Fifth Annual Stakeholders Conference





On November 28th, 2019, FEPORT will organize its Fifth Annual Stakeholders’ Conference gathering more than 30 associations of the maritime logistics sector as well as institutional stakeholders.

We are pleased to announce the topic of FEPORT's Conference: “Do we need a “Big Bang” for the European maritime logistics strategy?”

Do we know what is a “Big Bang”?

Some may think about an explosion, a cosmic change, a violent event, a beginning? an end? …

To know more, we shall have the pleasure to listen to a well-known astrophysicist who will share with us his knowledge about the “Big Bang” theory and explain how it is relevant to the topic of the conference.

The conference will include three sessions:

  1. Competitiveness and level playing field: lessons learnt from the shipbuilding industry.

  2. Climate crisis: can “slowbalization” and the “Green Deal” be the solutions? 

  3. Jobs of the future: will robots really replace humans in maritime logistics chains?

All players within the maritime logistics chain are experiencing the effects of disruption but do we have the good framework to cope with the rapid pace of changes that are affecting us? Are our rules too self-centric and too defensive?

Do we need to expand and broaden our horizon and conceive rules that are granting EU industries a real competitive advantage?

Does the EU legislative framework provide a real level playing field to all parties of the logistics chain to remain competitive?

Do we need to reform EU competition rules to adapt to a multipolar world where fair competition does not always prevail?

How can industry contribute to the objectives of the Green Deal? How can we preserve competitiveness, promote sustainability and create new jobs?

Do we need to change paradigm? What is the future of multilateralism?

The maritime logistics sector like others believes that an important step for the EU will be to identify Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) and value chains of strategic importance to Europe.

Moving from an approach which tends to give priority to individual sectors to one which privileges industries which collaborate, create jobs and value beyond their own “segment”, will be essential. ​

The recent European Commission’s decision to prohibit Siemens’ proposed acquisition of Alstom has triggered a new phase in Europe’s ongoing debate on industrial policy.

There is also a rising worry that other third countries are not playing by the same rules and that Europe’s openness is being used against its own strategic interests.

​During the first session of the conference, we will listen to the views of the participants who will debate about competitiveness and the level playing field.

A senior Economist, Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation at OECD will provide a general presentation on the reality of the level playing field in the shipbuilding industry between different regions of the world.

Panelists from DG Grow, DG Comp, VSM Shipyards, the European Transport Federation, the European Policy Strategic Center, ITF OECD as well as from the sea port terminal industry will react to the key note speech and share their thoughts on current EU policies. Participants will also discuss whether sectoral support measures in the EU and outside the EU are a source of distortion of competition.

Session 1 will certainly offer an opportunity to hear about expectations from the industry towards EU institutions. 

These last years, there is also a pressing realisation within the EU that we may not have done enough to prepare for digitalisation and decarbonisation, and that the EU innovation policy framework has for too long lacked instruments to support disruptive or breakthrough innovation, aimed at creating new markets.

Thus, the importance of a more holistic cluster approach regarding R&D which acknowledges the interlinkages between the different stages from research to innovation, and from incubator to corporations.

Participants in the second session will share their thoughts on how decarbonization targets can be reached and what will be the role of innovation and R&D.

After a key note speech from a representative of the World Economic Forum, panellists from DG CLIMA, the European Parliament, Smart Freight Center, the Port of Venice, Hapag Lloyd, CMA CGM, Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center, Terminal Link and TIC 4.0 will debate about the climate crisis and how each party of the maritime logistics chain can contribute to the objectives of the Green Deal. Speakers will also discuss about slowbalization and the necessity for the EU to intensify its funding to innovation. 

Finally, some industries of the maritime logistics sector are facing a shortage of skills. They are not able to find the profiles they are looking for to remain efficient, sustainable and competitive. Artificial intelligence as well as the use of automation and digitalisation will obviously not be the only miraculous “solutions”.  

A significant effort in terms of upskilling and reskilling of the workforce is a priority in many industries. This will be the topic of the third and last session of the conference.

After a key note speech from a Professor of the World Maritime University, participants representing DG Employment, Amazon, IRU, Yardeye and the European Parliament and ETF will share their insights about the evolution of the job profiles in the maritime logistics sector and how governments and the EU Commission can support the emergence of new jobs. 

We look forward to having interesting discussions and to welcoming you.

Please do not hesitate to regularly visit this conference web page. The list of the speakers will be available soon.

Please note that as the number of seats is limited, we may not be able to confirm your attendance if we reach the maximum number of registrations. Anticipated apologies for that.  

Kind regards,