Competitiveness & Level playing field
Ports are glocal and important strategic assets
European ports are important platforms where strategic and key enabling technologies are deployed by public and private companies and where climate and energy targets are high on the agenda with significant impact on competitiveness, sustainability, value creation across the EU, there is therefore a need to consider more port related projects as “IPCEIs (Important Projects of Common European Interest).
Private port terminals offer global world class services to their customers while coping with local, geographical and legal constraints. EU ports’ attractiveness depends on the competitiveness of private port operators and other port services.
More and more players within the maritime logistics chain are proposing door to door services. Port companies and terminals therefore call EU regulators to regularly assess whether sectoral support measures to one sector of the maritime logistics chain are creating unbalanced commercial relationships, distorting competition or facilitating vertical integration
The current lack of clarity of some of the Consortia BER for liner shipping regarding the do’s and don'ts represents a threat and deserves attention from the Regulator.
Cargo handling companies are not ancillary services but economic undertakings which create value and jobs and offer competitive global services.
Joint purchasing of port services by liner shipping alliances benefiting from the Consortia BER2 should not be allowed as it creates an unbalanced situation between shipping lines and their port service providers.
The Consortia BER for liner shipping should not weaken the negotiating power of port service providers.
In general, measures of support to any sector of the maritime logistics chain should not result in facilitating vertical integration, consolidation or acquisition of EU seaport terminals by other actors of the logistics chain.
Benefits to customers and efficiency gains should remain the key drivers of consolidation or vertical integration.
EU growth and competition (antitrust, merger, state aid) policies should provide efficient instruments to support EU companies’ competitiveness and to help them overcome the lack of harmonization of competition rules at international level.
Many sectors are undergoing major transformations. New business models are emerging and competition with non-EU players is becoming fierce in a world where multilateralism is facing a important crisis.
The role of EU regulators will be crucial to support EU companies’ efforts to remain competitive and enter new markets outside the EU.
Given their important role of the maritime logistics chains for EU trade, we hope that the future EU growth and competition policies will aim at boosting the competitiveness of EU companies and guaranteeing a level playing field thanks to an enhanced convergence between competition rules at international level.