Can we afford to "look away and dodge responsibility"?
Heat wave after heat wave, fire after fire, ice melting after ice melting and now with sea heat intensifying, there is no doubt that we are entering an era of perma-crises that follow each other…COVID 19 has shown how vulnerable we are and how dependent EU countries are when it comes to some strategic supplies. But not only...
We are also heading for a disaster and the scenario already makes the headlines these last months: climate urgency has started and if all countries do not take radical measures, images of fires, floods and drought that we see spreading in Portugal, France, Mexico, Pakistan, the US, and Africa will become a recurrent and appalling routine…
People are anxious and their anxiety also concerns the impact of the economic crisis, inflation, recession, unemployment, competition with non-EU countries and last but not least war in Europe…
European industries and citizens are by majority convinced that the leadership role the EU is playing for climate is meaningful and the right thing to do but they are also worried by the fact that the EU cannot solve the problems alone.
Will the measures in the EU be sufficient to stop the frightening spiral regarding climate crisis? Should the EU intensify its diplomatic efforts to call for more efforts from all countries? Have Member States taken concrete measures to cut gas use voluntarily by 15% amid uncertain supplies from Russia due to the war in Ukraine? Should European households and businesses learn lessons from Japan on how to cope with energy shortages? How can the EU prepare and be equipped to tackle crises more effectively? How can the EU preserve the competitiveness of businesses while taking strong measures to reduce the impact of human and industrial activities on the climate? Many uncertainties are weighing…
Port actors are all “hands on deck” and aware of the necessity to save energy while ensuring that supply chains continue to function and deliver. However, more leadership and commitments from governments are needed to avoid that the temptation of the “race to the bottom” in terms of EU environmental ambition prevails… We need to lower transport greenhouse gas emissions significantly as soon as possible. There is no time to waste…
Seventh Annual Stakeholders’ Conference
FEPORT is pleased to announce the topic of FEPORT's Seventh Annual Stakeholders’ Conference: “How to preserve the EU transport sector’s competitiveness in a world of “perma-crises?”
The Conference will take place on December 1st, 2022, and will gather institutional and non-institutional stakeholders as well as representatives from organizations of the transport sectors who will discuss and reflect upon all challenges the EU transport sector is facing.
We will listen to experts, colleagues from different organizations and institutional stakeholders, not with the sole objective of getting clear and certain answers, but also to raise awareness on the difficult balance that companies are trying to find between safeguarding jobs, remaining competitive after COVID 19 and supporting the crucial geopolitical leadership of the EU as well as its agenda on energy transition and the Fit for 55 proposals.
Is the R&D agenda for decarbonization at the level to face the energy crisis we are facing?
Is the EU's transport sector's competitiveness at risk? and if yes, why?
What are the bottlenecks that harm the competitiveness and performance of transport companies in the rail, road and waterborne transport sectors?
What will be the impact of the Fit for 55 proposals on the competitiveness of EU ports (ETS and FuelEU)?
Is the situation in Ukraine and its impacts on the exports of agricultural products revealing weaknesses in the EU transport network? Is there a need for additional capacities (storage, transport, etc.)?
Does the EU transport network offer the potential for more capacities of different modes of transport to allow hinterlands to relieve the pressure on ports?
Is there room for improvement in terms of harmonization of administrative checks at borders and what is the impact of bottlenecks on the fluidity of the transport chain?
Can we consider that the current disturbances in the maritime logistics chain are mainly due to COVID 19 lockdowns or triggered by other factors?
What is the impact of the lack of performance of some modes of transport on the overall transport and logistics chain in terms of competitiveness and sustainability? What should be the corrective measures?
Are the recently adopted instruments with respect to investments or acquisitions by foreign subsidized companies efficient?
Is there a regulatory level playing field between the different modes of transport?
What will be the impact of CBAM on the cost of steel and EU exports?
What are the associated costs and impacts of non-uniform administrative checks at the borders on the smooth functioning of transport and logistics chains?
Maritime is on the "Fit for 55 agenda" but is it formally part of the discussions about growth and competitiveness, i.e., part of the priorities of the Automotive and Transport ecosystem?
More questions will follow.
The registration link will be available early October 2022.
30.06.2022 – Council and Parliament reach political agreement on Foreign Subsidies Regulation
On the 30th of June, the European Parliament and EU Member States reached a political agreement on the Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR). The FSR forms part of the toolbox to address distortions of foreign subsidies benefiting companies that operate in the EU single market.
