The sustainability of Short Sea Shipping (SSS) is central to a clean, safe, and efficient European Union (EU) transport system. We report on key challenges for advancing reliability, quality, and safety, and removing unnecessary costs and delays at SSS hubs, with a particular focus on Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean. Specifically, we consider the effect of port-2-port (P2P) communication on port efficiency by investigating the factors influencing the various waiting times at the Port of Limassol, both from a qualitative and a quantitative perspective. The qualitative results are based on the views of key stakeholders involved in the port call process. The quantitative analysis relies on data from over 8000 port calls during 2017–2018, which are analyzed with respect to ship type, port of origin, and shipping agent. The calculated Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) include arrival punctuality, berth waiting, and berth utilization. The analysis clearly reveals considerable variation in agent performance regarding the KPIs, suggesting a lack of attention to the social aspect of a port’s socio-technical system. We propose measures for improving agent performance based on the principles of Port Collaborative Decision Making (PortCDM), including P2P communication, data sharing and transparency among all involved in a port call process including the agents, and open dissemination of agent-specific KPIs.
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