“Never waste a good crisis”…
to learn... as the saying goes and this is so true in the current situation.
In 2020 as well as in the first months of 2021, ports around the world have been hit by delays and backlogs caused by different factors including low schedule reliability and cancellations of calls, a surge in demand, a lack of empty containers, COVID-19 related restrictions such as mass quarantining, social distancing, and lockdowns and more recently the Suez incident.
Across different industries, on a scale beyond CIOs’ most ambitious expectations, digital transformation was a good means to meet the challenges of the global pandemic.
The turmoil currently facing ports and global supply chains has certainly speeded up the introduction of new solutions and processes. However, the resilience that characterizes many maritime logistics chains is not only the result of the introduction of more technology. It has also to do with the mobilization of all stakeholders, particularly those who perform activities “where all cumulated inefficiencies/weaknesses of maritime logistics chains appear”, i.e. ports.
It is always “entertaining” to hear experts providing advices on how technology or miraculous applications could solve congestion in ports when those actually may not really know how ports function on daily basis or do not understand the root problem or the real causes of port congestion.
In recent exchanges, it was very surprising to realize how limited is the knowledge about the impact of activities taking place upstream and downstream ports and how it may be significant in aggravating or alleviating congestion.
In parallel of technology, what is needed is a better dissemination of the knowledge about the interdependence of all actors of the maritime logistics chain and how decisions to withdraw maritime capacities, to delay arrivals of ships, to miss a truck appointment slot, to postpone the departure of a train shuttle can have tremendous impact on the organization of ports and hinterland transport modes not only for few days but over much longer periods.
“Never waste a good crisis”… to learn some lessons. The recent event in the Suez Canal has also revealed some risks and weaknesses in maritime logistics chains that compel us individually and collectively to reflect upon advantages and disadvantages of current economic models. But to conclude on a positive note, the Suez incident has also thrown light on the remarkable resilience of EU port stakeholders who are currently mobilized to absorb the consequences of the incident without any advertisements...
01.04.2021 – INEA changes name to CINEA
As of the 1st of April, Innovation and Networks Agency INEA has been officially replaced by CINEA, the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency.
CINEA will manage existing projects and will start implementing new 2021-2027 programs that should deliver on EU climate neutrality by 2050. CINEA will also continue to manage CEF Transport and CEF Energy as well as the implementation of the Innovation Fund. Moreover, CINEA will implement the Climate, Energy and Mobility cluster under Horizon Europe.
CINEA will run between 2021-2027 with the support of more than 500 staff members and a budget of around EUR 52 billion.
07.04.2021 – Congestion at US West Coast ports eases despite continued import surge
Imports through US ports are set to continue at current unprecedented levels throughout the summer of 2021 as retailers work to meet increasing consumer demand, even as the West Coast congestion slows down.
The latest Global Port Tracker report, compiled by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates, suggests that while the supply chain remains under tension, the country’s major gateways aren’t faced with the same pressure they were earlier in 2021.
The report conveys that only 17 vessels were waiting at anchor off the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, compared to 30 a month ago.
US ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.87 million TEU in February, the latest month for which final numbers are available. That was down 9.1% from January but up 23.7% year-on-year (YoY) and the busiest February since NRF began tracking imports in 2002.
March was projected at 2.07 million TEU, up 50.7% YoY, but Hackett cautioned that last year’s swings caused by the pandemic have “played havoc” with percentage comparisons.
However, in March 2020, many Asian factories that should have reopened after February’s Lunar New Year holiday were still closed, and US businesses were starting to close to avoid spreading the virus.
Imports in April are forecast at 1.99 million TEU, up 23.4% YoY, May at 2 million TEU, up 30.6%, June at 2.01 million TEU, up 24.9%, July at 2.04 million TEU, up 6.5%, and August at 2.08 million TEU, down 1.2%. The August number would be the first YoY decline since last July if accurate.
The first half of 2021 is forecast at 11.99 million TEU, up 26.9% from the same period in 2020, which experienced a major decline in imports due to COVID-19.
Imports saw a total of 22 million TEU in 2020, up 1.9% from 2019’s 21.6 million TEU and beating the previous record of 21.8 million TEU recorded in 2018.