With the FSR, the Commission will be able to investigate financial contributions of public authorities from a non-EU country to the benefit of foreign companies that engage in economic activities in the EU.
The Regulation for example contains obligations for companies to notify:
- Concentrations where the acquired company, one of the merging parties or the joint venture generates an EU turnover of at least €500 million and the transaction involves a foreign financial contribution of at least €50 million;
- Tenders in public procurementsprocedures, where the estimated contract value is at least €250 million and the bid involves a foreign financial contribution of at least €4 million per third country.
These types of concentration cannot be completed and an investigated bidder cannot be awarded the contract until cleared by the Commission. If companies act in breach of the above notification requirements, they can be fined for up to 10% of their aggregated turnover.
The FSR also allows the EU Commission to investigate all other market situations on its own initiative and to request an ad-hoc notification of smaller concentrations and public procurement procedures, if it suspects that a distortive foreign subsidy may be involved.
The Commission’s investigatory powers under the FSR include the following: sending information requests to companies, conducting fact-finding missions and inspections, and launching market investigations into specific sectors or types of subsidies.
When a distortive foreign subsidy is discovered, the Commission may, where needed, conduct a balancing test. If after this balancing test it is found that the negative effects deriving from the distortion in the Single Market outweigh the positive ones, the Commission may impose redressive measures on companies to remedy the distortion.
As of next steps, the Regulation will enter into force after it is formally adopted by the Council and Parliament and published in the Official Journal of the EU. The Regulation will apply 6 months after its entry into force and the notification obligations after 9 months.
Source: European Commission
04.07.2022 – ESPO and FEPORT call for OPS where it makes sense in AFIR and FuelEU Maritime
The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) and the Federation of European Private Port Companies and Terminals (FEPORT) have jointly agreed that the proposals for an Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) and the FuelEU Maritime Regulation should enable the deployment of OPS where it makes the most sense.
The greening of shipping is a priority for European port stakeholders. This entails addressing emissions from shipping both during navigation and at berth. Onshore power supply (OPS), also known as shore-side electricity, is one of the technologies available to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions at berth.
Both organizations underline the need for an ambitious deployment of OPS as a means to reduce the harmful emissions of ships of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides and particulate matter. In this way, port stakeholders can contribute to the much-needed greening of shipping.
Article 9 of the Commission AFIR proposal could result in the entire port needing to have OPS if it receives more than a certain number of port calls by a container or passenger vessel. This would entail significant additional public investment for deploying OPS compared to a more focused approach. These investments are unlikely to be cost-efficient in relation to the emission reductions that they can deliver.
ESPO and FEPORT would instead propose an approach which focuses on OPS deployment per location (such as berths or terminals) in the port, rather than per port. This would ensure that OPS, also known as shore-side electricity, is deployed where it makes the most environmental and economic sense, whilst maintaining the established roles and responsibilities of the various port stakeholders.
To avoid a waste of limited time and public resources, the legal framework on the European level should ensure that OPS is deployed at locations in the port where each installation will deliver maximal emission reductions per Euro invested.
To optimise the use of OPS as a solution to emissions at berth, ESPO and FEPORT therefore call for the following:
- A requirement for ships to use OPS when it is available in ports in FuelEU Maritime
- Prioritising OPS deployment in port locations where it reduces emissions the most in AFIR
This approach does not assign new responsibilities to stakeholders in the port, and would respect the diverse governance models of European ports.
By calculating the number of port calls based on the relevant locations in the port, it becomes possible for Member States and ports to prioritise investments in OPS where it makes the most sense in terms of environmental benefit (GHG reductions). Accordingly, locations in the port that are normally not called at, or that are not intended to be called at by the ship segments required to use OPS at berth, such as underused terminals, can be excluded from the requirement.
ESPO and FEPORT welcome that such an approach has been submitted by different members from different political groups and hopes that this approach will be well reflected in the compromise position that is being established by the rapporteur and shadow rapporteurs in the Transport Committee.
ESPO and FEPORT look forward to supporting policymakers in introducing a common-sense approach to OPS.
 As defined in Regulation (EU) 2017/352.
Source: ESPO and FEPORT
05.07.2022 – EU ETS: FEPORT supports EU co-legislators' efforts to address evasive port calls, but underlines the need for additional action to safeguard the competitive position of European seaport terminals
On June 22nd and June 30th, 2022, the European Parliament (EP) and the European Council have respectively voted and agreed on their position regarding the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). Both institutions support the inclusion of shipping in the Emissions Trading System, i.e., to apply emissions trading to all emissions on voyages between EU ports and to half of emissions on extra-EU voyages, which are voyages between an EU port and a non-EU one. The EP proposes that as of 2027, EU ETS should cover all emissions on extra-EU voyages.
