A third sad record…
It is not an Olympic one, but sadly a record that we would have preferred not to register… This summer we have experienced the third-biggest ice melting for Greenland in a single day since 1950. The other two records, also within the last decade, occurred in 2012 and 2019.
And this has not happened on the moon, but on our planet. The only place where we can live. And the touristic space flights which start to be promoted cannot constitute a “plan B” for all of us. There will be no way for humanity to escape from the upcoming disaster if some keep on bargaining for too low targets in terms of emissions reductions.
Climate sceptics will continue to plead for the importance of economy and profitability over so called “alarmist propaganda” and will keep on challenging scientists whom they accuse of catastrophism. But the reality is there: Germany, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Canada, India, Greenland etc. have experienced horrible events: floods, fires, heat waves, ice melting and many families who have deplored material and human losses are still recovering and grieving. There are obvious signs that the situation is deteriorating on earth.
It is therefore a strong message that the EU has sent to the rest of the world by adopting its “Fit for 55” proposals. And the recent IPCC report confirms the need to act. FEPORT fully supports the objectives of the EU in terms of climate change mitigation. We cannot afford to delay. It is time to act.
We do collectively need to engage into a constructive cooperation with respect to the reduction of emissions and climate change mitigation. The question is not until when we can postpone, but how we can split the efforts, support the sectors in their decarbonization targets and increase the pressure on those who are still dragging their feet to move.
The “Fit for 55” proposals are interesting because they tackle different dimensions which are complementary. The big challenge will be to make sure that they are consistent with each other. Consistency will for instance be crucial to provide maritime and port stakeholders with visibility over investments that will be needed. The motto “moving green can be smart and profitable” is not a utopia if all parties, public and private, work together.
Another discussion we will soon need to have regards the real price of transport. Can we still as citizens and consumers cope with our contradictions, i.e., pay very low prices for products that have crossed several seas and highways and still be shocked by the melting of the ice in Greenland?
It is time to accept to pay the real price for the products we buy when they come from a long distance or be ready to buy closer, more local. It is time to select e-commerce platforms that privilege sustainable products and sustainable packaging. It is time to consume seasonal fruits and vegetables. Greening transport means to be ready to pay more to green the fleets of ships, trucks, barges etc... However, each mode of transport also needs to invest in decarbonization. Corporate shareholders must also take their share of responsibility and accept that profits do not become only dividends, but are reinvested in decarbonization.
To finish with a more practical note, a small plea to our colleagues from the EU Commission. Most permanent staff members of trade organizations from the maritime sector felt relieved when they heard end of July the good news: the deadline for the replies to the consultations on the “Fit for 55” proposals was postponed to the end of September. So, we are all granted ten additional days to analyze several thousands of pages…
When one knows that for most of the trade associations of the maritime and port sector, seven out of the twelve proposals of the “Fit for 55” package are actually relevant, ten days are very appreciated to consult the membership. Urgency regarding climate change mitigation should not mean precipitation. We need smart and consistent Regulations and a good dialogue with EU institutions.
No doubt that the EU Commission’s staff has produced tremendous effort to elaborate twelve proposals, but - for the sake of constructive dialogue with stakeholders’ organizations - timelines and deadlines should take into account the fact that summer is also a period of time during which teams of experts and permanent staff in non-institutional bodies need to take a break and rest.
Consultations are meant to be an instrument of dialogue between industry and the EU Commission. The COVID-19 period has significantly reduced the number of opportunities to have meaningful exchanges as Zoom, Teams, Webex and others, although being useful platforms, are certainly not a panacea in terms of efficient dialogue.
Continuous adaptation has been essential, and we are all longing for physical meetings where real debates can take place. Meanwhile, a small request to our colleagues from the EU Commission: summer periods are also vacation periods during which staff are reduced, all experts are not always able to leave for holidays in July. Therefore, in general, timeline and deadlines for consultations should be adapted to offer sufficient time for real analysis and feedback.
07.06.2021 – EU Commission proposes draft Climate, Energy and Environmental State aid Guidelines
On the 7th of June, the European Commission launched a targeted public consultation inviting all interested parties to comment on the proposed revision of the Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy (“Energy and Environmental State aid guidelines” or “EEAG”).