Under the current forecast, volume is expected to remain at or above the 2 million TEU mark for 11 out of 13 months by this August. Before 2020, monthly imports had reached 2 million TEU only once, in October 2018.Source: Port Technology
09.04.2021 – Drewry Report shows boom in container shipping line profits
On the 9th of April, Drewry Shipping Consultants published a report which shows that shipping lines’ profits are booming and that this trend would most probably continue for another two years, with port congestion and container equipment shortages persisting for most of 2021.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many among the world’s biggest container shipping lines have seen their incomes skyrocket because of high freight rates and low bunkering prices.
The report predicts that, while freight rates will drop in 2022, carriers will continue to see revenues and earnings increase and that 2021 will set a new record for the industry’s profitability records. While carriers have enjoyed substantial revenue booms, ports around the world have struggled to cope with the ensuing congestion.
Drewry also forecasts a lingering timeline for a “return to normal”, while port congestion and container equipment shortages will remain an unwanted feature throughout most of 2021, further limiting the availability of capacity and leading to substantially higher average spot and contract freight rates.
14.04.2021 – Non-opposition to notified concentration CMA CGM/CEVA
On the 14th of April, the Non-opposition to a notified concentration (Case M.9221 — CMA CGM/CEVA) 2021/C 130/01 was published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
In 2019, the European Commission approved, under the European Merger Regulation, the acquisition of CEVA Logistics AG (CEVA), based in Switzerland, by the CMA CGM S.A. group, based in France. The Commission concluded that the proposed concentration would not raise competition concerns, given its limited impact on the structure of the markets for freight forwarding services, as well as regular maritime container transport on the high seas and short sea. The transaction was examined under normal merger control proceedings.
15.04.2021 – TRAN discusses Structured Dialogue with Commissioner Vălean
On the 15th of April, the European Parliament TRAN Committee held a Structured Dialogue with Commissioner Vălean on the state of play in the field of transport policy. The meeting focused on the initiatives the Commission plans to take in 2021 to make the transport sector smarter and more sustainable. In their interventions, MEPs focused on a wide range of issues, for example, regarding the inclusion of the maritime sector in the ETS.
In her statement, Commissioner Vălean explained the Commission’s major initiatives.
In June the Commission will adopt it's “Fit for 55” Package. It will be a comprehensive set of legislative proposals to implement the ambition to achieve at least 55% emission reduction by 2030. Regarding transport, the package will include maritime alternative fuels’ initiatives to help the sector to decarbonize while remaining competitive.
The Commission will establish a long-term and robust regulatory framework to drive the uptake of sustainable alternative fuels and will give certainty to the market, while making investments in production capacity more attractive. In order to increase volumes, the Commission is considering proposing a strategic value chain alliance for boosting the uptake of alternative fuels.
The “Fit for 55” Package will also include the proposal to revise the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive and extend the ETS to maritime, which should ensure compatibility with any future global market-based measures.
Regarding the ITS Directive, the Commissioner said that this has been a driving force for the deployment of interoperable ITS services across the EU, such as the EU-wide e-Call and multimodal travel information services. However, she added it is necessary to update the regulatory framework, putting much more emphasis on multimodal digital mobility services, enhanced traffic management and cooperative, connected and automated mobility (CCAM).
As regards the TEN-T reform, Ms Vălean said that preparing for digitalization is one of the reasons for revising the TEN-T regulation. She added that the transport network needs to enable more sustainable forms of mobility and make the whole system more efficient, smarter and more resilient. For that, we need to have the right infrastructure in place. This means reinforcing certain infrastructure standards as well as quality requirements to ensure a fully interoperable network that favors a shift to the most sustainable transport modes. The Commission will also improve the role and functioning of urban nodes within the TEN-T.
In the coming months, the Commission will also present the results of the evaluation of the Rail Freight Corridors Regulation. As a first step, the Commission is considering proposing aligning the rail freight corridors with the TEN-T network, ensuring that key lines used by international freight are included at least in the Comprehensive Network and prioritized for investment.
On waterborne transport, besides proposing the NAIADES action plans aimed at exploiting the potential of inland waterways, the Commission is planning the revision of Flag State requirements and the maritime accident investigation review. As the EU strives to remain the world leader in maritime safety, it is important to modernize these three legislative acts in line with changes in technology and the international regulatory environment. The overall aim is to lessen the administrative burden while building enforcement capacity including of the European Maritime Safety Agency.
15.04.2021 – The European Parliament ratifies the Connecting Europe Facility agreement
On the 15th of April, the Transport (TRAN) and Industry (ITRE) Committees of the European Parliament ratified the deal reached between Parliament and Portuguese Presidency negotiators on a next generation Connecting Europe Facility.
