Port of Valencia and Hutchison Port Holdings Represent Port Sector
On 29 June, European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas met with top-level representatives of the European transport and logistics sector. The occasion was the kick-off meeting of the High Level Group on Logistics, set up to provide strategic advice on future EU transport policy measures with impact on logistics. Rafael Aznar Garrigues, Chairman of the Port Authority of Valencia (photo), and Clemence Cheng, Managing Director Central Europe of Hutchison Port Holdings, represent the port sector in this new advisory body.
Vice-President Kallas said: "Logistics is a crucial business for the EU, providing eleven million jobs in the EU and representing 4.9% of our economy in terms of added value. It is an inseparable part of the European transport policy and a major contributor to business success. It is therefore paramount that we discuss the challenges ahead together with the stakeholders in order to fully unlock the potential of the European logistics and freight transport sector".
The first meeting of the high-level group focused on the main bottlenecks that hinder freight logistics and transport. The members of the group also discussed possible solutions that are expected to bring the desired improvements. The Commission sees the High Level Group as a unique platform to consider actions targeted to enhance further the logistics sectors' competitiveness and performance, while at the same time contributing to the achievement of European transport policy objectives.
On 27 June, ESPO presented and discussed its vision on port environmental sustainability during a seminar on 'Green Ports and Green Shipping' that took place at the European Parliament. The seminar was organised by Greek member of the European Parliament Nikos Chrysogelos from the Green Party (photo).
ESPO Policy Advisor Antonis Michail introduced the philosophy of the new ESPO Green Guide to an audience of over 80 participants with an interest in the broader maritime sector, including MEPs and European Commission officials. "The new ESPO Guide is not merely a promotional tool of the sector's efforts and the evidence-based progress that has been achieved over time. The aim is to encourage ESPO members to further evaluate and improve their environmental performance while providing a common overarching framework for action.", said Antonis Michail.
The Green Guide will be introducing a common framework for focused action under 5 Es: Exemplify, Enable, Encourage, Engage and Enforce. This action framework is then applied to the top environmental priorities of the sector. At the seminar, Guy Janssens, Gun Rudeberg and Rafael Company, respectively representing the ports of Antwerp, Stockholm and Valencia, demonstrated their initiatives and actions in line with the 5 Es. The port examples provide substance to the framework and highlight the good work that is being done by European port authorities.
The ESPO Green Guide will be officially launched during the Greenport Congress in Marseilles, on 3-5 October (see also next article). As part of its broad dissemination campaign, ESPO also presented the overall approach of the Guide during the British Ports Association Environmental Contacts meeting which took place in Aberdeen on 14 June, and at the annual conference of the Interreg 'SuPorts' project, which was held in Corfu from 25 to 27 June.
Following a successful congress in the 2011 European Green Capital, Hamburg, the GreenPort Congress will this year be heading to the Mediterranean. Hosted by Marseilles Fos Port Authority, the Congress will provide environmental decision makers from ports and terminals with a meeting place to discuss the latest trends in sustainable environmental practice that will enable them to effectively implement the changes needed to 'go green' and to reduce their carbon footprint.
Governments and legislators around the world view ports and terminals as critical infrastructure assets. Their ability to reduce carbon footprint and being more sensitive to environmental considerations is vital to future success. The emphasis of the Congress will be on highlighting innovation in equipment and technology, whilst illustrating practical solutions through case studies.
Delegates will enjoy a number of networking opportunities as all participants will be invited to join the welcome reception on 2 October, the congress dinner on 3 October and a tour of Marseilles and Marseilles Fos ports on 5 October. ESPO has been supporting GreenPort ever since the first edition took place in Antwerp in 2006. All ESPO members can therefore benefit from a 10% reduction on the conference fee.
The updated programme and all practical information can be found on the GreenPort conference website.
On 3 July, ESPO joined a visit of officials of the European Commission and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to the waste reception facilities of the port of Rotterdam. The event was initiated by the Rotterdam Port Authority and aimed at providing first hand operational insight on how waste collection from ships is organised in major ports. Participants had the opportunity to visualise the waste collection operations by going on board a waste collecting vessel while it was servicing different ships.
The visit featured in the ongoing review of the European Directive on reception facilities for ship-generated waste. As part of the review process, the European Commission is currently undertaking an impact assessment. Based on the results, the Commission is expected to present concrete proposals regarding the revision of the Directive by the end of 2012 or beginning of 2013. The two main policy options that are being considered are either amended legislation or a better implementation of the current Directive through guidance in certain key areas. In parallel, EMSA is undertaking a study on the evolution of waste volumes that are delivered to the waste reception facilities of European ports.
