Terminal operators and stevedoring companies are the private entities that are responsible for cargo handling activities (loading, unloading and storage of goods) in seaports. In almost all European seaports, cargo handling activities are carried out by such companies. Competition is ruling the European cargo handling market.
Terminal operators and stevedoring companies are responsible not only for cargo handling duties, but also for the development and maintenance of port infrastructure (cranes, warehouses, etc.) and for the employment of port workers.
Privatization of cargo handling activities has primarily come about due to the amount of investments required in modern day ports. Operators invest billions of Euro’s in developing and maintaining port equipment that also for the seaports to handle ever increasing vessel sizes and volume numbers. This investment ensures that economies of scale can continue to translate into cheaper transportation costs imports and exports.
Operators also invest heavily in people, as can be seen through the employment of highly skilled port workers. Huge investments are put into training which ensures that port workers carry out their duties in as efficient and safe a manner as is possible.
The primary objective of terminal operators and stevedoring companies is to ensure that cargo moves as efficiently as possible through ports, thereby allowing the wider economy to perform at a global level. FEPORT Members are proud to contribute to those port activities thus to employment, inward investment and GDP growth.
EU Law (ex: Article 90 of the Treaty, Decisions of the Court of Justice and of the European Commission, Directives and Regulations in the fields of environment, safety, security, customs) is since many years applicable to the port sector.