The second edition of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) will fund major transport, digital and energy projects that run from 2021 to 2027. With an overall budget of about €30 billion (in 2018 constant prices), CEF will focus on projects that seek to modernize transport infrastructure or promote cross-border links.
In the digital sector, CEF will support the development of projects of common interest on safe and secure very high-capacity digital networks and 5G systems, as well as the digitalization of transport and energy networks.
The program will finally aim to make energy networks more interoperable and ensure that funded projects are in line with EU and national climate and energy plans.Source: European Parliament
15.04.2021 – Cool Logistics webinar on COVID-19 Vaccines
On the 15th of April, FEPORT attended the Cool Logistics webinar “Containing COVID-19: Containerization’s Role in Global Vaccine Logistics”.
During the morning debate, panelists discussed the role of containerization in global vaccine logistics, and its expectations, challenges and opportunities.
The speakers pointed out that the key element for the logistic chain is data transparency and data exchange so that the infrastructure can expedite as seamlessly as possible. The needed technologies and infrastructures for the delivery of vaccines are already present, and ocean freight companies have the know-how to distribute vaccines as already 1-2% of all products transported by sea are pharmaceutical products.
It was pointed out that pharmaceutical companies should embrace containerization and should shift the distribution of vaccines from air to maritime freight. Although the volumes of COVID-19 vaccines supplies are still quite low, maritime transport can ensure an efficient service and has the capability to handle the rising number of vaccines that will be shipped in the near future.
15.04.2021 – TRAN exchange of views with European Coordinators for TEN-T
On the 15th of April, the TRAN Committee held a meeting with the European Coordinators in charge of the Baltic-Adriatic corridor, the North Sea-Mediterranean corridor and the Motorways the Sea. The discussion focused on the progress and challenges in the implementation of the TEN-T core network and gave MEPs an opportunity to ask questions related to the work of the three coordinators.
Professor Kurt Bodewig, Motorways of the Sea Coordinator, presented the detailed implementation plan for the Motorways of the Sea. Mr. Bodewig explained how Brexit remains a major issue to be tackled, alongside with climate change and environmental degradation as the transport sector’s GHG emissions represent nowadays a quarter of the EU’s total emissions.
The Coordinator stressed that investments are needed in all transport modes to address the threat of climate change as well as the recovery of the EU economy following the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the maritime sector can be part of the solution. The modal shift from road to maritime transport must increase, especially on short sea shipping routes.
15.04.2021 – 58th plenary meeting of the Trade Contact Group
On the 15th of April, FEPORT participated in the 58th plenary meeting of the Trade Contact Group which was held virtually. At the start of the meeting, it was explained that a call for applications has opened in view of the renewal of the TCG membership. Those members that wish to renew their membership, should prepare their application by the 31st of May.
DG TAXUD provided a briefing on developments in the EU-UK Partnership Council and invited members to share concerns on customs related issues if any. Furthermore, information was provided on EU-UK guidance on returned goods.
The EU’s work plan regarding international cooperation on customs matter was discussed, which, for example, proposes to deal with issues such as release of goods, risk management and mutual recognition of AEO status.
As regards to COVID-19, DG TAXUD announced that the VAT exemption and duty relief for critical goods (e.g. personal protective equipment) have been extended until at least 31 December 2021 and explained the criteria for export authorization of COVID-19 vaccines.
When discussing the progress of the Customs Union Action Plan, it was mentioned that the customs risk management strategy ought to be finalized by early next year and that members of the TCG can expect to be consulted on this topic. Moreover, work is currently being carried out in cooperation with Member States in view of updating the AEO guidelines. TCG members can also expect soon to be consulted on the evaluation of the UCC.
20.04.2021 – Annual Baltic Ports Organization debate at the EP
On the 20th of April, Baltic Ports Organization’s (BPO) had its annual debate at the European Parliament. The event was hosted by MEP Andris Ameriks, Vice-Chairman of the TRAN Committee. Multiple representatives of the European port sector gathered to discuss topics vital to the development of the industry, among them the European Green Deal and the revision of the TEN-T policy.
In his opening remarks, MEP Ameriks stressed the key role ports will play in the economic recovery process from COVID-19 and summarized the numerous challenges at hand, “the role of the European Union in the future is particularly important. On the one hand, we have set very ambitious plans for climate change and ecology in Europe, the TEN-T policy has been clarified, digital issues, and on the other hand, the COVID pandemic has affected all the work in this sector, just like any other sector. There is also a third party that has affected some of the Baltic ports. And that is geopolitics. European Union sanctions against Russia, events in Belarus have affected the work of several Baltic ports.”
