Short sea shipping is simply moving goods and passengers along a coastal route, as opposed to a cross-ocean voyage. It is the oldest form of trade by sea: the ancient Phoenicians, who spent a most nights anchored or in port, established trade routes along the coasts of north Africa, Asia Minor and Europe between the sixteenth and fourth centuries BC. It remains an important component of shipping today, and for reasons the old Phoenicians never would have conceived of.
- reduced congestion on highways and other roads (a barge can carry as much cargo as 100 - 200 semi trailers)
- reduced carbon emissions and other pollutants
- reduced payroll and operations costs
- reduced chance of damage or theft