More than 45 years of experience

Study to determine the feasibility of a profitable shipping network satisfying demand for shipping services in OECS States Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent & The Grenadines

Project details
Donor organisation: 
Transport & Mobility
Project volume: 
199,999 €
Value of services: 
199,999 €
Start of project: 
September, 2009
End of project: 
December, 2009
Project description: 

The overriding goal of the feasibility study was to determine whether a system of passenger, freight and combined transport routes can be developed which:

  • enables the islands’ agricultural output to be exported and consumed without wastage;

  • provides a set of passenger routes using a variety of modes and prices to satisfy the pent-up demand for travel to, from and between OECS member states;

  • allows these services to be run with an adequate return to operators and at reasonable prices for freight customers and passengers; and

  • has a strong potential for being sustainable over the long run.

The Consultants demonstrated that profitability, reliability and efficiency are possible (short and long-term) and provided the diagnoses and remedies to ensure these outcomes.


Service description: 
  • Determine the current pattern of routes, passenger volumes and trade flows, including the volume and size of vessels on the route network;

  • Analyse the efficiency of the current network, including port infrastructure, and whether a rationalisation of movements between islands (such as setting up a regional hub) may be more appropriate to achieve the goals;

  • Assess whether the overall freight market could be extended to absorb excess supplies in agricultural products using the current fleet and port infrastructure and superstructure;

  • Examine the current legal and institutional frameworks pertaining to passenger and goods transportation and determine to what extent a harmonised regional transport policy would contribute to the overriding goals;

  • Assess to what extent there is a “level playing field” regarding the funding of regional maritime and aviation services;

  • Analyse the revenues and costs of transportation in the area and hence the return on capital of ferries, freight ships and port infrastructure;

  • Develop an estimate of the pattern and extent of subsidies to infrastructure owners and transport operators and how these influence current trade patterns and flows;

  • Analyse consumer behaviour of both freight users and passengers to understand how they choose transport services in both the formal and informal sectors; and

  • Examine management information systems in force by ports, shippers and passenger operators and whether there are issues of incompatibility between OECS member states which act as an obstacle towards more efficient and cost-effective trading patterns.