The European Green Deal, its goals and the green transition were one of the more intensely discussed topics and it was noticed that the implementation process leaves a number of question marks. The regulator needs to take into account the diversity of the port and shipping sectors and a one size fits all solution is simply not viable.
European ports are now facing a big concern regarding the regulator’s position on LNG as ports made significant investments in the infrastructure necessary to offer LNG as an alternative fuel in the past years. Nevertheless, the EU is now abandoning its support for this alternative fuel, thus frustrating European ports’ efforts.
Regarding fuels and energy, the Green Deal foresees ports becoming energy hubs. Ports have long played an important role in energy supply, but this will also create a significant challenge. For a great number of ports, the transition to green energy sources will lead to a significant loss in cargo, due to decreased and ultimately abandoned use of fossil fuels (crude oil, gas, coal). These losses will need to be compensated for and time will be required to prepare the infrastructure necessary for the use of alternative fuels.
Onshore power supply (OPS) was one of the topics that stood out when the participants turned their attention to ideas for sustainable and smart mobility. OPS technology has been mentioned in the European Green Deal as one of the viable solutions in support of the decarbonization process. Nevertheless, OPS implementation needs a smart approach, and it must be backed by an actual business case, as otherwise it could result in a lot of stranded assets. Large-scale implementation would also require additional, often difficult steps, such as the revision of electricity taxation in many countries.
Speakers also discussed financing as numerous issues were raised during the past Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funding period and the extreme disproportion between the strategic role of ports and the amount of financing that was sent their way in comparison to other transport sectors. Further disproportions in the distribution of funds can be found within the port sector itself, with the comprehensive ports seeing far less support than their core counterparts.Source: BOP
20.04.2021 – DTLF Sub-group 2 meeting
On the 20th of April, FEPORT attended the sub-group 2 meeting of the Digital Transport and Logistics Forum which deals with corridor information systems.
During the meeting, an update regarding the progress of SG2 was provided. For example, concerning the coordination with FEDeRATED and FENIX as well as interaction with SG1 and the implementation of the work program.
One important goal is to create a federated network of platforms for data-sharing which has one single entry point and that consists of different data-sharing solutions (e.g. platforms) that will need to become interoperable. Implementation guidelines regarding how to plug and operate in the federated network of platforms are expected by 2022. The final goal would be to allow companies to do business in a digital way, without the need to reach a bilateral agreement on data-sharing first.
The semantics of a common model for data-sharing was also discussed. Standards of different modalities should serve as input to this model. The common model should be aligned to different existing models such as the ones of WCO, UN/CEFACT and IATA.
20.04.2021 – Green Taxation event with Executive Vice-President Timmermans and Commissioner Gentiloni
On the 20th of April, Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni hosted an online event to present the EU’s outlook on green taxation. The event was organized in the context of the Union’s targets to tackle climate change and foster a cleaner environment and consisted of several speeches and two panel discussions.
In his opening address, the Commissioner for Economy argued that the green transition is the greatest transition by design ever attempted and will rely on innovative technologies, research and development, private and public investments, as well as behavioral changes. In this context, a review of taxation policies at national, European and global level can play a key role, especially by implementing the “polluter pays” principle. Green taxation can incentivize changes in the habits of businesses and promote a shift to more sustainable practices and production processes that will benefit all of us in the long run, especially the younger generation.
The Commission is committed to developing a taxation framework where activities that produce high emissions must bear appropriate costs. This principle will be at the heart of the package of proposals that the Commission will table this summer, which will include an update of the EU's rules on energy taxation. According to Mr. Gentiloni, the existing Energy Taxation Directive is not aligned with today's policy goals.
During one of the panel discussions focusing on how to devise a green taxation framework, Director-General of DG TAXUD Mr. Thomas Gerassimos stressed that subsidies to coal and fossil fuels must stop, while it should become easier to invest in renewables. Eliminating tax exemptions and rebates will therefore be a key component of the upcoming Energy Taxation Directive proposal. According to DG TAXUD’s Director-General, green taxation policies are not only beneficial as they change industry and consumer behavior for the better, but also because they allow to reduce taxation in other areas.