FEPORT supports the inclusion of shipping into EU ETS but is concerned on how the extra-EU application of the Directive could impact the competitive position of EU ports. Liner services which are engaged in long haul voyages originating from, for example, China or the U.S., could be tempted to change their routes at the expense of EU ports. This risk has also been explicitly recognized in various impact studies such as the one carried out by the Port of Algeciras and a study which was commissioned by the Port of Rotterdam.
The above-mentioned studies as well as the Commission impact assessment, have listed possible harmful effects based on the presumption that the EU ETS, as proposed by the Commission in July 2021, would apply to half of the emissions on extra-EU voyages. Private port companies and terminals therefore alert on the significant increases of evasion as of 2027 when, as proposed by the EP, the EU ETS costs could double.
Evasive calls to non-EU ports can have harmful consequences for business activity and employment in EU ports, but also to the environment. That is, by changing routes ships will lengthen their voyages and avoid being financially accountable for their emissions under the Emission Trading System of the EU.
FEPORT therefore welcomes that the EP and the European Council recognize that the application of EU ETS to shipping can have unintended consequences regarding carbon and business leakage and propose some solutions.
For instance, the positions of the EP and the European Council include a definition of “port of call” which excludes stops in a non-EU transhipment port, implying that such port calls cannot be used to trick the system. Moreover, Parliament proposes to subject vessels originating from non-EU transhipment ports to double costs until 2027. Finally, both institutions call on the Commission to monitor effects regarding evasive port calls and propose measures to address this if any negative impact is found.
FEPORT supports these efforts and thinks they can mitigate negative impacts on the environment as well as employment and business activity in EU ports, but doubts whether the measures proposed will suffice.
The main risk of the extra-EU application of the ETS system is the shifting of traffic from EU to non-EU transhipment hubs. Shipping lines will be tempted to make significant cost savings by dropping of cargo in neighbouring non-EU transhipment ports. The risk of changes in transhipment traffic at the expense of EU ports is, unfortunately, insufficiently addressed in the texts adopted by Parliament and the Council.
Co-legislators should keep in mind that once cargo has been lost to non-EU competitors, it is very difficult to regain it. In other words, monitoring adverse impacts on a biennial basis will definitely not suffice.
FEPORT therefore calls on the EU Commission to conduct an additional ex ante impact assessment before the application of EU ETS to maritime enters into force, so that measures to prevent carbon and business leakage that safeguard the competitive position of EU ports can be proposed in a timely manner. Such an assessment should also consider other files of the “Fit for 55 package” impacting the competitive position of EU ports such as FuelEU Maritime and the Energy Taxation Directive.
Finally, EU policy makers should work on other proposals aimed at improving the competitive position of EU port companies by facilitating the public financing of green refuelling and recharging infrastructure and by opening funding opportunities for terminal operators to green and improve the performance of their equipment.
 A non-EU transhipment port is defined in amendment 492 as “a transhipment port in a non-EU neighbouring country at a distance of less than 300 nautical miles from a port under the jurisdiction of a Member State, where the movement of one type of cargo by way of transhipment operations exceeds 60 % of the total traffic of that port;” In the Council’s General Approach, a 65% limit of transhipment traffic is followed.
06.07.2022 – MEPs vote against resolution to exclude nuclear and gas from the Taxonomy
On the 6th of July, the EU Parliament voted and did not object to the EU Commission’s proposal for a Taxonomy Delegated Act which under some circumstances allows to include nuclear and gas related energy activities in the list of environmentally sustainable economic activities covered by the EU Taxonomy.
In fact, the EU Commission proposes to classify certain fossil gas and nuclear energy activities as transitional activities that contribute to climate change mitigation.
A number of MEPs had tabled a resolution objecting to the Commission’s proposal to include nuclear and gas in the scope of the taxonomy. 278 MEPs favoured the resolution, 328 voted against and 33 abstained. Therefore, the resolution did not pass.
Source: European Parliament
06.07.2022 – EU Commission proposes Council Regulation to simplify State aid supporting the greening of transport
On the 6th of July, the EU Commission proposed a Council Regulation which should enable the Commission to exempt certain types of aid for rail, inland waterway and multimodal transport from prior notification under EU State Aid Rules. The objective of the Council Regulation is to support Green Transport.
