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The Caribbean: For better short-sea shipping

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Inter-American Development Bank enlists CPCS to improve the islands’ maritime trade networks and infrastructure.

The challenge

The Caribbean is a group of small islands that relies on trade and maritime transport networks to keep its economy strong. It goes without saying that the Caribbean would benefit from a more robust short-sea shipping system. 

“Integration is key for the region’s economic growth,” repeats Andrew Bouffard, senior consultant at CPCS.

Transport and trade integration policies can make the Caribbean more competitive.

What we did  

CPCS looked at improvements for the Caribbean’s short-sea shipping network: 

  • Assessed current maritime trade, the state of infrastructure and service quality of the shipping industry 
  • Developed case studies and analyzed business models, costs, fares and governance policies
  • Developed several potential short-sea shipping scenarios and related policy recommendations
  • Simulated the implementation of potential scenarios and policy improvements
  • Developed recommendations and action plans to implement preferred scenarios
Container traffic handled in Caribbean ports, measured in twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU)


The study was published by the Inter-American Development Bank. Krista Lucenti, their senior trade specialist, cited this study in her 2018 article on short-sea shipping in the Caribbean.  

Some of the recommendations put forward by the study are as follows:

  • Forceful policy to promote the Caribbean’s short-sea shipping network 
  • Emphasis on trade and transport facilitation