Later on this year, ESPO and the European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA) will be supporting a dedicated international workshop on ship's waste. The workshop is organised by Euroshore International, the European association of port reception facilities, and it will be held in Antwerp on 25 October. It will deal with the newest developments in technology and types of waste, including waste from scrubber installations which are used to meet the new emission rules in the Baltic and North Sea. It will also discuss the use of monitoring systems for tracking and tracing vessels in European waters.
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) recently launched a new section on its website as part of its task to assist the European Commission with the sustainable waterborne transport toolbox to accompany the revised Sulphur Directive.
The EMSA tasks in this field include assessing the need for rules and guidelines for the bunkering and storage of LNG, acting as secretariat for LNG expert groups and assessing the prerequisite and impact of the large-scale use of scrubbers. So far, two expert group meetings took place, bringing together port authorities and shipowners. The last one was held at the EMSA premises in Lisbon on 5 June and focused on concrete technical and operational obstacles as well as the potential regulation gaps in LNG bunkering.
The reports from both expert group meetings can be accessed here. In addition, and in order to facilitate its work, EMSA published in May a tender for a study on standards and rules to cover the bunkering of gas-fuelled ships.
The European Shippers’ Council (ESC) has strongly reacted against the maritime industry’s call for stricter IMO regulation on the declaration of container weights, which would involve mandatory weighing. The initiative was taken to tackle the issue of undeclared overweight containers that are a recurring safety problem on shore, on ships and on roads.
“We admit that misdeclaration of weights needs our attention, but oppose the idea that it is the biggest threat to the safety of workers in the supply chain”, said ESC Secretary General Paola Lancellotti (photo), “If the sector is truly looking for a safer supply chain, all parties should take their responsibility”. According to the shippers’ organisation, extra regulation of container weights will not solve the safety issues in container transport, is superfluous and hardly feasible.
The ESC reaction comes after a number of international maritime associations submitted a proposal to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) aiming for a legal requirement to be introduced, forcing port terminal operators and ships to verify container weight in order to export a loaded container.
The proposal has been submitted by Denmark, the Netherlands, the United States, BIMCO, the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), and the World Shipping Council (WSC). It is also supported by the international federation of ship agents and brokers (FONASBA). The IMO’s Subcommittee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers will consider the proposal at its next meeting in September.
The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) currently requires shippers to provide an accurate container weight declaration, but this requirement is often not met, or not enforced by SOLAS parties. Moreover, there is no requirement to actually weigh a loaded container.
On 25 and 26 June, leaders of the European cruise industry gathered at the European Crouse Council (ECC) Ports Forum and Conference in Brussels to discuss with European Commission representatives about the many issues the industry has been facing due to economic, geopolitical and operational challenges.
As several industry executives pointed out, Europe remains a great potential growth area for cruises, but there are significant challenges to be overcome if the opportunity is to be seized. Despite the economic crisis and the Costa Concordia incident earlier this year, the European cruise industry's economic contribution has increased significantly and the outlook for the future remains positive.
Speaking at the conference, Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio, ECC chairman, stated: "Our challenges today include not just the economic crisis, but also issues such as political uncertainty and rising fuel costs. There must be a combined effort by industry and regulators to overcome these issues in order that the steady growth the sector has experienced over the last decade continues."
EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas told delegates that he welcomed efforts by the cruise industry to improve safety standards. He acknowledged that voluntary commitments already undertaken by the sector in the wake of last year's Costa Concordia disaster off the Tuscan coast represented concrete first results.
During the conference, ECC also announced to have adopted two new safety policies which address the recording of passenger nationality and emergency instructions. These policies result from the cruise industry operational safety review which was launched in January this year, and go beyond international regulatory requirements.
"These new safety policies are representative of the industry's commitment to raising standards across the global fleet and of our willingness to listen and act on good ideas brought forward by other interested stakeholders." concluded Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio.
On 1 July, Cyprus succeeded Denmark as President of the Council of the European Union for a six-month period. During the presentation of its work programme at the Transport Council meeting of 7 June, the Cyprus Presidency pledged to continue efforts to achieve sustainable growth and resource efficiency. Cyprus will also highlight the importance of a more competitive European Union, based on a low carbon and green economy and enhancing the ambitious efforts of the European institutions for more concrete results.
As 2012 has been declared the 'Year of Water', the Presidency will carry out work on the sustainable use of water resources, on the basis of a Commission blueprint on the issue. The re-launching of the Integrated Maritime Policy will be another priority of the Cyprus Presidency. Cyprus will also continue discussions on the revised guidelines on the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T), which will contribute both in meeting effectively the new challenges in the transport sector and in achieving the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Cyprus will furthermore focus on the negotiations for the Connecting Europe Facility, which outlines the financial framework for the TEN-T. Furthermore, the role of telecommunications and information society will be highlighted in the context of transport policy development, and, more specifically, in fostering innovation in transport and promoting co-modality with multimodal journey planners.