“The Commission's proposal adopted today will enable us to simplify procedures for State aid supporting green transport modes, such as rail, inland waterway and multimodal transport, which are less polluting and more sustainable than road-only transport. The proposal not only streamlines the rules applicable to State aid, but is also in line with the objectives of the EU Green Deal and the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy.” stated Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager.
Following the adoption of the proposed Regulation by the Council, the Commission intends to adopt a Block Exemption Regulation relieving Member States from the obligation of prior notification to the Commission of aid measures falling within these categories. This should allow the transport sector to support the green and digital transition and work towards the realization of EU strategic objectives, in particular those laid down in the EU Green Deal and the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy.
Source: European Commission
12.07.2022 – 60th meeting of the Trade Contact Group
On the 12th of July, FEPORT Secretariat participated in the 60th meeting of the DG TAXUD Trade Contact Group. Notable items on the agenda included the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement and issues pertaining to the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Customs facilitation measures aiming at enabling imports from and exports to Ukraine were extensively discussed. Finally, DG TAXUD provided an update regarding the Union Customs Code revision process, informing members of the TCG about the Wise Persons Group Report and the upcoming public consultation. A proposal for a revised Union Customs Code is expected by the 4th quarter of this year.
13.07.2022 – ITRE Committee adopts reports on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Directives
On the 13th of July, the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee of the European Parliament adopted its reports regarding the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED III) and the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED).
As regards to RED III, the ITRE Committee voted to increase the share of renewables in the EU’s final energy consumption to 45% by 2030.
In the transport sector, ITRE MEPs require that the deployment of renewables should lead to a 16% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Via the EED, MEPs also propose to raise the target for the reduction of final and primary energy consumption. Collectively, Member States should ensure that final energy consumption is reduced by 40% by 2030 and primary energy consumption by 42.5%. Both targets take the 2007 energy consumption levels as a starting point.
Source: European Parliament
13.07.2022 - ITF publishes report on "Performance of Maritime Logistics"
On the 13th of July, International Transport Forum (ITF) published its report entitled “Performance of Maritime Logistics” which is part of ITF’s Case-Specific Policy Analysis series.
The report assesses disruptions in containerised maritime transport, such as price hikes and shipment delays, and assesses their causes.
According to the report, the price of container shipping has increased substantially since the beginning of 2020. Spot rates were around six times higher on average by the end of 2021 and contract rates 2.9 times higher. However, these numbers underestimate the cost increase of container transport. Shippers confront a range of additional surcharges and increased fees for demurrage and detention. During the same period, ship schedule reliability decreased from 65% to 34%, meaning that two out of three ships arrive in port at least one day behind schedule. Moreover, unscheduled port cancellations have also increased.
The ship turnaround time in ports in the People’s Republic of China and the United States has doubled since the beginning of 2020, while in Europe it rose by less than 15%. Many countries in Europe, Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa saw fewer direct liner connections following reconfigurations of liner shipping networks. These challenges, plus the strain on port and inland logistics capacity as well as Covid19-related labour shortages, have undermined just-in-time business and logistics models.
The globalised nature of container shipping has resulted in local supply chain problems spilling over to other regions and creating worldwide difficulties. Shippers and freight forwarders in Europe face exponential increases in ocean freight rates to and from Europe as well as increasing difficulties when it comes to booking cargo space - even though in Europe demand for container shipping is essentially flat and port congestion is negligible.
Global container shipping companies have used capacity-management strategies to shift ship capacity to trans-Pacific trade routes in order to accommodate increased demand for consumer goods in the United States. Public policies have facilitated this situation. Regulators have allowed carriers to use cooperation arrangements to jointly manage fleet capacity. This option has become the main element of coordination between shipping lines following regulatory initiatives in the European Union and the United States in the early 2000s to prohibit joint price-fixing in shipping conferences. Expectations that this intervention would stimulate price competition and lower shipping prices were confounded, however, by the record-high freight rates since 2020. Thanks to these freight rates, the operational profit margin of the ten largest container shipping companies reached an estimated USD 160 billion in 2021, a substantial part of which has been used to fund acquisitions in the freight forwarding and logistics business to achieve vertical integration.
ITF therefore among others recommends that governments should build up their capacity to monitor competition in maritime transport. The role of specialised agencies should be strengthened. Competition authorities should enhance cross-border cooperation, as their actions are interdependent.
