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Sea–river shipping competitiveness and its geographical market area for the Rhône–Saône corridor


  • Charles Lopez

    (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - ENTPE - École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'État - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)


The concept of sea-river shipping is simple: a single vessel sails both coastal and inland waters. Thus, seaport transhipment is avoided resulting in lower transport costs. However, this concept is limited to certain transport waterways. On the Rhône-Saône corridor, sea-river shipping can directly connect inland ports with Mediterranean seaports. The absence of transhipment raises the issue of the competition/complementarity between sea-river shipping and a transport chain associating inland and maritime transport. Sea-river vessels must abide by certain specifications, such as draught, height and length, all related to the navigational restrictions on rivers and canals. The question is: at what threshold, in terms of tonnage, are sea-river vessels more efficient than “barge+shortsea” transport service? After addressing this question, we determine, for different ports of the Rhône-Saône corridor, the competitive navigational area of sea-river shipping.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Lopez, 2008. "Sea–river shipping competitiveness and its geographical market area for the Rhône–Saône corridor," Post-Print halshs-00304325, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00304325
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2007.04.003
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    Sea–river/short-sea shipping; Production costs; Rhône–Saône corridor; Multi-modal transport chain;

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