To cater for the increased importance of climate protection, the revised guidelines will go under the name of Climate, Energy and Environmental State aid guidelines (“CEEAG”). The proposed Guidelines also include compatibility rules for flagship areas like clean mobility infrastructure and biodiversity, as well as resource efficiency to support the transition towards a circular economy. Interested parties can respond to the consultation for eight weeks, until the 2nd of August, 2021.
Under the Commission proposal, it will be possible to provide aid for the acquisition or leasing of clean transport vehicles used for air, road, railway, inland waterway and sea and coastal passenger and freight transport as well as for aid for the acquisition, leasing or retrofit of terminal equipment.
Moreover, as compared to the Guidelines currently in force, the scope will be expanded to include support for publicly accessible refueling and recharging infrastructure that is necessary to operate clean vehicles and vessels.
Also aid for CNG and LNG is still allowed under some conditions, most notably that no lock-in effects are created. In addition, at the moment that the aid measure is implemented, Member States must be able to demonstrate that cleaner alternatives are not readily available on the market or expected to be available in the short term.
Environmental aid in the transport sector will have to meet a number of conditions. For example, aid can only be granted upon proving that market barriers stand in the way of making progress towards environmental sustainability and, in principle, aid can only be granted after a competitive bidding process. Moreover, the aid should not exceed the costs that are necessary to increase the economic activity’s environmental performance.
01.07.2021 – Slovenian Presidency launch and program
Under the slogan “Together. Resilient. Europe.”, the program focused on four priority areas:
- Facilitate the EU’s recovery and reinforce its resilience.
- Reflect on the future of Europe.
- Strengthen the rule of law and European values.
- Increase security and stability in the European neighborhood.
In the transport field, one of the main political priorities of the Slovenian Presidency is to reach the target of a 90% reduction of transport emissions by 2050 set by the new Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy. Slovenia recognized that the first technological step on this path is the development and widespread use of alternative fuels. The Slovenian Presidency primarily sees the need to promote e-mobility with energy from low-emission sources by providing, among others, sufficient charging infrastructure. The new Presidency will therefore strive for progress in negotiations on the revision of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (AFID) and new proposals in the field of maritime activities (FuelEU Maritime).
Source: Slovenian Presidency
02.07.2021 – Konecranes and Cargotec merger
On July 2nd, the European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed merger of Cargotec Corporation (Cargotec) and Konecranes Plc (Konecranes) under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission is concerned that the proposed acquisition may reduce competition in the supply of certain container and cargo handling equipment in Europe.
The Commission is concerned that the transaction may lead to a reduced choice and higher prices for customers in the European Economic Area for certain container and cargo handling equipment in the following product areas: gantry cranes, horizontal equipment and mobile equipment.
For each of these types of terminal equipment, the transaction would lead to high combined market shares in already concentrated markets, with limited or even no credible alternative suppliers remaining after the proposed merger.
The proposed transaction was notified to the Commission on the 28th of May, 2021. The Commission now has 90 working days, until 10 November 2021, to take a decision. The opening of an in-depth investigation does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.
06.07.2021 – EU Commission adopts Delegated Act on disclosure requirements in accordance with the Taxonomy criteria
On the 6th of July, the EU Commission adopted a Delegated Act specifying the information to be disclosed by financial and non-financial undertakings about the sustainability of their activities.
Sustainability, in this case, refers to compliance with the environmental objectives spelled out in the EU Taxonomy Regulation. This Delegated Act, which supplements article 8 of the Taxonomy Regulation explains the methodology large financial and non-financial companies should use to report on and disclose information about the share of their business, investments or lending activities that contribute to the environmental objectives of the EU Taxonomy.
Companies will have to provide information regarding the share of their turnover, CapEx and OpEx that is dedicated to sustainable economic activities as defined by the EU Taxonomy and its accompanying legislation.
This Delegated Act will be open for scrutiny by the European Parliament for a period of four months, with an option to extend the deadline once by two months.
Source: European Commission
07.07.2021 – EU Commission publishes 2020 Report on Competition Policy
On the 7th of July, the European Commission published the Report on Competition Policy for 2020, presenting the key policy and legislative initiatives undertaken during 2020, as well as a selection of decisions adopted.