Executive Vice-President Timmermans used his concluding remarks to stress that the Green Deal is a cornerstone of Europe’s recovery from COVID-19 and for Europe to get back on its feet stronger and more competitive than before the pandemic.
The Commission will propose a comprehensive package of legislative changes to deliver the necessary emissions reductions from strengthening the EU ETS, to review rules on renewables and CO2 emissions, and green taxation is an important part of this picture. By altering economic incentives, taxation can drive far-reaching changes in the way we produce and consume.
Mr. Timmermans recalled the need to make the Energy Taxation Directive fit for the Green Deal. A review of this directive is an important part of the legislative package coming in June (Fit for 55). Energy taxation that favors fossil fuels should become a thing of the past. According to Mr. Timmermans taxation should help reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and encourage the use of clean transport and clean energy. It is time to review the tax exemptions for sectors such as maritime transport and aviation, as they are not in line with the EU climate and environmental goals.
21.04.2021 – EU Commission Communication on Fostering a European Approach to Artificial Intelligence
On the 21st of April, the EU Commission presented its communication on AI named Fostering a European approach to artificial intelligence. This communication announces a proposal for a regulatory framework on AI and a revised coordinated plan on AI. The Communication also gives an overview of investments into artificial intelligence that will be done at European and international level.
The fundamental goal underpinning the coordinated plan and the proposed regulatory framework is to promote the development of AI in Europe, while addressing the potential high risk AI poses to the safety and fundamental rights of European citizens.
The Commission plans to invest EUR 1 billion in AI per year through the Digital Europe and Horizon Europe funding programs, while aiming to mobilize additional investments from the private sector and the Member States to reach EUR 20 billion of investments annually over the course of this decade.
Moreover, at least 20% of the EUR 672.5 billion in loans and grants that will be available to the Member States via the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), will be allocated to the Digital Transition.
The proposal for a regulatory framework for AI mainly regulates AI applications that have the potential to pose a high risk to fundamental rights, health, safety and consumer rights. High risk AI systems will need to respect a set of specifically designed requirements related, for example, to the use of high-quality datasets, traceability, human oversight and safety and cybersecurity. It is to be noted that high-risk AI systems should also be assessed for conformity before being placed on the market or put into service.
The proposal, moreover, lays down a general ban on a limited set of highly controversial uses of AI, such as systems that distort a person’s behavior or AI systems used for social scoring purposes.
Other uses of AI systems will only be subject to a minimal set of transparency requirements. “Minimal risk AI systems”, finally, will face no additional regulatory requirements.
In order for the EU to be the frontrunner in AI, coordination of policy and investments are crucial, according to the Commission. In that context, the Communication presents the review of the coordinated plan for AI which contains four key suggestions.
First suggestion is to set enabling conditions that need to be designed in an SME-friendly way. Such conditions include investing in enabling infrastructure such as data spaces and computing resources.
Second, excellence in research should be facilitated. Therefore, the Commission will, for example, focus on funding networks of AI excellence centers and set up a European Partnership on AI, Data and Robotics under Horizon Europe.
Third, in order to ensure that “AI works for people and is a force for good in society”, the EU Commission has put forward the above-mentioned regulatory framework and encourages Member States to focus on AI-related skills’ development of their citizens.
Finally, the EU sets itself the goal to build strategic leadership in a number of high impact sectors among which climate change and the environment, and mobility.Source: European Commission
21.04.2021 – European Parliament and Council reach informal agreement on EU Climate Law
On the 21st of April, MEPs reached an informal agreement with the Member States on the EU Climate Law, a few days before US President Biden would host a Leaders’ Summit on Climate.
The new EU Climate Law increases the EU’s 2030 emissions reductions target from 40% to at least 55% as compared to 1990 levels.
While avoiding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must be the priority, the law recognizes that already emitted GHG will need to be removed to compensate for GHG emitted by sectors where decarbonization is most challenging. To ensure that sufficient reductions are made by 2030, the contribution of removals towards the 2030 climate target shall be limited to 225 Mt CO2 equivalents.
The Commission shall make a proposal for a 2040 target at the latest six months after the first global stock-taking of the Paris Agreement. In line with Parliament’s proposal, the Commission must take into account the EU’s projected indicative GHG budget, defined as the total GHG emissions expected to be emitted without risking the EU’s commitment under the Paris Agreement, for the period 2030-2050.Source: European Parliament
21.04.2021 – EU Commission releases Communication on first EU Taxonomy Delegated Act and a proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive
On the 21st of April, the EU Commission published its Communication entitled: EU Taxonomy, Corporate Sustainability Reporting, Sustainability Preferences and Fiduciary Duties: Directing finance towards the European Green Deal.
