torsdag 7 februari 2019

Independent Scotland in the EU? #2

If it ever came to pass, you could expect lorry queues on the A1 all the way back to Newcastle and on the M6 to well south of Carlisle. But, as one bright spark asked, ‘are Rotterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp (Europe’s biggest ports) really far away? They’re just across the North Sea.’

Harwich to Hook of Holland is 8 hours sailing time. That is the longest practicable distance whilst avoiding having to spend a night on the ship, though ships on this route have sleeping accommodation. Harwich to Esbjerg is 18 hours which leaves 6 hours to service the ship for the return voyage ie a round trip can be made within 48 hours.

Now look at the sailing times from Leith
  • Rotterdam 28 hours 
  • Hamburg 37 hours 
  • Antwerp 32 hours 
  • Leith to Esbjerg (the shortest route) 30 hours, but Esbjerg is out on a limb. 

Whatever the route, then, it is more than ‘just across’. It makes the logistics very expensive and pretty much rules out RoRo. Scotland could barely generate the traffic for a container port the size of Felixtowe or Southampton, which means it would be a feeder. And once goods are in a container and loaded onto a 20,000 box carrier, the cost of distance is trivial.

From which it can be concluded that an independent Scotland in the EU would suffer from serious problems of logistics.

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