Cyprus, being an island in the Mediterranean, does not have direct connections to the European land corridors. However, due to its strategic location on the main routes of the Mediterranean Sea traffic, it has a pivotal role to play for sea-lane connections. Moreover, the social and economic development of the island depends upon timely and regular maritime connections with a number of European ports for the transport of vital goods. It is also an important transhipment centre connecting the European market with the Middle East and the Far East markets. It is therefore very important to develop port activity with the most efficient systems for maritime traffic management and transport safety.
It is necessary that Shortsea Shipping be integrated in intermodal transport chains in order to provide efficient and dependable door-to-door services. On a regional level, Cyprus has become an important nodal point for the connection of intercontinental maritime transport to Shortsea Shipping. The transhipment facilities in Cyprus could be further developed to efficiently organise the maritime chains in the Mediterranean and provide more interconnectivity with Shortsea Shipping links to European ports, which are closer to the final destination of goods thus reducing the need for long road haulage. The provision of frequent, reliable, safe and cost effective sea transport is a primary concern especially in such peripheral areas of the EU where no alternatives exist to cargo transport by sea.