In 2020, EU competition policy focused on giving an answer to the COVID crisis and contributed to the Commission’s efforts to respond to the virus outbreak.
In March 2020, the Commission adopted a Temporary Framework for State aid measures aimed at supporting the economy and revised it several times as the COVID-19 crisis progressed.
Via the Recovery and Resilience Facility, the Commission assisted the Member States in preparing their Recovery and Resilience Plans, including from a competition policy point of view, ensuring they are in line with EU State aid rules.
In 2020, the Commission finished its fitness check of the State aid rules which started in 2019, concluding that certain provisions need revisions as well as adjustments to reflect recent legislative developments, current priorities, changes in markets and technological developments.
Moreover, the Commission tabled a proposal for a Digital Markets Act and published a White Paper on foreign subsidies, to kick start the reflection on how to address the distortive effects on the Internal Market that foreign subsidies may have. The Commission is expected to present a legislative proposal on levelling the playing field for foreign subsidies later in 2021.
EU competition enforcement in 2020 contributed to the longer-term objectives of the 2019-2024 Commission such as “A Europe fit for the digital age”, “A European Green Deal”, and “An economy that works for people”. The Commission proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 contained an important change by including a dedicated component for competition policy within the Single Market Programme.
08.07.2021 – FEPORT Secretary General elected Vice Chair of the “Sustainable Ports” Sub-group at the Port Forum
On the 8th of July, FEPORT Secretary General, Mrs. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid, was elected as vice-Chair of the Sustainable Ports Subgroup of the Port Forum. This Subgroup falls under the European Ports Forum which is an Expert Group advising the European Commission.
The meeting was dedicated to the kick-off of the work regarding the collection of good practices in terms of the use of alternative fuels and clean energy for port operations. Mr Raúl Cascajo representing the Valencia Port Authority was selected as rapporteur for this task. The work on the elaboration of a guidance on good practices in terms of the use of alternative fuels and clean energy for port operations will start soon in cooperation with COWI, the consultant that has been selected by the EU Commission. During the opening presentation, the EU Commission underlined that this task should be complementary to already existing sectoral good practices, rather than to replace them.
After, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) provided an update on their OPS Guidance, which seeks to provide port administrations with technical and operational advice, while also looking into safety aspects.
Moreover, DG ENVI gave a presentation concerning the Zero Pollution Action Plan and its impacts on port stakeholders. For example, a number of legislative initiatives on the topic of water are upcoming next year and port stakeholders can also expect to be affected by the EU’s climate change adaptation policies.
08.07.2021 – European and global forwarders’ associations call on OECD governments to prevent tax avoidance and ensure a level playing field for all stakeholders in the maritime supply chain
“CLECAT and FIATA, respectively, the European and global organisations for freight forwarding and logistics services providers, welcome the historic proposals agreed upon by 130 countries under the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion Profit Shifting (BEPS), a two-pillar plan for a global minimum corporation tax rate. Noting the proposed exemptions for shipping, CLECAT and FIATA raise concerns that the broad definition of “shipping services”, which currently includes ancillary services, would open the door to tax avoidance and trade distortion, undermining the overarching intent of the OECD/G20 BEPS framework.
CLECAT and FIATA call upon OECD member countries to include any, and all kinds of cargo handling, logistics and ancillary activities within the scope of the proposals in the interests of ensuring a level playing field for all stakeholders in the maritime logistics supply chain. The global shipping industry has secured an exemption from the OECD proposals for a global minimum corporation tax rate of no less than 15%, which would apply to all shipping companies with a turnover above a 750-million Euro threshold. The final details of the agreement still need to be further defined and should ensure that the definition of “shipping services” eligible for the exemption focuses on vessel-related port-to-port services only, so as not to perpetuate tax evasion.
CLECAT and FIATA are particularly concerned by the overly broad definition of shipping (as stated in the commentary of Article 8 of the OECD Tax Convention) that could lead to an exemption of shipping companies’ services in the areas of freight forwarding, customs, and logistics services. This would mean that freight forwarders, logistics service providers and terminal operators would be required to pay taxes for the same activities that shipping lines could offer tax-exempt or partially tax-exempt, thereby providing incentives for carrier haulage (door-to-door transport arranged by the carrier) rather than merchant haulage.