Moreover, competition arrangements for liner shipping should be reconsidered. The current institutional arrangements for competition in liner shipping have not resulted in price stability, lower prices or more competition. A reconsideration would ensure a sufficiently wide choice of operators and reliable services. A limitation of joint capacity management by carriers would foster more competition between them.
ITF also argues that regulatory attention should be focussed on fair competition in door-to-door transport. The ongoing vertical integration of the container shipping industry poses new challenges for competition regulation. Shipping companies can use their exemptions from competition law in many jurisdictions and their leverage as carriers to acquire competitive advantages in markets where they now directly compete with freight forwarders, port service providers or logistics operators that do not have such competition law exemptions. Regulators should ensure sufficient competition in the land-side port and logistics markets that the maritime container carriers have entered.
15.07.2022 – EMSA publishes report regarding COVID-19 impact on shipping
On the 15th of July, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) published its report regarding the COVID-19 impact on shipping. Since January 2022, this report is updated on a quarterly basis.
The report looked at trends regarding the amount of traffic to EU ports, ships flying the flags of EU Member States, EU-China and EU-US traffic, and impacts on the cruise sector.
Regarding ship calls at EU ports, it was found that the number of ship calls declined 10% in 2020 as compared to 2019 levels. However, when comparing 2021 to 2019, a 3% increase was measured. Looking at the numbers of June 2022, a 13% increase was found in comparison to the same month in 2021.
The level of port call activity of EU-MS flagged ships has increased by 4.2% as compared to the pre-pandemic levels of 2019.
Looking at trends of intercontinental traffic, it was found that the levels of EU-China trade in 2022 are still below the 2019 ones, although, according to the report, it might be possible to explain this by the used methodology. For the EU-US trade, however, it was witnessed that the export levels to the US have fully recovered from the 2019 levels and even increased.
The EMSA report points to the cruise sector as one of the sectors affected the most by the pandemic. Yet, the figures of the first half of 2022 show that the number of cruise calls calling in EU ports is close to 2019 levels. Worldwide, the number of cruise port calls in the first half of 2022 is still 18.2% lower than in 2019. Yet, the most significant recovery is seen on the European continent.
Source: European Maritime Safety Agency
18-19.07.2022 – FEPORT, UNIM and GEMFOS SGs visit the pilotage station of Port de Bouc - Marseille
During 24 hours, Ms Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid, FEPORT Secretary General, Ms Magali Bonnecarrere, Deputy Secretary General of UNIM and Ms Anne Malivoir, Secretary General of GEMFOS have been kindly invited by the pilots of the pilotage station of Port de Bouc to live the life of pilots “on duty”.
The experience offered a chance to the “cargo handling ladies” to climb the ladder as pilots do, to get on board and see how pilots guide captains in the manoeuvres to enter or exit a port.
The specificities of the pilots in Marseille are quite unique: they have their own shipyard to build their pilot boats and maintain them. They have built their station at Port de Bouc, and live there when they are on duty to be able to intervene as soon as ships are entering or exiting ports and also to be able to debrief about the manoeuvres that took place.
Pilots in Marseille are not only Captains but also holding a degree of chief engineers. Besides, they have a perfect knowledge of the geography of the port where they operate.
The port services in general keep a rather low profile while they really deserve recognition and respect for the services they provide. Pilotage is a good example as it ensures a service of general interest and the safe navigation in ports. Pilots also coordinate with the harbour master as well as with the other port services such as mooring, towage and the terminals.
Thank you, Pierre Le Rhun, Éric Baron, Jean-François Suhas, Tangi Capitaine, Guillaume Bruneau, Éric Mauduit, Julien Francès, David Voisin and Olivier Pasteur for your warm welcome at the station and to some of you for representing so well Brittany in Marseille.
Warm thanks to Nicolas Bavle who accepted that we accompany him on the ship and climb the ladder and listen to his explanations.
Finally, our gratitude, friendly and most sincere thanks to the Secretary General of the French Federation of Maritime Pilots, Andre Gaillard for organizing this wonderful journey.
18.07.2022 – EESC adopts own-initiative opinion on social challenges regarding greening of maritime and inland waterway transport
On the 18th of July, the European Economic and Social Committee own-initiative opinion regarding “The social challenges of greening maritime and inland waterway transport” was published in the official journal of the EU.
In its opinion, the ESSC endorsed Commission initiatives such as NAIADES III and FuelEU Maritime, while also addressing some of the societal challenges posed by the greening of maritime and inland waterway transport.