The Communication announces the adoption of the first EU Taxonomy Delegated Act which contains a list of economic activities that comply with the first two objectives of the EU Taxonomy Regulation: climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation.
The role of gas, nuclear and other economic activities in the energy sector are not yet addressed in the first Delegated Act. These topics will be covered in a separate legislative proposal which will be put forward after the completion of a review process on nuclear energy which will be finalized in June 2021.
The first Taxonomy Delegated Act spells out which activities in the transport sector – such as cargo handling in road, rail and (sea)port terminals – can contribute to climate change mitigation. A second DA dealing with the remaining four environmental objectives is expected by the end of the year.
The Communication also presents the EU Commission proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) which serves as a revision of the current Non-Financial Reporting Directive.
This Directive will require companies to report according to mandatory EU sustainability reporting standards. The Commission is proposing to develop standards for large companies and separate standards for SMEs. Due to renewed criteria, the proposed CSRD should apply to an increasing number of companies: to 49.000 as compared to 11.000 at current.
Mandatory reporting requirements under the Taxonomy Regulation will apply for the climate change mitigation and adaptation criteria as of January 2022 and from January 2023 onwards for the other four objectives. These reporting requirements will be applicable to companies that are covered by the current Non-Financial Reporting Directive as well as to those included in the proposed CSRD Directive. The Commission will work on guidance regarding how companies can meaningfully report in the first year considering the existence of certain data gaps.
27.04.2021 – European Parliament Plenary vote on more efficient and cleaner maritime transport
On the 27th of April, the European Parliament Plenary voted on the report on more efficient and cleaner maritime transport authored by MEP Karima Delli. The report was adopted by 453 votes in favor, 92 against and 154 abstentions.
With this report, the European Parliament called the Commission to take ambitious but realistic measures in order for the maritime sector to achieve its green and digital revolution and contribute to the EU commitment to become climate neutral by 2050. This will allow the EU to respect the goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement, while at the same time preserving the competitiveness of the European fleet.
The report recognizes the importance of transitional technologies, such as LNG, for a gradual transition towards zero-emission alternatives in the maritime sector, thus understanding the need for the European maritime transport sector to remain competitive and acknowledging the investments made by port operators in LNG infrastructure.
As stated in the report, LNG and LNG infrastructure could fulfil the role of transitional technologies towards zero-emission alternatives in the maritime sector. Nowadays, LNG is a more sustainable, affordable and widely available alternative to dirty heavy fuel oil. Low emission alternative fuels like LNG can bridge the gap on the route to fossil fuel free maritime transport and port stakeholders have allocated significant investments to LNG refueling points, as LNG was assigned an important role in the AFI Directive of 2014. It will be important that the Commission puts incentives, including through tax exemptions, to use these alternatives instead of heavy fuels.
Moreover, the report acknowledges the importance of European ports as the clean energy hubs of the future and stresses the need to improve their multimodal connection, in particular with rail and inland waterway transport. It also calls on ship owners to implement all the operational and technical measures available to achieve energy efficiency (optimization of speed, optimization of navigable routes, introduction of new methods of propulsion with wind and solar power, etc.).
Finally, the report stresses the importance of including maritime transport under the EU ETS, based on a comprehensive impact assessment.
FEPORT welcomes the final adoption of the report and would like to warmly thank MEP Delli as well as all MEPs with whom we had the opportunity to exchange and work during these last months on this important report.
27.04.2021 – European Parliament Plenary vote on EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement
On the 27th of April, the European Parliament Plenary ratified the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (UK TCA) that sets out the future relationship between the EU and the UK. The agreement has been provisionally applied since the start of the year to avoid disruptions between the EU and UK, and the approved deal will be fully effective on the 1st May.
The UK TCA sets out preferential arrangements in areas such as trade in goods and in services, digital trade, intellectual property, public procurement, aviation and road transport, energy, fisheries, social security coordination, law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, thematic cooperation and participation in Union programs. It is underpinned by provisions ensuring a level playing field and respect for fundamental rights.
While it will by no means matches the level of economic integration that existed while the UK was an EU Member State, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement goes beyond traditional free trade agreements and provides a solid basis for preserving the EU-UK longstanding friendship and cooperation.