This would further distort competition in the maritime logistics supply chain and would weaken the very purpose of the new OECD proposals. In particular, it would have a detrimental impact on small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), who already suffer today from the ongoing disruptions in the maritime supply chain and the dominant position of the shipping companies, noting ongoing disruptions and calls for greater transparency in the rising charges levied by shipping lines.
FIATA and CLECAT therefore call on OECD member countries to include all services which are not directly related to the ship within the scope of BEPS Pillar 2, including hinterland transport, storage, cargo handling, customs services, fiscal and insurance services, and all other ancillary services. The definition of “shipping services” under the exemption should be limited to vessel-related port-to-port services only”.
 OECD (2017), "Commentary on Article 8", in Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital: Condensed Version 2017, OECD Publishing, Paris
09.07.2021 – President Biden’s Executive Order on promoting competition in the American economy
President Biden has taken action to reduce the trend of corporate consolidation, increase competition, and deliver concrete benefits to America’s consumers, workers, farmers, and small businesses. The Executive Order that he has signed establishes a whole-of-government effort to promote competition in the American economy.
The Order includes 72 initiatives by more than a dozen federal agencies to promptly tackle some of the most pressing competition problems across our economy. In maritime shipping, the global marketplace has rapidly consolidated. In 2000, the largest 10 shipping companies controlled 12% of the market. Today, it is more than 80%, leaving domestic manufacturers who need to export goods at these large foreign companies’ mercy.
In the Order, President Biden encourages the Federal Maritime Commission to ensure vigorous enforcement against shippers charging American exporters exorbitant charges.
Source: The White House
14.07.2021 – EU Commission adopts “Fit for 55” package
On the 14th of July, the European Commission adopted the “Fit for 55” package, which is a set of proposals to make the EU’s climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030.
With these proposals, the Commission is presenting the legislative tools to deliver on the targets agreed in the European Climate Law, enabling the acceleration of greenhouse gas emission reductions in the next decade.
The EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) puts a price on carbon and lowers the cap on emissions from certain economic sectors every year. The new proposal aims at lowering the overall emission cap even further and increasing its annual rate of reduction. To complement the substantial spending on climate in the EU budget, Member States should spend the entirety of their emissions trading revenues on climate and energy-related projects.
The Renewable Energy Directive will set an increased target to produce 40% of the EU’s energy from renewable sources by 2030. Even though it was considered, low carbon fuels will not be included in the target. Yet, an initiative regarding the certification of low carbon fuels might be introduced via a separate legislative proposal such as the Hydrogen and Decarbonised Gas Market Package. The proposal also increases the targets for the transport sector, by introducing a target for reducing the greenhouse gas intensity of transport fuels by 13%.
The revised Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation will require Member States to ensure that an appropriate number of refueling points for LNG are put in place at TEN-T core maritime ports.
Wheras the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation requires that ships have access to clean electricity supply in major ports, the FuelEU Maritime Initiative will try to stimulate the uptake of sustainable maritime fuels and zero-emission technologies by setting a maximum limit on the greenhouse gas content of energy used by ships calling at European ports.
The revision of the Energy Taxation Directive proposes to align the taxation of energy products with EU energy and climate policies, promoting clean technologies and removing outdated exemptions and reduced rates that currently encourage the use of fossil fuels. The new rules aim at reducing the harmful effects of energy tax competition, thereby helping Member States to collect revenues from green taxes, which are less detrimental to growth than taxes on labor.
A new Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism will put a carbon price on imports of a targeted selection of products to ensure that ambitious climate action in Europe does not lead to carbon leakage. This will ensure that European emission reductions contribute to a global emissions decline, instead of pushing carbon-intensive production to move outside of Europe.
To reduce overall energy use, cut emissions and tackle energy poverty, the Energy Efficiency Directive will set a more ambitious binding annual target for reducing energy use at EU level. It will guide how national contributions are established and almost double the annual energy saving obligation for Member States. The public sector will be required to renovate 3% of its buildings each year to drive the renovation wave, create jobs and bring down energy use and costs to the taxpayer.
The Effort Sharing Regulation assigns strengthened emissions reduction targets to each Member State for buildings, road and domestic maritime transport, agriculture, waste and small industries. Recognizing the different starting points and capacities of each Member State, these targets are based on their GDP per capita, with adjustments made to take cost efficiency into account.
