Can new port network make cargo owners and transporters reconsider their transport solutions?

According to the Port of Hirtshals, the answer is yes. At the same time, the director of the port Jens Kirketerp Jensen also acknowledges that it is a big task to make cargo owners and transporters contemplate if there is a better alternative to their current transport solution. Alongside the other ports in the Scandinavian port network, the Port of Hirtshals will focus on conveying the message that transport by sea is a great supplement to road transport in Scandinavia and that combining different forms of transportation is a beneficial alternative competitive in several areas, including price, environment and transportation time. 

The port network consists of the Ports of Gothenburg, Risavika, Grenland, Bergen, Larvik, Kristiansand, Zeebrugge, and Hirtshals, and it represents a variety of combinations within sea transportation which combined with road transportation, and potentially railway transportation, can ensure effective, sustainable, and competitive transport solutions. Jens Kirketerp Jensen emphasizes that by combining forms of transportation and thinking outside the box, cargo owners and transporters can, in many cases, achieve a more attractive transport solution than one solely based on road transportation. 

According to Jens Kirketerp Jensen, creative solutions where several forms of transportation are combined can supply end-users in Western Norway with fresh fruits and greens as quickly as end-users in the Oslo-area if the routes between Hirtshals and Western Norway are utilized. Kirketerp says:

- It is all about thinking out of the box and thinking creatively when it comes to cargo transport. I want cargo owners and transporters to stop and really think about whether the transport solution they are currently using is truly the most advantageous for them. In some cases, they will find that they are already using the best solution, but based on my knowledge of scientific environmental surveys and the prices and frequencies of the shipping companies with routes between the network ports, I have no doubt that a large majority of the cargo being moved to and from e.g. Western Norway can be moved more efficiently.

Kirketerp continues:
- Imagine that the future for the transport industry includes a sustainability label which identifies when a cargo owner cares about the environment and the climate and therefore uses the most sustainable transport solution. Foodstuff producers can market themselves on being labelled organic, and other producers can flaunt their Nordic Eco-label, and there is no doubt those labels have a big marketing value. Therefore, I want to advocate that we work to create the framework for a sustainability label that cargo owners and transporters taking sustainability seriously and actively considering their transport solutions can use in their marketing. 

Fundamentally, the Port of Hirtshals and the other ports in the network want to create awareness about transport solutions, including the possibilities already present on the market, is the incentive for the network's initiatives.