Port Rouen ŠP-Boulen
Coastlink is an association of companies committed to expanding
the role shortsea shipping plays in transporting containers around
Europe. Members include deepsea and shortsea shipping companies,
intermodal operators, shipbrokers, ports and stevedores, forwarding and logistics
specialists and shippers.
Coastlink was established in London
in 2004 under the Chairmanship of David Cheslin, Managing Director
of Dunelm Public Relations Ltd. Gavin Roser of Pantrak
Transportation is the Deputy Chairman.
Coastlink’s origins lie with a meeting in December
2003, initiated by Cheslin and Roser. This set out to explore the
viability of a coastal container service along the UK East Coast
that would cater for both deepsea feeder boxes and the carriage of
UK domestic traffic. While it was felt that the viability of moving
domestic cargo by containers was still some way off, the meeting did
conclude that regular meetings to discuss shortsea matters would be
worthwhile, especially given the looming spectre of port congestion
during the 2004 peak season.
Coastlink organised a major conference in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in
May 2004 and repeated the event in June 2005. This has settled down
into a pattern of two major conferences each year. In 2009, these
were in Tallinn and Dunkerque; in 2010 they were to be in Bilbao and
Antwerp but sadly Bilbao had to be dropped. In addition, smaller meetings are held to discuss specific
subjects of current interest.
Since its inception, Coastlink has broadened its scope from a purely
UK association to include subjects of interest to those involved
in shortsea shipping throughout Northern Europe. The resultant networking
opportunities, most notably between ports and shortsea/feeder shipping
companies, have already led to a number of new service initiatives
while Coastlink is also working actively to identify and eliminate
where possible those factors that restrict shortsea shipping’s
ability to compete with road transport. 2009 saw Coastlink's field
of interest expand to cover the Mediterranean and North Africa.