Source: European Commission
15.07.2021 – FEPORT welcomes the “Fit for 55” proposal but underlines the need to acknowledge and support the efforts of port stakeholders
FEPORT welcomes the EU Commission’s “Fit for 55” proposals as a necessary step to meet the EU’s enhanced climate targets in a holistic way but underlines the need to acknowledge and support the efforts of port stakeholders to decarbonize the maritime sector.
FEPORT members have already long ago turned their commitment to sustainability into action and have brought down the GHG emissions of their operations.
Private port companies and terminals also contribute to the decarbonization of the transport sector at large by allowing for the transshipment of goods arriving by sea onto clean transport modes, thereby contributing to modal shift.
FEPORT supports price incentives via proposals like the EU ETS and the Energy Taxation Directive, as well as the “polluter pays principle”.
“The package of measures is ambitious and will require careful assessment from our members particularly with respect to the interdependence that exists between some measures and the need to ensure consistency between them to guarantee sustainable efficiency” says Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid, FEPORT Secretary General.
“FEPORT is looking forward to having constructive discussions with EU regulators with respect to the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure and the necessity to make investments that are founded on business cases and real demand. It will be also important to support port stakeholders in their efforts to provide transitional fuels for which a return on investment might be compromised over the mid-long term” adds FEPORT Secretary General.
“We fully subscribe to the objectives of the Green Deal and EU’s enhanced climate targets. However, it will also be essential to keep in mind that the competitiveness of European ports is also a priority and that the competition with non-EU neighboring ports is an important issue to be considered when discussing mechanisms that may impact imports and exports transported via EU ports” mentions FEPORT Secretary General.
“To conclude, we hope that EU regulators will be receptive to our contributions and views as the tremendous environmental challenges ahead call for a solid public-private partnership in all sectors to the benefit of societies and citizens” concludes Ms. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid.
 To reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by at least 55% by 2030, and enable climate neutrality by 2050.
20.07.2021 – Seatrade Awards 2021
FEPORT Secretary General, Ms. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid has been invited to be part of the jury of the Seatrade Awards. Seatrade Awards, in association with Lloyd’s List, is the leading awards program for the global shipping and maritime industries. Established in 1989, Seatrade Awards takes place every two years and welcomes entries across a diverse range of categories from businesses of all sectors. Each entry is judged and verified by an independent panel of experts, ensuring a transparent and fair process for all applicants.
FEPORT Secretary General will be a judge in the category of the “Port and Terminal Digital Technology Award” and two other categories within the Intelligent Shipping Awards panel.
This year, the Intelligent Shipping Awards categories include:
- Marine Digital Technology Award
- Cyber Security Award
- Port & Terminal Digital Technology Award in association with TOC Events Worldwide
This year’s Seatrade Awards ceremony will be held on Wednesday 3rd November 2021.
20.07.2021 – FMC launches audit unit to examine container market
The US Federal Maritime Committee (FMC) has launched a new audit program and dedicated audit team to assess carrier compliance with the Agency’s rule on detention and demurrage as well as to provide additional information beneficial to the regular monitoring of the marketplace for ocean cargo services. With a new audit unit, the FMC intensifies its focus on competition in the container market.
The maritime authority has established the Vessel-Operating Common Carrier Audit Program with the aim of ensuring that companies involved in ocean freight to the US comply with the FMC's rules for detention and demurrage related to the handling of goods. Furthermore, the new unit will ask the nine largest carriers sailing to the US to provide additional information beneficial to the regular monitoring of the market for ocean freight.
“The Federal Maritime Commission is committed to making certain the law is followed and that shippers do not suffer from unfair disadvantages. The work of the audit team will enable the Commission to monitor trends in demurrage and detention practices and revenue, as well as to establish ongoing dialog between staff and carriers on challenges facing the supply chain,” says FMC’s Chair, Mr. Daniel B. Maffei in the announcement.
The Federal Maritime Commission plans to audit nine of the largest container carriers (Maersk, MSC, CMA CGM, COSCO Group, Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, Evergreen, HMM and Yang Ming) operating in U.S. markets to find out if they are using their market power to overcharge shippers on detention and demurrage fees.