The EESC particularly underlined that the greening of maritime and IWT transport should take into account the health and quality of life of people living close to navigation channels and ports. Therefore, port authorities, local and regional authorities and transport stakeholders should work together to rethink the links between cities, ports and transport stakeholders. Moreover, it is essential that the Commission makes use of sound studies regarding the health repercussions of river and seaport activities. These studies should, for example, focus on analysing environmental management systems.
The ESSC also underlined that the green transition can only happen when the right training for employees is provided for, adding that the greening of the sector cannot be achieved without addressing concerns regarding employment prospects and the unequal treatment between men and women.
Source: European Economic and Social Committee
20.07.2022 – EU Commission opens public consultation regarding the revision of the Union Customs Code
On the 20th of July, the EU Commission opened a public consultation regarding the revision of the Union Customs Code which remains open until the 14th of September, 2022. The outcome of this consultation will support the EU Commission’s UCC revision proposal, which is planned for Q4 2022.
The Commission seeks to revise the UCC in order to strengthen the legal framework for customs and make it suitable to address the challenges that have emerged in the recent years. New business models and technological developments require revised provisions, in particular on e-commerce operations, risk management, data analytics capabilities and protection of the internal market from goods imported from third countries that are not compliant with the EU legislation.
Source: EU Commission
20.07.2022 – EU Commission proposes gas demand reduction plan, anticipating supply cuts
In the face of the risk of further Russian gas supply cuts, the Commission has proposed on the 20th of July a new legislative tool and a European Gas Demand Reduction Plan, to reduce gas use in Europe by 15% until next spring.
The Commission will also accelerate work on supply diversification, including joint purchasing of gas to strengthen the EU's ability of sourcing alternative gas deliveries.
The Commission proposes a Council Regulation on “Coordinated Demand Reduction Measures for Gas”, which sets a target for all Member States to reduce gas demand by 15% between 1 August 2022 and 31 March 2023. The proposed Regulation would also give the Commission the possibility to declare, after consulting Member States, a ‘Union Alert' on security of supply, imposing a mandatory gas demand reduction target on all Member States.
Source: European Commission
22.07.2022 – Ten trade associations call for an immediate review of competition rules
European and international business organisations are urging the European Commission to start an immediate review of its competition regulations for container shipping.
Brussels, 22 July 2022 - Ten trade organisations, representing the owners and forwarders of cargo, port terminal operators and other parts of the supply chain dependent on container shipping, are demanding an immediate start to the review of European Union’s Consortia Block Exemption Regulation for the container shipping industry.
The Regulation exempts container shipping lines from many of the checks and balances of EU competition law and permits them to exchange commercially sensitive information to manage the number and size of ships deployed and the frequency and timing of sailings on trade routes around the world.
European businesses and other parties in the supply chain have suffered huge disruption to the movement of goods by container shipping since the Regulation was last renewed in April 2020, with many sailings being cancelled or diverted to other ports, and ports being bypassed (‘skipped’) at short notice. At the same time shipping rates have more than quadrupled on many routes and continue to remain 3 to 4 times higher than in 2019 before the pandemic.
The effects of lockdowns on the production of goods and the shifts in demand due to the effects of the Covid pandemic were certainly significant. But the ability of the shipping industry to collectively manage these impacts, and at the same time generate profits totalling over $186 billion in 2021, at the expense of the rest of the supply chain, and ultimately Europe’s consumers, demonstrate that something is wrong. The benefits of the exemptions from general competition law enjoyed by the shipping lines are not being shared fairly between the lines and the rest of the economy, and this in itself constitutes a compelling reason why the Block Exemption should be reviewed urgently.
In their letter to the Commission the signatories point to the revelations and recommendations of investigations conducted in the United States by the Federal Maritime Commission, resulting in May in the passing of a new Ocean Shipping Reform Act, addressing many of the grievances of users and services suppliers to the container shipping lines.
The Regulation’s review will allow all interested parties to submit evidence and arguments as to how the Commission should act to ensure the deep-sea container shipping market operates in a way that is fair and transparent to all parties in the maritime supply chain. This should include consideration of new measures and mechanisms and should allow sufficient time for these to be considered and implemented before the expiry of the current regulation in April 2024.
25.07.2022 – Commission opens CountEmissions EU consultation
On the 25th of July, the EU Commission has launched a public consultation regarding the “CountEmissions EU” initiative. The consultation will remain open until the 17th of October.