The Cyprus Presidency further intends to make progress with the legislative proposal on governance and financing of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS - the Galileo Project). Cyprus will also attach importance on the working and living conditions of seafarers and on a socially responsible shipping industry. In this respect, the Presidency will strive to transpose the relevant provisions of the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) in EU law. This particularly concerns Port State and Flag State obligations of EU Member States.
On 19 June, the outgoing Danish Presidency had an exchange of views with members of the Transport Committee of the European Parliament. Danish Transport Minister Dam Kristensen highlighted the successful agreements on the recast of the Single European Railway Area and on the working conditions of seafarers. He also underlined the progress made on the Trans-European Transport Networks and the Connecting Europe Facility. MEPs praised the Danish way of working, but mentioned their concern about the heavy budget cuts for the next Multiannual Financial Framework.
During the July TRAN Committee meeting, Jean-Eric Paquet, Director for Trans-European Transport Networks and Smart Transport at DG MOVE, presented the TEN-T project selection in the 2011 call. Mr Paquet introduced a brochure in which the results of the selection are detailed; not only for the projects retained for funding, but also for those which were not selected. The brochure was warmly welcomed by MEPs especially since it also focuses on intermodality.
The selection procedure for the projects took place in two steps. First of all, an evaluation phase took place where 84 projects were selected out of 148, followed by another phase where the Commission decided to retain 74 projects for funding.
Projects selected in the TEN-T 2011 call have been allocated a budget of €200 million and have to focus on these five priorities:
- Promoting the integration of transport systems (e.g.: multimodal projects);
- Take into account climate change;
- Facilitate the implementation of TEN-T projects;
- Support Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and innovative financing;
- Support the future TEN-T framework, especially the implementation of core network corridors.
Further to a question from Michael Cramer (Greens/EFA, DE), Mr Paquet admitted that maritime and inland waterways projects were scarce, but he underlined the fact that the few projects in this field which were submitted were selected thanks to their good quality.
Later on this year, the Commission will launch another TEN-T call which is foreseen for the end of 2012 and the last call will be held early 2013.
The European Parliament's Transport Committee (TRAN) is challenging the decision of European Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas to allow the cross-border use of gigaliners. MEPs objected to the procedural aspects of the Commission's decision, which they consider bypassing the European Parliament.
In a new interpretation of the EU legislation that rules the weight and dimension of vehicles which are authorised to circulate in the EU, Commissioner Kallas decided to allow gigaliners, trucks longer than 18.75m, to operate cross-border transport between two Member States that authorise them on their territory. MEPs rejected this unilateral interpretation of the law and consider that a legislative amendment would be necessary.
TRAN Chairman Brian Simpson (S&D/ UK) referred the matter to the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz who, on 12 July, sent a letter to the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, to ask the Commission to postpone the authorisation of the cross-border use of gigaliners. The Parliament believes that the discussion on gigaliners should take place at the end of 2012 when a Commission proposal on this Directive is expected.
On 18 and 19 June members of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) of the European Parliament met to discuss regulations on Structural Policy for the period 2014– 2020 and passenger rights.
During the meeting of 18 June, Michael Cramer (Greens/EFA, DE) (photo), Rapporteur on Structural Policy, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cohesion Fund, presented the opinions on these three topics. Within the opinions, the need for a better promotion of inter-modality, the development of sustainable eco-efficient transport and the need to focus more on rail and other eco-friendly transport modes was raised. During the vote, which took place the following day, the opinions on the three topics were largely adopted, with a few abstentions. Following the adoption within TRAN, it is up to the Regional Development Committee (REGI) of the European Parliament to decide on the integration of these changes into a general Parliament's position. The vote within REGI is foreseen for mid-July.
As regards passenger rights, Rapporteur, Georges Bach (EPP, LU), organised a mini-hearing where stakeholders from travel, railway, aviation and consumer organisations took the floor. All stakeholders agreed on the lack of information for passengers as well as on the lack of transparency in the purchase of tickets for travellers. Moreover, all associations pointed out the need for a balance in passenger rights across all types of transport. This mini-hearing follows the Rapporteur's survey, in which concerns were raised about unclear online pricing, shortage of information for passengers and about the issue of intermodality. The vote in TRAN Committee is foreseen for September.
During the June TRAN Committee meeting, Chairman Brian Simpson announced that Council and Parliament had reached an agreement on the recast of the Single European Railway Area. This agreement would lead the way to more market opening for rail-related services and to separated infrastructure management from transport operations. The purpose of the recast is to increase competition, strengthen market supervision and improve conditions for investments in the sector. The agreed compromise was approved by the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) on 19 June and the vote in plenary session of the European Parliament is foreseen later this month.
