Project Ideas



The General Lighthouse Authorities of UK and Ireland (GLA) are developing a project idea, ‘SeaSHIFT - Sustainable and Harmonised Intermodal Freight Transportation’, within Priority 4 of the INTERREG North Sea V programme, addressing the thematic objective of ‘Promoting Green Transport and Mobility’. The idea focuses on demonstrating practical innovative solutions for sustainable Integrated Logistics (IL), addressing environmental impact and emissions, congestion and bottlenecks, and inefficiencies in the network of multimodal logistics infrastructure.

The SeaSHIFT project idea builds fundamentally on current and past NSR projects – the existing ACCSEAS and LO-PINOD projects ( and ) and the previous NS-FRITS project. It is also informed by the recent SISTALS (Solutions for Integrated Seamless Transport Across Land and Sea) Feasibility Study in the UK funded by Innovate UK.

The designation of the North Sea, Baltic and Channel as a Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) under Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention and the application of the European Commission greenhouse gas reduction policies (COM(2013) 479 final) to maritime transport, alongside reduction of pollutants (Directive 2012/33/EU EC), may unintentionally impact upon the economic viability of maritime and land based transport; particularly due to the need to use cleaner, more expensive fuels.  Increased costs may have a negative impact on initiatives such as Short Sea Shipping and induce shippers to use less green, yet lower cost, land-based alternatives. There is a risk that increased maritime costs could encourage a reverse shift of cargo from sea to land along North Sea logistics chains, countering an important EU policy goal of modal shift to sea for green transport. Ultimately this may increase the overall level of greenhouse gas and pollution emissions along the intermodal NSR logistics chains and increase land based congestion, whilst inversely impacting on the viability of Short Sea Shipping and modifying the Motorways of the Sea routes. This modal back shift, has previously been identified as part of impact assessment studies, and would not be in line with the wider EU objectives for a greener economy and sustainable growth supported by a larger share of Short Sea Shipping in the transport and logistics chains.

The solutions to these issues will consider the seamless integration of the physical movement of freight as cleanly and efficiently as possible throughout the end-to-end supply chain across sea and land, through ports. These solutions are centred on the flow of reliable information throughout the logistics chain to achieve a shared situational awareness for all parties that can support coordinated and synchronised decisions across shipping, road haulage and port operations in order to reduce emissions and pollution risks and to avoid congestion.

The SeaSHIFT project will seek to analyse trends in integrated logistics flows in the NSR, building on and expanding the ACCSEAS Geographic Information System (GIS) and maritime Route Topology Model (RTM) for the littoral environment and hinterland of ports (road, rail and inland waterways). It will identify potential improvements for greener regional logistics chains, including potential increase in short sea shipping and the modal shift from land to sea. Assured information and decision support systems will be implemented for demonstrations within selected key intermodal routes. Based on these systems, methodologies for the integrated land/sea reduction of emissions and congestion will be developed, including metrics and tools to encourage greener decisions for logistics planning and operations. The impact of these solutions on demonstration routes will be analysed and regional implications for NSR logistics will be considered, presenting results and regional recommendations to inform future policy.      

OCT (on behalf of General Lighthouse Authorities)
5 Luxfield Rd

BA12 8HH
United Kingdom

Richard Hill

Tel: +441985216027

Central Aim

The SeaSHIFT project aims to deliver real-world demonstrations of innovative practical and effective solutions for environmentally-friendly, multimodal logistics; that lower the carbon & pollution footprint of regional logistics operations, reducing emissions and the risk of pollution through more efficient and safer seamless intermodal transportation of goods across land and sea and through ports. It particularly considers the interdependence between large deep water vessel operations at North Sea ports with movement of goods to and from road, rail and inland waterways and Short Sea Shipping networks. It aligns with and influences several EU initiatives and policies for the North Sea Region – e-Maritime services in the context of international e-Navigation; a NSR Route Topology Model as a framework for logistics planning, operations and supporting services linked to Motorways-of-the-Sea and Short Sea Shipping, recognising the INSPIRE directive; data communications and assurance within the Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE) to support shared situational awareness and the coordination of logistics decisions; and Resilient Position, Navigation and Timing information for robust operations exploiting the inherent value of European space systems EGNOS and future Galileo.

The SeaSHIFT project will consider novel solutions to the modal back shift problem that integrate terrestrial Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) with maritime e‑Navigation concepts for the regional movement of goods in the end-to-end integrated logistics chain - from the ship’s approach/departure to and from ports, through-port operations and on to multi-modal road, rail and inland waterway connections. It would aim to provide a robust situational awareness picture of actual and projected routes, dependable positions and trajectories of assets (vessels, vehicles, containers etc) and the sharing, filtering and analysis of information along the integrated logistics chain. It would include synchronisation of transmodal connections through ports and implement an integrated route topology across land and sea and between ports, supporting the growth in Short Sea Shipping and promoting the modal shift of cargo from road haulage to shipping. It would extend prototype e‑Navigation services that support the deconfliction of ships’ routes and optimal steaming to reduce emissions and fuel consumption to arrive at the port at the planned time and to respond to unforeseen changes in the onward logistics chain.

Envisaged Output

SeaSHIFT outputs will be developed in the following areas:

  • Intermodal NSR Logistics Route Topology Model and analysis of integrated logistics trends
  • Logistics chain emissions inventory and Emission Calculator
  • Intermodal logistics data sharing and coordinated decision solutions
  • Sea Emissions & Congestion Reduction Methodology (SECRM)
  • Land Emissions & Congestion Reduction Methodology (LECRM)
  • Co-ordinated Logistics Chain Management utilising SECRM & LECRM
  • Demonstration and Pilot Implementation of Solutions for limited yet key intermodal routes
  • Impact assessment of solutions and information to support regional policy decisions

Partners Found Already

GLA are currently developing a partnership based upon the previous ACCSEAS project, but would welcome new partners in the project.

Partners Sought

The project would build on the legacy and experience of previous European and NSR projects (ACCSEAS, NS FRITS, CNSS-Clean North Sea Shipping, iPort, Weastflows, SISTALS etc). The GLA seek to develop partnerships from these previous projects and include major ports, shipping and intermodal logistics organisations. 

Estimated Budget
€6 million (Match funding and ERDF grant)

Thematic Keywords
Sustainable Logistics
Integrated Transport
Intermodal Freight
Emissions Reduction
Green Routeing Solutions
Modal Shift
Short Sea Shipping
Maritime e-Navigation
Port Operations
Intelligent Transport Systems.

Lead Beneficiary

08 October 2014

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