Shortsea shipping is an environmentally friendly transport mode which contributes to the sustainability of transport, strengthens the cohesion of the community and contributes to an increased efficiency of the Community's transport system.
In February 2000, the European council emphasised as a priority objective the development of short sea shipping into a dynamic part and a viable option in the intermodal door to door transport chain between all regions of the community.
As an Island, Shipping and the movement of goods by sea is vitally important to the Irish Economy. In fact 95% of Ireland’s trade is carried by sea. Most goods are shipped by containers and Irish trades depend heavily on short sea shipping.
As a small nation, the bulk of the exports and imports are trans-shipped through larger European Ports. Currently, over 90% of Ireland’s registered Merchant fleet is engaged in European Short Sea Shipping Activity.