This study shows the effect of changes in GDP, population, foreign trade and seaport access corridors of ECOWAS member countries, especially the littoral States, on the growth of freight volumes of their respective economies. The primary aim of the research is to develop a short sea shipping model for the ECOWAS sub-region, with the objective of reducing the cost per transported unit within the sub-region and predicting the growth of short sea shipping freight in ECOWAS economies. The research is based on a cross-sectional data from ECOWAS countries spanning from 2000 to 2013 and sourced from the ECOWAS Commission and National Bureaus of Statistics of some member countries. The data were analysed using arc elasticity which is a transport demand modelling tool, to determine the level of variations among trade volumes in the ECOWAS sub-region; ordinary least square and weighted least square methods as well as structural equation modelling were also applied to estimate the freight volume behaviour of the ECOWAS sub-region at both the aggregate and disaggregated levels. It was discovered that total freight volume improved proportionally with growth in GDP for most of the periods in the ECOWAS member countries. This is confirmed by the coefficients of elasticity close 1 or higher than 1. In certain periods however, the coefficient of elasticity of total freight volumes were found to be approximately zero, thus, indicating that considerable potential freights were lost. This has raised serious question as to the prudence of continual dominance of road transport mode for intra-regional freight movement in the ECOWAS sub-region. The result of the study revealed a strong correlation between GDP, population of member states and the volume of freight in the ECOWAS member countries. The research also showed that the development of short sea shipping model in the sub-region would depend considerably on growth in GDP, improvement in the productivity of the population and increase in seaport corridors of the ECOWAS sub-region. The model is MTkm 159.71 3.76GDP 2.85POP 0.13PAC ε i . This model provides useful framework for forecasting short-sea shipping freight for the ECOWAS sub-region. Despite the ECOWAS efforts at promoting policies to encourage intra-regional cooperation based on its advantages in terms of energy efficiency, improved intermodality and environmental safety, short sea shipping remains undeveloped compared to road transport mode. The study concludes that funding opportunities in the sub-region have not offered the right incentives and support to promote short sea shipping, and that some critical factors such as the key role of port infrastructure and its characteristics, have not been taken into full consideration by transport policy makers in the sub-region. Consequently, the study recommends the need for ECOWAS member states to prioritize investment in the development of short sea shipping capacity, including the supportive port infrastructure as well as improvement of the entire transport system efficiency. It is recommended that this goal should be pursued through sub-regional policy frameworks that benchmark best practices from other sub-regional success stories, especially the European Union.
Keywords: Trade, Short Sea Shipping; ECOWAS; freight market; decoupling and elasticity
African Research, R (2021). Analysis Of Freight Transport Volumes Of ECOWAS Nations: Scenarios For A Short-Sea Shipping Future. Afribary.com: Retrieved April 17, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/analysis-of-freight-transport-volumes-of-ecowas-nations-scenarios-for-a-short-sea-shipping-future
Resources, African Research. "Analysis Of Freight Transport Volumes Of ECOWAS Nations: Scenarios For A Short-Sea Shipping Future" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 07 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/analysis-of-freight-transport-volumes-of-ecowas-nations-scenarios-for-a-short-sea-shipping-future . Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.
Resources, African Research. "Analysis Of Freight Transport Volumes Of ECOWAS Nations: Scenarios For A Short-Sea Shipping Future". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 07 Apr. 2021. Web. 17 Apr. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/analysis-of-freight-transport-volumes-of-ecowas-nations-scenarios-for-a-short-sea-shipping-future >.
Resources, African Research. "Analysis Of Freight Transport Volumes Of ECOWAS Nations: Scenarios For A Short-Sea Shipping Future" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed April 17, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/analysis-of-freight-transport-volumes-of-ecowas-nations-scenarios-for-a-short-sea-shipping-future