CountEmissions EU aims at creating a common framework to calculate transport-related greenhouse gas emissions, which can be applied by both the passenger and freight sector. This should help service providers to monitor and reduce their emissions, whilst allowing users to choose the most sustainable option.
Source: European Commission
27.07.2022 – Commission opens CountEmissions EU consultation
On the 27th of July, the EU Commission proposed to amend its TEN-T revision proposal dating from December 2021. The reason being that the war against Ukraine has rendered it necessary to improve the EU’s connections with neighbouring countries, in particular Ukraine and Moldova.
“By extending four European Transport Corridors to the territory of Ukraine and Moldova – including the ports of Mariupol and Odesa – today’s proposal will help improve transport connectivity of these two countries to the EU, facilitating economic exchanges and better connections for people and business alike. These corridors will also be a key priority in rebuilding the transport infrastructure of Ukraine once the war ends. Our efforts to facilitate the export of grains from Ukraine via the Solidarity Lanes have also demonstrated the importance of interoperability in the transport system, reinforcing the need to increase convergence within the EU network, making it more resilient and strengthening the internal market.” stated Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean
In line with the “Solidarity Lanes” initiative”, which aims at facilitating the export of Ukrainian agricultural and other goods to EU and world markets, the Commission’s amendment proposal extends four European Transport Corridors to Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova.
At the same time, Russia and Belarus are removed from the TEN-T maps. Moreover, the Commission proposes to downgrade the last miles of all cross-border connections between the EU and Russia/Belarus from “core” to “comprehensive” network. This means that their target date for completion is moved from 2030 to 2050.
A number of technical barriers are addressed in the Commission proposal, for instance regarding the different rail track gauges used in Ukraine compared to most of the EU.
09.08.2022 – Start of the review of the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation for Liner Shipping (CBER)
Considering developments in the market since it was last extended in 2020, the EU Commission has decided to start the review of the CBER on August 9th, 2022. While the challenges faced by the sector during the evaluation period are exceptional and unprecedented, their impact on the functioning of the maritime supply chain brings useful lessons on the role of consortia in the productivity of liner shipping services, as well as the overall efficiency and resilience of the global logistics system. As such, they provide useful information on the relevance of the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation.
The assessment of whether the Regulation is still fit-for-purpose will also take into account (i) the trend towards consolidation between carriers, (ii) their vertical integration and (iii) cross-membership between consortia since 2020.
Interested parties are invited to provide feedback via EU competition law – evaluation of the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation (europa.eu). Targeted questionnaires have been sent to transport users (freight forwarders, shippers and their associations) and ports (port authorities, port services and terminal operators and their associations). FEPORT and its members have received individual questionnaires. The deadline to reply is October 3rd, 2022.
Members' News Corner
29.06.2022 –DP World offers digital product to Freight Forwarders
DP world has launched, CARGOES Runner, an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) product which supports freight forwarders in streamlining their back-office operations.
CARGOES runner offers customers a dashboard with streamlined quotations, access to quote-to-ship process digital invoicing and comprehensive analytics to monitor profit margins and performance trends.
According to Pradeep Desai, Chief Technology Officer – Group Technology at DP World: “Freight forwarding can be hugely complex, and a key challenge is coordinating numerous service providers through sluggish and outdated legacy platforms that are often inoperable with each other. ”
“CARGOES Runner aims to resolve this hurdle, streamlining these critical operations to help our customers improve customer service, productivity, and profitability.”
Source: Port Technology
11.07.2022 – DCT Gdansk signs contract for deep-water terminal
DCT Gdansk has signed a contract with Budimex S.A. and Dredging International NV for the construction of a third deep-water terminal known as T3. The works will start in September.
The T3 project will include a deep-water quay of 717m long and 17.5m deep, and a yard area of 36.5ha. In addition, the investment will involve the purchase of 7 new quay cranes capable of handling the world’s largest vessels, and 20 semi-automated Rail Mounted Gantry (RMG) cranes for the container yard.
T3 is scheduled to open for commercial operations by mid-2024, with full completion of the project planned for the second quarter of 2025.
Source: DCT Gdansk
12.07.2022 - Terminal Investment Limited presents investment plan for Cargo Terminal at Le Havre
Terminal Investment Limited (TIL) has announced a €700 million investment programme for the TPO/TNMSC container terminals at the port of Le Havre. The investment should create 1,100 jobs over the next six years (900 dockers and 200 maintenance workers) and should enable the port to receive 24,000 TEU vessels.
