The guidelines in the White Book regarding the development of transport confirmed the conclusions reached by the European Council in Gothenburg regarding, on the one hand, the necessity of optimization, and, on the other, compliance with principles of sustainable development. The second issue, in particular, lays out the conditions for the creation of a contemporary transportation system that will equalize economic results with social costs and the environmental pollution. The expectations are that cabotage transport will become an alternative to ground transport. Cabotage transport between the European ports has not developed to the extent anticipated. The White Book reveals that the development of short distance marine transport, which is currently a priority in EU maritime policy, will stimulate undertakings in the Baltic and North seas regions. The expansion of the European Union should lead to significant possibilities for the further development of cabotage transport. The European Commission anticipates that the Baltic region will be the fastest developing European region in 2002-2010. This provides opportunities but also sets out challenges for Polish vessel owners and seaports, which, as instruments of growing economic exchange, will contribute to the economic development of the country.