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Marine expert promotes potential of short-sea shipping

SYDNEY, N.S. - There was a time when the Maritimes were linked by sea routes eastern seaboard, and they can be once again, says the author of much hyped intermodal sustainability report on short-sea shipping.

According to the Cape Breton Post, Dalhousie professor of marine transportation policy Dick Hodgson says rebuilding sea trade routes along the eastern seaboard is essential, but needs a dramatic change in policy among stakeholders.

Speaking to attendees at an annual promotion of the Sydney Ports, Hodgson said shipping goods is more refined among countries in Europe which offer a single bill of lading for shipments using a combination of freighters, rail and trucking.

Before Confederation, east coast ports primarily traded by sea to ports along North America and into the Caribbean. Much of that north-south trade is now moved by truck, leading to concerns over pollution and congestion, says Hodgson.

The professor recently co-authored a study looked at intermodal sustainability at the Port of Halifax. Hodgson is one of many transportation officials promoting an "Atlantica" concept, to better connect Maritime provinces and states together via short-sea shipping.

-- from the Cape Breton Post.

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