The carriers involved in the audit will be analyzed for compliance with FMC regulations as they apply to detention and demurrage practices in the U.S. Each will be audited “irrespective of whether a formal or informal complaint has been filed at the Commission,” FMC stated. “The Commission will work with companies to address their application of the rule and clarify any questions or ambiguities. Information supplied by carriers may be used to establish industry best practices.”
FMC Managing Director Lucille Marvin will lead the audit program, the agency noted, which will be made up initially of current FMC employees. The audit will begin with an information request establishing a database of quarterly reports allowing the Commission to assess how detention and demurrage is administered. Responses will be followed by individual interviews with the carriers.
Aside from detention and demurrage, the audit may include carrier practices related to billing, appeals procedures, the assessment of penalties and any other restrictive practices, according to the FMC.
The announcement of FMC's new audit unit comes after Joe Biden signed an executive order which, among other things, encourages the maritime authority to increase its focus on competition in the container market, where a shortage of capacity and record demand is currently keeping rates at a historical high.
20.07.2021 – ITF Workshop on Zero Carbon Supply Chains: The Case of Hamburg
On July 20th, 2021, ITF organized an online session to present the main findings of its report published end of June 2021 on the Port of Hamburg’s initiatives to reduce emissions.
According to the report, the Hamburg port and container terminals have developed relatively ambitious emission reduction targets, which is less the case for other parts of the chain. On the maritime side, only a few carriers have developed ambitious long-term targets. On the landside, most transport operators have not formulated long-term emission reduction targets, the exception being large logistics operators, although they are dependent on transport operators to realize the most substantial emission reductions.
Hamburg can be commended for a range of measures it is taking to reduce the carbon emissions of freight transport. It has managed to achieve a high share of rail in transport serving the port, the legacy of decades of investment in rail tracks within the port and a policy to facilitate port rail transport.
Hamburg’s main terminal operators have proactively invested in low-emission yard equipment and cranes. All this has made it possible for certain forwarders to offer practically zero carbon transport chains from the port of Hamburg to its hinterland destinations, something that is not yet possible in many other places.
In maritime and road freight transport, Hamburg (and Germany as a whole) has developed policies to stimulate the use of natural gas via incentive programs and roll-out of infrastructure. Although more or less consistently and coherently pursued, this strategy cannot be considered a long-term – or even a medium-term – zero carbon solution.
“The city-state of Hamburg has an ambitious GHG emission reduction strategy and is one of the main shareholders of the container shipping line Hapag Lloyd. Yet it does not appear to use this position to pressure Hapag Lloyd to develop a more ambitious and proactive stance on GHG emission reductions. Hamburg and other local, regional and national governments could use the leverage they have over the shipping industry via maritime state aid to incentivize the companies they support to engage in ambitious GHG emission reduction measures”.
26.07.2021 – EU Commission opens a public consultation regarding the lists of surface and groundwater pollutants
On the 26th of July, the EU Commission opened a public consultation regarding the lists of surface and groundwater pollutants in view of the possible revision of the Priority Substances List (for surface waters) and of the annexes of the Groundwater Directive.
The Consultation will remain open until November the 1st.
The Priority Substances List for surface waters which is referred to in article 16(2) of the WFD, lays down a number of substances which pose a risk to the environment and of which the pollution in EU surface waters must therefore be progressively reduced. Also, the Annexes to the Groundwater Directive contain lists of substances posing a significant environmental risk.
Revising this list serves the need for the general public and the economy to dispose of ‘non-polluted’ water, i.e., reducing to a minimum the amount of harmful substances in rivers, lakes, coastal and ground waters.
Respondents that are specifically targeted by the consultation are those from the water using or processing sectors which could be industry, nature, wastewater treatment, etc.
Source: EU Commission
27.07.2021 – EU unlocks EUR 122 million of funding via the Innovation Fund to support innovative projects aimed at decarbonization
On the 27th of July, the EU Commission has selected 32 small innovative projects located in EU Member States, Iceland and Norway for grants that together represent an investment of EUR 118 million. The grants serve to support projects aiming to bring low-carbon technologies to the market. The projects will be performed in sectors such as energy intensive industries, hydrogen, energy storage and renewable energy.