Last month the European Shippers' Council (ESC) signed, along with other stakeholders in the freight transport and shipping sector, a Shortsea Promotion Cooperation Agreement. Aim is to promote the virtues and best ways of utilising this valuable mode of transport with shippers.
The signatories believe that Europe is key to the promotion of shortsea shipping as the maritime leg of green multimodal corridors. They therefore decided to work more closely to promote shortsea shipping at European level through the European Shortsea Network (ESN).
Supporting the need to strengthen the existing ESN, ESC hopes to make more shippers aware of the opportunities, benefits and advantages of using short sea services within their logistics and supply chains. With greater demand from shippers will come greater supply of short sea services that can meet the requirements of shippers.
The European Commission published on 20 June the Marco Polo 2012 call for proposals. Around 36 new projects will be financed with a budget of 64.6 million Euro. The Marco Polo programme co-funds direct modal-shift, traffic avoidance projects, Motorways of the Sea and projects providing supporting services which enable freight to switch from road to other modes efficiently and profitably.
Commercial undertakings, whether privately or publicly owned, can apply for funding. In 2012, short-sea projects which implement innovative technical operational practices that significantly reduce polluting emissions of maritime transport will have priority, together with inland waterway and single wagon load projects. As in the 2011 call, a screening of maritime proposals has been put in place to avoid potential competition issues. Without a proper competition analysis, proposals will be excluded. The Marco Polo call will be open until 21 September 2012.
Background information and guidance on this call can be found in the presentations and the video recordings of the recent Marco Polo Info Day and on the Marco Polo webpage. A helpdesk is also available to provide support to potential applicants.
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on ocean energy, to gather opinions on how to help the ocean energy sector make its contribution to security of energy supply in Europe.
The aim of this consultation is to gain insights into the development of ocean energy and its impacts. The Commission will use this as a basis for assessing policy options in this field. At the same time, a specific work area on ocean energy is being launched under the Maritime Forum, which aims to improve communication amongst EU maritime policy stakeholders, in order to follow up views and ideas.
Ocean energy, which is mostly generated from tides and waves at the present time, is a potential source of jobs and growth in Europe. However, its development has faced challenges. The consultation aims at gathering opinions and ideas from individuals and stakeholders on whether and how to help the sector make its contribution to security of energy supply in Europe and meeting targets for a 'green' future.
The consultation on ocean energy does not concern off-shore wind energy which is considered to be at a different stage of development, with major installations planned, under construction or already producing electricity.
The deadline to contribute to the consultation is 14 September 2012.
The editorial team of ESPO News will break for summer. The next monthly edition of the newsletter will appear early September. We will of course keep you informed of any 'breaking news' that may emerge in the meantime. We wish all readers a relaxing summer.
- 25 September 2012, Brussels
- 12 December 2012, Brussels
- 7 November 2012, Brussels
- 29 May 2013, Varna
Economic Analysis and Statistics Committee
- Date tbc, Brussels
Intermodal and Logistics Committee
- 18 September 2012, Brussels
Marine Affairs and Security Committee
- 24 October 2012, Brussels
- 25 October 2012, "Euroshore/ESPO/ECSA workshop on port reception facilities", Antwerp
- Date tbc, Brussels
Port Governance Committee
- 24 September 2012, Brussels
Sustainable Development Committee
- 2 October 2012, Marseilles
- 29 October 2012
- 20-21 December 2012
- 25 October 2012
- 19 December 2012
- 10-13 September (Strasbourg)
- 22-26 October
- 19-22 November (Strasbourg)
- 10-13 December (Strasbourg)
- 6 September 2012
- 17-18 September 2012
- 8-9 October 2012
- 5-6 November 2012
- 26-28 November 2012
- 3 December 2012
- 17-18 December 2012
- 6 September 2012
- 19-20 September 2012
- 10-11 October 2012
- 5-6 November 2012
- 28-29 November 2012
- 17-18 December 2012
Conferences and events
Events organised and supported by ESPO
- GreenPort Congress, 3-5 October 2012, Marseille
- Euroshore Workshop Port Reception Facilities, 25 October 2012, Antwerp
- ESPO 2012 Award, 7 November 2012, Brussels
- ESPO 2013 Conference, 30-31 May 2013, Varna
Events where ESPO is represented
- BPO Annual Conference, 6-7 September 2012, Turku
- General Stevedoring Council 14th General Management Course - 19-20 September 2012, Malmo
- European Commission Ports Conference, 25-26 September 2012, Brussels
- FONASBA Annual Conference, 8-12 October 2012, Venice
- 5th Optimising Port Development Conference, 24-25 October 2012, London
- Satama 12 Port Conference, 25-26 October 2012, Tallinn
Events of interest