THE POTENTIAL FOR WATER FREIGHT IN THE SOUTH WEST UK
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The role of water freight as a sustainable mode of transportation often receives special attention in logistics and transportation. Due to rising environmental concerns UK national policy supports an increase in the amount of freight movements on commercial waterways. Within this context this research investigates the potential for water freight in the South West (SW) UK especially in Cornwall and Devon (CAD). This study is exploratory and following literature searches Delphi methods were selected with which to gather primary data. The research required three rounds of Delphi surveys. Following this, a focus group with the members of the ‘Maritime and Waterborne Innovation Group’ in the SW UK was conducted to measure the trustworthiness of the Delphi findings. The Delphi study achieved consensus on eight statements. Results indicated that the presence of an extensive coast line with accessibility to several coastal ports is conducive to the effective management of water freight movements in the region. The focus group discussion provided fuller explanations, suggestions and statements of issues which require further exploration for the development of water freight. This study reveals the latest information and possibilities and helped to articulate the importance of using water freight in SW UK. The results of this research also have many implications for the rest of the world where water freight is either in its infancy or aiming to increase its usage. The suggestions, observations and information collected during the Delphi study and from the focus group participants will assist in formulating strategies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of water transportation within a region or a country.