to compose an overview of major development needs in this port segment. The eventual aim of the work is to sort out the most suitable ports (tentatively 5-10 SMPs) in the region in order to launch a follow up project that would produce good showcases under three following focus areas:

  • Promotion of SPMs’ role in the BSR port system having emphasis on interoperability of transport modes
  • Enhancing port related industries and services in SMPs
  • Elaboration of SMP tailored strategic planning tools

The project started in February 2016 lasting until the end of March 2017. The project is carried out by the Centre for Maritime Studies of University of Turku (lead partner, Finland), Luleå University of Technology (Sweden) and Gdynia Maritime University (Poland).  The project is co-financed by the EUBSR Seed Money Facility.