Furthermore, 15 projects located in 10 EU Member States and Norway have been selected for project assistance worth up to EUR 4.4 million. This project assistance seeks to advance the selected projects’ financial and technical maturity, in view of making the projects ready for a possible re-submission under future Innovation Fund Calls.
Also, a number of waterborne transport sector projects have been selected for grants and/or project development assistance. For example, in the field of bio-LNG for maritime transport and the use of green hydrogen from renewable sources for a zero-emission vessel.
Source: European Commission and Waterborne Technology Platform
28.07.2021 – COSCO and MSC sued for “manipulating” container market
On the 28th of July, Us-based furniture company MCS Industries is suing COSCO and MSC over alleged exploitation in the recent abnormal surges in spot freights rates.
The company filed a lawsuit with the Federal Maritime Commission claiming violations of the 1984 US Shipping Act, and is suing the two global container lines for $600,000, arguing they “unjustly and unreasonably exploited customers” and manipulated the spot container freight market.
The spot container rate from China to the US West Coast has surged from about $2,700 in 2019 to more than $15,000 now.
09.08.2021 – EU position on the establishment of a Technical Committee on Waterborne Transport and Multimodality
On the 9th of July, 2021, the Regional Steering Committee decided in regards to the proposal for a Council Decision on the position to be taken on behalf of the European Union in the Regional Steering Committee of the Transport Community with regard to the establishment of a Technical Committee on Waterborne Transport and Multimodality.
The Regional Steering Committee, which is responsible for the administration of the Transport Community Treaty (TCT) and for ensuring its proper implementation, adopted the decision to establishing a Technical Committee for Waterborne Transport and Multimodality.
The Technical Committee on Waterborne Transport and Multimodality aim will be to address critical issues in waterborne transport (maritime affairs, inland waterways and ports) as well as multimodality aspects and promote their efficient use. As the Union is a party to the TCT, it is necessary to establish a Union position.
10.08.2021 – Cargotec-Konecranes merger granted approval by Chinese regulator
In a statement, Cargotec disclosed that the Chinese competition authority granted its “unconditional approval” for the planned merger between Cargotec and Konecranes.
The companies declared their intention to continue working closely with the competition authorities in the remaining jurisdictions to obtain regulatory approvals and they are confident that the approvals will be received to allow for the completion of the Transaction by the end of H1/2022.
Until completion, both companies will operate fully separately and independently.
Source: Port Technology
19.08.2021 – EU Commission releases roadmap on the revision of the Combined Transport Directive
On the 19th of August, as part of the efforts to cut EU greenhouse gas emissions from transport, the European Commission published the Inception Impact Assessment (IIA) setting the scope within which the proposal to amend the Combined Transport Directive will be developed, which will be open for feedback until the 16th of September.
The Combined transport directive is the only EU legal instrument that directly supports the shift from road freight to lower emission transport modes (inland waterways, maritime transport and rail), but, although it improved the shift of freight away from road, numerous shortcomings in its implementation have diminished its impact.
The objective of the initiative is to facilitate an increase in the share of rail, short sea shipping and inland waterways in total freight transport. The revision aims at improving the existing support by extending it to wider set of operations, increasing the choice and level of support measures and thereby incentivizing transport organizers to increasingly use intermodal or multimodal transport in the EU in view of a more sustainable modal composition of the transport system and consequently help to reduce its negative externalities.
The IIA defines three policy options that will be examined in the coming months:
- Extend the support from today’s narrowly defined combined transport operations to all intermodal or multimodal operations that save certain negative externalities compared to road only transport based on a common calculation method. Negative externalities to be saved could be either only greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), or a wider set of negative externalities such as GHG, pollution, congestion and accidents. Member States can choose from a list of economic and regulatory support measures, with at least one economic measure being mandatory. Establish a categorization of terminals based on infrastructure and operational efficiency, and develop regulatory requirements for terminals as regards data exchange with other participants in the transport chain. Provisions on labelling of freight transport operations.
- Previous option plus an obligation that the support measures to be adopted by Member States have to be chosen based on regular transport system analysis and planning, thereby also enabling the assessment of the efficiency of the measures to support the attainment of the objectives of the revised Combined Transport Directive.