The investment plan is the result of an agreement between the dock workers’ union, TIL and the TPO/TNMSC terminals.
TIL’s investments will double the terminal’s number of gantry cranes to 20, while tripling the terminal’s storage capacity. These new gantry cranes will be electrically powered.
At the same time, the port will provide shore-side electricity for ships. The project is led by HAROPA Port du Havre and will mean that ships will no longer need to leave their engine running while docked.
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
20.07.2022 – HHLA updates slot-booking process in collaboration with haulage companies
In collaboration with a number of haulage companies, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik (HHLA) has updated its slot-booking process for trucks with the introduction of Truck FIT. The update should allow haulage companies’ capacities to be planned and managed more reliably. The update is therefore also supported by Stuhr Container Logistic GmbH & Co. KG., a Hamburg-based haulage company, which was involved in the planning, development and implementation of the project.
According to Jens Hansen, Chief Operating Officer of HHLA: ““With the introduction of the slot-booking process and the Truck FIT system updates, we are continually improving the processes at the Hamburg terminals. This reduces the amount of time trucks spend at the terminal and thus relieves public infrastructure. Collaborating with the haulage companies has enabled us to further develop the system based on the needs of the users and brought us closer to our common goal: the transparent and reliable allocation of slots.”
Heiner Stuhr, Managing Partner of Stuhr Container Logistic, stated the following regarding the development of Truck FIT: “At first, we were sceptical of the changes to the system because we feared that the flexibility our business needs would get lost. However, in our role as a development partner, we were able to express our concerns transparently from the start. The HHLA project team engaged in dialogue with us and always found the right solution.”
The slot-booking process was already introduced in 2017 in the Port of Hamburg. However, at the start of 2022, HHLA started updating the system as the no-show rate had grown significantly. With the system update, haulage companies with a too high no-show rate will be offered less slots during peak times the following week, while slots can still be freely booked during off-peak times. Also the system’s transparency will be increased through the disclosure of throughput times at the terminals.
With the system update, haulage companies with a too high no-show rate will be offered less slots during peak times the following week, while slots can still be freely booked during off-peak times. Also the system’s transparency will be increased through the disclosure of throughput times at the terminals.
11.08.2022 – HHLA increases rail share
The first half of this year, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) achieved a positive modal shift. Rail volumes increased, while the amount of road cargo dropped. As a result, the total rail share of HHLA went up.
In the intermodal segment, intermodal transport increased by 2.2 per cent to 851.000 TEU, as compared to 832.000 TEU in the previous year. Rail freight volumes rose by 4.6 per cent to 709.000 TEU. Road transport volumes went down by 8.2 per cent to 142.000 TEU.
HHLA recorded a positive performance of revenues and earnings in the first half of 2022, despite of the current crises, and considers that the increases in the modal share of rail are one of the main contributors to these positive results.
Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board, said the following about HHLA’s results in the first half of 2022: “For more than two years now, we have all experienced how volatile the logistics sector is. The restrictions in place to fight the coronavirus pandemic, weather conditions, road and rail construction work and now the war in Ukraine with the subsequent sanctions against Russia have a massive impact on global supply chains.
HHLA may have successfully completed the first half of 2022, but the disruptions to supply chains still continue to pose major operational challenges for us. It is not currently clear when this situation will return to normality or what consequences the global crisis will have for the economy and for society. HHLA is doing everything it can to contribute to the reliable supply of businesses and consumers. We are continuing to focus on the implementation of our strategy, which is based on growth and sustainability – especially in these uncertain times.”
22.09.2022 Board of Directors – Brussels
06.10.2022 Environment, Safety and Security Committee – Brussels
18.10.2022 Social Affairs Committee – Brussels
20.10.2022 Customs and Logistics Committee – Brussels
10.11.2022 Board of Directors – Remote
24.11.2022 Port Policy Committee – Brussels
30.11.2022 FEPORT General Assembly Meeting
01.12.2022 FEPORT Seventh Stakeholders Conference
31.08.2022 TRAN Committee Meeting - Brussels
31.08.2022 ITRE Committee Meeting - Brussels
31.08.2022 ECON Committee Meeting - Brussels
01.09.2022 INTA Committee Meeting – Brussels
01.09.2022 ITRE Committee Meeting – Brussels
23.11.2022 Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Ports meeting – Brussels
FEPORT Newsletter - July/August 2022