Members' News Corner
02.04.2021 – Slovenia’s Koper port sets container traffic record in March
In a statement, Luka Koper declared that Koper port’s container terminal handled 97,101 TEUs in March, 2021, surpassing by far the previous monthly record set exactly three years ago, in March 2018, when slightly more than 92,300 TEUs were serviced.
Mr. Dimitrij Zadel, president of the management board of Luka Koper, stated that Koper’s port reached an important milestone, especially in light of the consequences of the pandemic and the current global situation in logistics sector. The company also congratulated all employees at the container terminal and involved business partners.
The growth in container traffic at Koper port will be supported by the Pier I extension project, which is expected to be completed in June, while the construction of the hinterland storage areas is ongoing. This infrastructure project will increase the terminal’s annual capacity to 1.3 million TEUs, and, with additional improvements in the area of work processes, to one and a half million TEUs.Source: Luka Koper
08.04.2021 – Port of Antwerp expands trucking capacity to prevent congestion
In a statement, the Port of Antwerp announced the expansion of its parking spaces available for trucks on the left bank of the Scheldt to prevent container congestion, thus going up to 280 places with all the necessary facilities for truckers.
The car park will be located between the Ketenislaan and the Scheldt, just north of the Kallo lock and will open in the spring of 2022.
In addition, the car park will serve as an overflow car park for in case the queues at one or more terminals would become too long. The number of free places will be included in the same app as the car parks along the Flemish motorways.
The car park will be equipped with sufficient and regularly maintained sanitary facilities, showers and WIFI, as well as vending machines with drinks and food.
The Port is investing €7 million in the Ketenis car park and another 0.4 million in an upgrade of the truck parking on the right bank (Goordijk). The project is supported by the European fund “Connecting Europe Facility”.Source: Port Technology
08.04.2021 – Yilport Puerto Bolívar unveils new cranes as part of expansion
Yilport Puerto Bolívar has launched its latest ship-to-shore (STS) and rubber-tyred-gantry (RTG) cranes as the construction of its New Berth #6.
In a statement, the terminal operator said the new cranes are the first batch of three expected deliveries scheduled for 2021. It has made an investment of approximately $22 million as part of the First Phase of the Expansion and Modernisation Project of the Puerto Bolivar Terminal.
The terminal operator will include other state-of-the-art equipment and software that will allow the Yilport Puerto Bolívar terminal to reach new capacities and increase its efficiency and capacity.
The expansion, which will include New Berth #6, will increase the terminal’s capacity by an additional 450m of pier space. The first section is estimated to be operational by mid-2022.Source: Port Technology
09.04.2021 – DCT Gdansk Terminal reaches 15 million containers
DCT Gdansk, the largest container terminal on the Baltic Sea, reached the 15 million TEU milestone, since its opening in 2007.
Thanks to its 17-meter-deep pier and a record number of transshipped containers, DCT Gdansk terminal is the only deep-water terminal in the Baltic Sea that handles the largest container ships in the world.
“Handling 15 million TEUs since the terminal began operations in 2007 is a great achievement and a great success for our employees. If we made a path with 15 million TEUs, we could go around the Earth more than twice. However, it is important to us that each of these 15 million TEUs is a customer who has benefited from our services. This shows the continued support and faith of DCT Gdansk customers; thanks to this we have become a Baltic center”, stated Cameron Thorpe, Managing Director of DCT Gdansk SA.
Despite the pandemic, DCT Gdansk terminal registered a 9% increase in cargo handling in the first quarter of 2021, with volumes that exceed their record results of 2019.
DCT Gdansk continues with major investment programs, including an extension of the railway siding (expanding it from 4 to 7 tracks, each 750 m long).Source: PortalPortuario
10.04.2021 – Hutchison Ports' takeover of APM T-Rotterdam
On the 10th of April, the APMT-Rotterdam works council gave the green light for the sale of the 2.5milion TEU conventional, straddle carrier-direct 100-ha terminal. Contracts will be signed later this month; staff were informed in a joint statement from the works council and management.
Back in October 2020, the competition authorities authorized the takeover by Hutchison Ports of APM Terminals-Rotterdam terminal.
The agreement struck includes a length of service-based bonus plus a € 1,250 bonus for all staff.Source: WorldCargo News
12.04.2021 – HHLA and METRANS climate neutrality project
With a project started two years ago, HHLA and METRANS wanted to develop a product able to ensure climate-neutral transport chains from the port into the European hinterland, making an important contribution to lowering transport-related CO2 emissions. It is for this reason that they have conceived HHLA Pure. By 2040, the entire group should be climate neutral.
