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Central government's coastal zone administration's efforts to increase the share of maritime freight transport

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Summary

Background and objective of the audit

It has long been an objective for maritime transport to take over an increased share of transport growth, especially within freight transport, in order to reduce problems associated with the environment, land shortage and traffic safety. Goals and priorities in transport policy were continued most recently in the National Transport Plan for 2014–2023. The increased shift of freight from road to sea is affected by many different stakeholders at the state, municipal and private levels. The Ministry of Transport and Communications (previously the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs) and the Norwegian Coastal Administration can affect freight transport by sea within their areas of responsibility, and generally facilitate good partnerships with the other stakeholders.

The objective of the audit was to assess to what degree the former Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs' and the Norwegian Coastal Administration’s efforts to shift more freight traffic from road to sea are goal-oriented and efficient, and to clarify other causes of potential suboptimal goal attainment. The audit generally covers the period from 2009 to 2013.

Findings

The share of domestic freight transport by sea has been declining since 2009.

There are clear weaknesses in the Norwegian Coastal Administration’s efforts to promote the shift of freight from road to sea.

  • There are weaknesses in the Norwegian Coastal Administration’s role as a transport agency

  • There is a risk of deficient inclusion of measures that promote freight transport by sea in the National Transport Plan

The Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs (now the Ministry of Transport and Communications) has not adequately followed up the goal of shifting freight from road to sea.

  • The management and follow-up of the freight goal is suboptimal

  • Facilitation of freight hubs can be improved

  • The Ministry knows little about the effect of fee reductions

The OAG recommends that

  • The Norwegian Coastal Administration further develop its role as a transport agency in order to strengthen the competitiveness of maritime transport in line with national transport priorities.
  • The Ministry of Transport and Communications assess how it can facilitate reaching the objective of shifting more freight to sea, and how this can be followed up in the supervisory dialogue with the Norwegian Coastal Administration.
  • The Norwegian Coastal Administration further develop its role as a transport agency in order to strengthen the competitiveness of maritime transport in line with national transport priorities.
  • The Ministry of Transport and Communications assess how it can facilitate reaching the objective of shifting more freight to sea, and how this can be followed up in the supervisory dialogue with the Norwegian Coastal Administration.
Ministry/ministries:

Riksrevisjonen, Storgata 16, P.O. Box 8130 Dep, 0032 Oslo, Norway

Phone: +47 22 24 10 00

Org.nr: 974 760 843