Brussels, 17 July 2017


For the EU co-funded action

The changing face of ports: the socio-economic impact of market-based and technological developments on EU ports” VS/2017/0016


1. Background

Over the last decades, significant changes have been made in maritime transport. Growing ship size carries consequences for cargo-handling operations, in terms of the need for technological innovation, investments and economic sustainability of terminal operations: in order to adapt to the growing size of ships, terminals need to invest to regularly renew their equipment. This may have a direct impact on working and operating models, jobs, training, and working conditions within the port sector. It is also generally acknowledged that handling bigger ships requires adapting work organisation so as to cope with more frequent picks and lows. Moreover, consolidation within the container shipping industry and the establishment of shipping alliances have greatly altered the environment for terminals and port workers. The formation of those alliances makes terminals much more vulnerable in case of carriers’ decisions to change ports of calls. For social partners in the port sector it will be important to explore these developments in further details and to establish whether this has implications for employment continuity, for investment decisions, for the socio-economic performance of the sector at large and for the contribution that the sector brings to the port areas in terms of employment creation, income tax, etc. It is key also to note that these developments have occurred the context of an economic crisis, which has been dramatically impacting EU trade and ports since 2008.

A rich literature is currently being produced on the above-mentioned developments in container shipping, and serves to document how these developments impact the entire logistics chain. On several occasions, EU-level social partners in ports have advocated for open and meaningful dialogue amongst all parties involved, in order to explore and tackle the consequences of the above changes on terminal operators and their employees.

After having reviewed and discussed the most recent and authoritative studies available on the subject, port social partners have concurred that additional research would be needed in order to assess more precisely how those changes affect terminal operations and working conditions in the medium and long term.


2. Purpose of the contract

The contract is aimed at providing social partners with the specific expertise required to perform the above-mentioned action.


3. Tasks to be performed by the contractor

3.1 Description of tasks

The contractor should perform the following tasks:

• Make a review of existing literature on the socio-economic impact of maritime transport developments in ports and terminals;

• Provide a general overview of the trends in maritime transport and cargo-handling sector in the 23 EU Member States with coastlines;

• Carry out an empirical research on a selection of EU terminals. The consultant will propose the terminals to be investigated, which will be subject to the endorsement of the project’s steering group, and which will have to be representative of the variety of EU ports. The terminals to be investigated will have to include terminals in “megaports” (i.e. those being able to accommodate the largest ships), trans-shipment ports (i.e. including terminals which accommodate feeder vessels), and terminal situated in regional ports. Also, the terminals to be investigates will have to be classified according to their annual throughput: less than 300.000 TEUs per year, between 300.000 and 1.000.000 TEUs per year, more than 1.000.000 per year.


The aspects to be investigated are the following:

a. Changes (technological or market-based) that have occurred over the last years, and their impact on socio-economic aspects (required investments and economic sustainability of the terminals, organisational model, number and quality of jobs ashore, etc.) and related challenges;

b. Strategies (organizational, operational, commercial, etc.) that have been put forward in order to cope with the above-mentioned changes (e.g. human resources, change management, intermodal solutions, developments, etc.)

c. Forecasts and future needs


The consultant will be asked to draft a final report to outline the findings of the study. The analysis of the impact that the current developments have on terminals will have to be depicted by a model, which will show the impact of the various changes occurring in maritime transport for each port analysed.

The consultant will be called to attend all steering group meetings and the final conference.


3.2 Guidance and indications on tasks execution and methodology

The contractor will work under the guidance of the project’s steering group and of the ETF, IDC and FEPORT Secretariats. The deadlines for deliverables will be set jointly by the contractor and the project partners according to the project’s timeline.


4. Expertise required

Candidates should meet the following criteria:

• Relevant knowledge in order to carry out the tasks described

• Sound expertise on maritime economics (experience in both shipping and ports is required) and especially in the subjects included in the scope of the action

• Knowledge of employment-related issues in the port sector is highly desirable

• Excellent command of written and spoken English

• Sound experience in drafting documents and reports

• Respect of budgetary constraints


5. Time schedule and reporting

The contractor will be required to work for a total of 125 days, including the participation to steering group meetings and to the final conference. The time schedule for deliverables and reports will be established jointly by the contractor and the project partners according to the project’s timeline and will be indicated in the contract signed by the two parties.


6. Payments and standard contract

The contractor will receive an advance and a final payment according to the time and modalities that will be indicated in the contract between the parties. The project promoter will draft a contract which will be submitted to the contractor.


7. Price

The maximum budget available is EUR 100000 VAT included (without travel, accommodation and subsistence expenses related to the attendance of meetings as well as to the field research, which will be reimbursed upon the presentation of receipts if previously authorized by the project promoters).


8. Selection criteria

Only applicants able to prove the required expertise indicated above may be awarded the contract.


9. Award criteria

The contract will be awarded to the tenderer whose offer represents the best value for money – taking into account the evidence provided to prove their expertise in the fields indicated under point 4. The respect of the principles of transparency and equal treatment with a view to avoid any conflict of interest will be undertaken. It should be noted that the contract will not be awarded to a tenderer that receives less than 70 % of the award criteria.


10. Content and presentation of the bids

10.1 Content of the bids

The bids must indicated how candidates meet the criteria listed above, present a draft working plan, a draft schedule for the tasks to be performed and indicate the total price of the consultancy. In case of bids submitted by individual candidates, a CV should be attached. This should include a list of publications and works done by the applicant in the fields relevant for the tasks to be performed.

References should also be provided. In case of bids submitted by organisations, a list of the organisation’s activities in fields relevant for the tasks to be performed should be attached as well as the CVs of the people who will be involved in the project. Organisations should also indicate a contact person who will be responsible for the supervision of the tasks and who will report to the project promoters.

Only bids in English will be considered.


10.1 Presentation of the bids

Bids must be submitted by email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by the 28th of August 2017.


Call for tender for external expertise - the changing face of ports - deadline August 28th, 2017