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Abnormal transportation in the BSR

 

Abnormal transportation in the SBR
An interview with Andrius Sutnikas, the Project Coordinator of Oversize Baltic
 
Klaipeda Science and Technology Park is the leading beneficiary of Oversize Baltic, a co-operation of port authorities with research institutions under the auspices of public structures supporting innovation fostering.
 
 
-          Oversize Baltic is aimed at improving the conditions of abnormal transportation in the South Baltic Region. Why has KSTP decided to initiate the project?
 
Klaipeda Science and Technology Park has an experience of long term cooperation with partners among the SBR and qualification in transport projects development. We recognized the vast potential of oversized transport sector, as it may constitute key issue for the industry and energy sector development. From the references of companies providing oversize cargo services, we learned that this field needs to be better arranged. Another reason is our focus on alternative energy. Biomass generators, nuclear reactors or wind mills constructions involve many oversize cargo movements. The latter has a big effect on renewable energy project’s costs and time. Third, but not the least important reason is our goal to integrate the South Baltic Region transport markets. In Scandinavia there is a different approach to abnormal transport sector, concerning sizes and weights, which might serve as a good example for us, leading to unification of the systems of Lithuania, Poland and Germany. At present we are investigating the ability of Lithuanian transport network to allow the transit of vehicles with total length of 25,25 m (as allowed in Sweden).
 
-          Can you tell BTJ’s readers something more about the project’s background and its main assumptions?
 
South Baltic lacks harmonization in the oversized transportation field, as the rules and procedures, e.g. on obtaining permits, vehicle escorts, time frames allowed, authorized speeds, etc., vary substantially depending on a country or even a region. This is not only inconvenient for the carriers, it often results in substantial time and money loses, among other difficulties. Furthermore, we are in the need of upgrading the communication networks, implementing new technologies as well as of increasing the safety of abnormal transportation. There should be prepared a unified set of rules concerning this sector, increasing accessibility to the cargo passages. Since these problems cannot be solved on national basis, Oversize Baltic has the intention to help solving at least some of them, by the joined effort of Lithuanian, Polish, German and Swedish institutions involved. Abnormal transport sector has a big impact on economical development of the states, usually being a very important part of various infrastructural or energy projects. Thus, it should be free of any bureaucracy or miscommunication. Moreover, a series of strategic decisions should be undertaken, which will in consequence create a well organized transport system between the SBR countries.
 
-          There are indications that the project cargo and heavy-lift sector is getting back to strength after the global recession. What is your opinion on the current trend on the market?
 
The positive flow is coming back to the industry, together with new planned investments. The EU environmental regulations are affecting the sector in a positive way. Countries devote more and more focus to the alternative ways of obtaining energy, in a natural way securing the growth of abnormal cargo sector, since the components of new energy plants, like various turbines or biomass generators have to be moved either by sea or land. The Baltic States experience an increasing demand for oversize and abnormal transports in other sectors too, as large-scale industrial locations and sites for maritime logistics request transports of over-dimension and very heavy lifts. All this is why we need to establish a better organized structure for operating and regulating this transport niche.
 
-          As you said, project cargo is still considered a niche market. What challenges need to be overcome for this sector’s growth in the SB area?
 
The most important is to release this sector from legal and infrastructural bottlenecks. First of all we should have the cross-regional approach to this problem, set a structure that would allow us unify the law regulations in different countries and minimize the time that is consumed to obtain the transportation permits. Dealing with the infrastructural bottlenecks will require a long term approach and a lot of investments, but we should evaluate the existing possibilities as well.
The biggest drawbacks for the carriers using roads ill-adjusted for the abnormal traffic are the height, width and the resistance of bridges; the width of the roads and its structure, electricity wiring as well as signs or other road equipment. Observing the existing cargo transit we notice the patterns of the oversized transportation streams, which can enable us to plan the required road networks. It is the aim of Oversize Baltic to raise the region's economic openness to the great investments in infrastructure. KSTP together with its partners wants to investigate on the most beneficial locations of oversized cargo transport corridors in our region. After they will be set, we want to introduce an infrastructure development plan.
To overcome the legislative issues we aim to set a one stop shop information system that will provide the information on legislation in every region and will allow obtaining the abnormal transport permits for different countries. To make it functional we need to involve all the organizations responsible for issuing the permits.
 
Lena Lorenc
 
Project has started on July 1st 2009. More information about South Baltic cross-border cooperation programme at: www.southbaltic.eu/ www.transportoversize.eu  

 Project Partners

       

Federal Association of SME's, Rostock

NPPE Klaipeda Shipping Research centre


                   

 

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