FEPORT welcomes SEINEPORT Union as a new member and calls on EU institutions and Member States for more support to solve the bottlenecks in the maritime logistics chain
Hamburg, June 10th, 2022
After two years of COVID-19 pandemic which did not allow physical meetings, FEPORT members had the opportunity to gather in Hamburg in the framework of the General Assembly meeting of the organization. The meeting was partially also attended by the German Minister of Port Affairs and representatives from the European Tugowners Association (ETA), the European Freight Forwarders’ Association (CLECAT), and the European association of professional portside storekeepers of agribulk commodities (UNISTOCK).
Many topics concerning the maritime industry were discussed in a context where port stakeholders are facing many challenges resulting from the pandemic and other disruptive events that occurred since 2020. The consequences of the war in Ukraine as well as the expected impact of the situation prevailing in Shanghai have also been extensively commented.
The general feeling is that expectations from port stakeholders to sort out all situations, for instance to compensate the lack of schedule reliability of other actors in the maritime logistics chain and to absorb the cascading effects of hectic administrative checks at Member States’ borders and/or the negative consequences of the implementation of some provisions of the EU mobility package on road haulage, are neither fair nor acceptable.
Member States must strive to solve bottlenecks on their territories and EU policy makers should pay more attention to the functioning of supply and logistics chains as some other countries like the USA do. Lessons from COVID-19 seem to be already forgotten while the security of supplies to the EU is once again at stake.
FEPORT members fully support the EU Commission’s EU-Ukraine solidarity lanes’ initiative but underline the necessity to also use this initiative as an opportunity to solve bottlenecks in the transport and logistics chain and to scale up investments in rail freight capacities and in the multimodal connectivity of ports. The EU transport network has been thought and conceived for peaceful times. It has real strengths but also requires further completion to enable more agility and resilience from the different modes of transport.
The “Fit for 55” proposals and more particularly the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) and the Emission Trading System (ETS) for maritime were among the other topics that were debated by FEPORT members. FEPORT underlines the need for legislators to safeguard consistency between EU texts. In this regard, and in line with Regulation 2017/352 establishing a framework for the provision of port services and the 2017 amendment to the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER), of which both specify that the management and maintenance of infrastructure is the responsibility of the port authorities, FEPORT considers that AFIR should also explicitly mention that the managing body of the port is the party responsible for the provision of the refueling and recharging infrastructure.
With respect to ETS, FEPORT members reiterated their call for an additional ex-ante impact study that would provide a more precise evaluation of the risk of cargo diversion from EU ports to the advantage of non-EU ones once ETS enters into force.
All topics discussed during the General Assembly were also relevant for SEINEPORT Union which has decided to join FEPORT.
“The last two years have revealed the resilience of private port companies and seaport terminals. However, we need more recognition from policy makers regarding the role played by the private sector in ports. FEPORT members are ready to give and mobilize but we also need to get attention and support.” stated Mr Gunther Bonz, President of FEPORT.
“Today, we are particularly glad to welcome an association like SEINEPORT Union which gathers the professional organizations of the port communities of the Seine axis. FEPORT’s voice will be louder thanks to the support of all private companies evolving around this important axis. Our ambition for the coming years is to federate even more companies and organizations representing the private sector in European ports.” added Mr Gunther Bonz, President of FEPORT.
“Our members are willing to play a role in all the topics wherein their daily and future investments need to be at least safeguarded, at best supported. Today we are glad to join FEPORT because we are convinced that the sharing of individual experiences in our territories contributes to the success of the group of private companies that we represent in all European ports.
Through this membership, SEINEPORT Union intends to participate in the construction of a Europe where the quality of listening to private investors will condition the effectiveness of our collective response to the major challenges of our time.“ mentioned Mr Christian Boulocher, President of SEINEPORT Union
 Truck drivers are compelled to return to their country of origin every 8th week. This obligation deprives European freight forwarders and road hauliers from a substantial part of their capacity.
For more information contact:
Mrs. Lamia Kerdjoudj
FEPORT Secretary General