Motorways of the Seas Strategic Demonstration Project


The project aimed at promoting and facilitating the shift of cargo from road to sea based inter-modal transport. StratMos strived to improve accessibility within the North Sea Region by supporting the implementation of the Motorways of the Sea concept and related transport networks in integrated logistical chains.

On the strategic level, the project intended to provide input for the Master Plan to be developed by the North Sea MoS Task Force as well as to EU entities. On the implementation level practical demonstration projects were carried out in order to demonstrate actions to be taken by public and private actors to improve the effectiveness of inter-modal transport, in particular related to hubs and hinterland connections.

StratMos was also represented in the MTC Cluster.

01/04/2008 - 30/09/2011
3 - Improving the Accessibility of Places in the North Sea Region
Area of Intervention
3.2 To promote the development of multi-modal and transnational transport corridors
ERDF Grant
1,909,186.00 €
ERDF Equivalent
968,920.00 €
Total Eligible Budget
5,820,212.00 €
Lead Beneficiary
Rogaland County Council, Norway
Gottfried Heinzerling
Tel: +47 51 51 66 00
Project Homepage
Beneficiaries per Country
Rogaland County Council
Vest-Agder County Council
Telemark County Council
Møre and Romsdal County Council
The Norwegian Barents Secretariat
Finnmark County Council
Troms County Council
Norwegian Coastal Authorities
Logit Systems
Port of Narvik
Hordaland County Council
FDT - Association of Danish Transport Centres
Hamburg Ministry for Economic and Labour Affairs
Hafen Hamburg Marketing e.V.
Hamburg University of Technology
The Netherlands
Port of Amsterdam
Flemish Ministry of Mobility and Public Works - Ports and Water Police Division
Sequoyah International Restructuring NV
Descartes Systems Group
European Datacomm
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)
United Kingdom
University of Hull Logistics Institute
Aberdeenshire Council
Aberdeen City Council
Napier University
Scrabster Harbour Trust
Background and Aim

Promote and facilitate shift of cargo from road to sea based intermodal transport, and to improve accessibility within the North Sea Region by supporting the implementation of MoS and related transport networks in integrated logistical chains.

The existing transport network in Europe cannot absorb the forecasted increase in freight volumes. It is therefore essential to develop alternative, more sustainable and cost efficient transport systems in order to alleviate congestion and reduce emissions harming Europe’s economy and environment. Against this background the European Commission Transport White Paper from 2001 called for a shift of balance between the transport modes in favour of sea-based intermodal transport, and for decoupling economic and transport growth. These concerns were addressed by introducing the Motorways of the Sea (MoS) concept.

MoS is intended to concentrate flows of freight on sea-based logistical routes with a view of reducing road congestion and/or improve access to peripheral and island regions.

The experience so far indicates at least five problem areas that should be addressed in order to make the MoS function as envisaged:

  • Different transport corridors and axes are not treated in a sufficiently coherent manner, overlooking how the single corridor has to function as part of an overall transport network.
  • The sea leg is not sufficiently integrated into the overall logistics chain, lacking proper linkages to hinterland connections.
  • The effectiveness of intermodal transport chains are suffering from lack of cooperation and communication between the various actors in the hubs, as well as from missing infrastructure and administrative bottlenecks.
  • Intermodal transport is conceived by the market as costly and time consuming, often overlooking the savings in the total transport chain.
  • The understanding of what characterises a MoS (as opposed to short sea shipping services) and what could make up a MoS project is sometimes lacking in the private sector.

The project addressed these problems both at a strategic overall level in the work packages (WP) and at a more concrete practical level through implementation of demonstration projects (DP).

However, the demonstration projects also had a strategic purpose, in particular by involving the private sector. This provided a basis for innovative processes in a public-private-partnership, cross sector and cross level setting, improving competitiveness and job creation.

Results of the StratMos project

  • Transnational solutions for "invisible" intermodal transport
    • Monitored sailings from Europe to Murmansk
    • Development of concept and submitted application for new short sea service Norway – Belgium
    • Development of concept and carried out test sailing for a circle line for barges between Amsterdam and Northern Netherlands
    • Demonstration of security device fixed on containers transported from Belgium to Spain
  • Recommendations for efficient hubs, hinterland and intra-port traffic:
    • Development of dry port concept
    • Development of regional hub, testing inter alia traffic signal priority of trucks
    • Analysing and smoothening short sea operations in port
    • Testing RFID technology for for improving efficiency of logistic chain in a warehouse
  • Strategies for connecting transport networks and corridors
    • Documentation of “Northern Maritime Corridor” as an extension of Western Europe Motorway of the Sea
    • Developed criteria for financial support to services to peripheral regions of Europe
  • A system model developed for consistent analysis of intermodal transport, relevant for MoS and Marco Polo funding
  • Guideline for MOS strategic demonstration projects, materialized in a tool box that is useful for SMEs when applying for MS or Marco Polo funding
Project News

Demonstration project 3b. Activities in optimisig feeder and short sea operations in ports

Demonstration project 1- NMC-Barents Sea. Working with EIMSKIP, a shipping company that sails to Murmansk

Demonstration Project 1 - NMC - Barents Sea. Working with Murmansk port in Russia

From a port in Northern Norway

Transnational Group Meeting in Kirkenes, Northern Norway

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