Vessel capacity utilisation in ferry services and the bridge substitute dilemma
Journal article, 2007
The purpose of this paper is to investigate vessel capacity utilisation in Scandinavian ferry services and describe reasons for the levels of resource utilisation that the
study reveals.The paper relies upon goods and passenger statistics for a number of ferry services that operate within and to/from Sweden, Denmark and Norway.The empirical outcome shows that the average utilisation of the vessels is 33,4% and proves that there are considerable imbalances and variations in goods and passenger flows. Furthermore there is a relationship between vessel capacity utilisation
and frequency: the utilisation is significant lower for routes with high frequency.
This relationship between capacity utilisation and requency is further analysed.The paper focuses in particular on ferry services with high frequency that often fulfil the same function as a bridge, and on the understanding of the variables defining this “bridge substitute”.The bridge substitute function requires accessibility, high frequency and excess capacity in order to reduce the total transport time for the goods and the vehicles by minimise the waiting time in port. The five bridge substitutes included in the study showed an average vessel capacity utilisation of