The companies are already well on the way towards this ambition. Currently it is possible to operate a CO2-free train routing from and to Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Koper. In the near future, this should be possible for all routes, explains METRANS CEO Peter Kiss
Of course, this does come with a cost and investments need to be made, but the company is willing to do this, by, for example, by purchasing hybrid shunting locomotives.
“At this point, the company does not yet operate on a complete CO2-free level. We do still produce CO2 in our supply chain. For example, shunting without diesel is still not always possible”, says Kiss. For that reason, it has introduced the concept of “offsetting CO2 emissions produced”.
“This means that we compensate for CO2 emissions produced by investing in CO2-neutral projects, such as building windmills in the Amazons. This is approved and monitored by TÜV Nord, and all the projects comply with the highest international standards.”
“This is the right time to start”, says Kiss. “It is not only that the political will is there. Customers are asking for it as well. They are more and more aware of their impact on the environment, and they rather opt for a CO2-neutral service.”Source: RailFreight.com
16.04.2021 – Port of Sines sees double-digit TEU growth
Between January and March 2021, the Port of Sines recorded a 16% growth in containerized throughput, handling 440,645 TEU, with export cargo also increasing by 16%.
During the pandemic, the port community of Sines showed resilience, allowing to maintain the supply chains in favor of the needs of the economy and another positive year is foreseen for the Port of Sines, at a time that the expansion of the Container Terminal XXI is taking place at a good pace, without any interference in the port’s operation.
The new terminal, which the Port ground on in February 2020, will increase capacity from 2.3 million to 4.1 million TEU per year.
The figures show the Port is continuing to handle greater amounts of containerized cargo. At the end of 2020, it posted its best annual figures on record, with significant growth in its hinterland activities.
In 2020 it presented a new strategic plan aimed at strengthening connectivity and network management, as well as a firm commitment to environmental and social sustainability.Source: Port Technology
27.04.2021 – Eurogate finishes fourth year of successful management of the Limassol container terminal
It has been four years since Eurogate Container Terminal Limassol Ltd took over the management of the container terminal at Limassol port.
During these four years, Eurogate has significantly improved the infrastructure and services offered at the Cyprus-based terminal by lowering processing time and offering safe cargo storage and management solutions.
Eurogate has invested over €30 million, for example, in cranes as well as in 17 new straddle carriers and two empty container stackers.
Due to an innovative IT system which is connected to the Customs Department, the Port Authority and shipping offices, processing time for containers has been reduce and it takes significantly less time for containers to be released for collection (only 20 minutes as compared to 12-24 hours previously).
The Eurogate Limassol Container Terminal has also recently been granted AEO certification, partly due to the safe storage of goods at the terminal.
The terminal has seen volume reductions during the COVID-19 pandemic, but overall, a workload growth of around 10% was recorded in the past four years.Source: Financial Mirror
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11.05.2021 Social Affairs Committee – Remote
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25.05.2021 Environment, Safety and Security Committee – Remote
10.06.2021 General Assembly – Remote
17.06.2021 Customs and Logistics Committee – Remote
23.09.2021 Board of Directors – TBC
28.09.2021 Environment, Safety and Security Committee – TBC
30.09.2021 Port Policy Committee – TBC
13.10.2021 Social Affairs Committee – TBC
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18.11.2021 Board of Directors – TBC
10.05.2021 TRAN Committee Meeting – Brussels
10.05.2021 ENVI Committee Meeting – Brussels
10.05.2021 ECON Committee Meeting – Brussels
25.05.2021 TRAN Committee Meeting – Brussels
25.05.2021 FISC Committee Meeting – Brussels
25-27.05.2021 EMPL Committee Meeting – Brussels
26-27.05.2021 ENVI Committee Meeting – Brussels
27.05.2021 ECON Committee Meeting – Brussels
12.05.2021 Portugal's Presidency Conference – Online event
18-21.05.2021 CTAC - Port Technology Webinar – Online event
25-28.05.2021 ESPO Conference Regatta 2021 – Online event
03-04.06.2021 UNIM General Assembly – Online event
08.06.2021 TIC 4.0 General Assembly – Online event
16-17.06.2021 European Environmental Ports Conference – Online event
07-09.09.2021 TOC Europe 2021 – Rotterdam
19.11.2021 SSDC Plenary Meeting – TBC