Previous option plus a certain number of mandatory harmonized support measures such as a support to transshipment costs or operational support per loading unit in intermodal transport provided to shippers/logistics operators.
Source: European Commission
Members' News Corner
02.07.2021 – PSA Breakbulk NV is awarded concession by the Port of Antwerp
After having completed negotiations with the Port of Antwerp, PSA Breakbulk NV has been awarded a concession to perform breakbulk activities in the area around the Churchill Dock South.
The Port of Antwerp seeks to establish a new project cargo ecosystem on the site and for its management, PSA Breakbulk NV has arranged a merger which involves 50% of its shares with the Austrian association Felbermayr Holding GmbH which is specialized in heavy lifting activities.
Port of Antwerp explicitly aims to improve its position as a breakbulk port in Europe and is therefore delighted to accommodate this new project.
Source: Dry Cargo international
07.07.2021 – HyperloopTT and HHLA present HyperPort concept
Next October, during the ITS World Congress in Hamburg, HHLA and the US research and development company Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) will present a “virtual reality demonstrator” for their HyperPort concept. This will serve as a model for the transport of containers in seaport-hinterland traffic using Hyperloop technology.
For the past two and a half years, the two companies have been developing this technical concept with the goal of increasing the capacity and efficiency of container terminals while reducing the environmental footprint and congestion in ports worldwide.
“HyperPort was developed based on current industry standards and is a plug-and-play solution for port operators. The concept makes it possible to transport containerized goods at high speed over hundreds of kilometers. The system can reliably, efficiently and safely move up to 2,800 containers a day in a closed operating environment, without traffic or environmental influences. The individual HyperPortTM transport capsules provide room for two 20-foot or one 40- or 45-foot standard or high cube container,” the companies said.
Source: World Cargo News
08.07.2021 – Mr Christian de Tinguy's and Mr Ronan Sevette's contributions recognized by the Government of the Republic of France
On July 8th, Mr Christian de Tinguy, President of UNIM (French Port Operators’ Association) and Director General of Terminaux de Normandie has made Knight of the Legion of Honor in recognition of his outstanding and valuable role in promoting the French maritime and port sectors
On the same day, Mr Ronan Sevette, Director General of UNIM was also rewarded for his professional civil and military career and was named Officer of the Order of Maritime Merit.
Warm congratulations to both recipients for the well-deserved awards.
09.07.2021 – Charles Baker appointed CEO of DCT Gdańsk
After serving as VP at PSA Americas, Mr Charles Baker was appointed as DCT Gdańsk new CEO to lead Poland’s largest container terminal and assumed his responsibilities with effect from the 9th of July, 2021, succeeding Mr Cameron Thorpe who left to guide PSA’s International projects in Belgium.
Baker said: “I am deeply honored to have been entrusted with this new role in Poland and very excited to be able to work with the dynamic and professional team at DCT Gdańsk.
“I look forward to working closely with both the internal and external stakeholders to bring DCT Gdańsk to the next level in terms of operational and service excellence to meet the needs of our valued customers and partners.”
Baker started his career at Canada Maritime Agencies, which belonged to CP Ships in Canada, and in the following years he took on managing roles in various leading shipping and port companies in the UK and the Netherlands.
Source: Container Management
16.07.2021 – Yilport increases the capacity of its Huelva terminal with three new cranes
The container terminal managed by Yilport Iberia located at the South pier of the port of Huelva has significantly increased its capacity with the arrival of three Super Post-Panamax cranes coming from the Port of Antwerp.
These three new cranes will allow Yilport to handle vessels with a capacity of up to 10.000 TEUs, which is a significant increase as compared to the 3.000 TEU ships Yilport Iberia can accommodate at current.
According to the Director-General of Yilport Iberia, Diogo Vaz, the possibility to handle bigger ships in the port of Huelva could create 50 indirect jobs. Moreover, the new cranes will allow Yilport to include the transshipment of cargo in the services it offers at the port of Huelva.
Source: el Mercantil
23.07.2021 – DP World signs agreement for Northern Transit Corridor
On the 23rd of July, DP World and Rosatom signed an agreement to work together and develop the Northern Transit Corridor as a viable and sustainable route between Asia and Europe.
Under the terms of the agreement, DP World and Rosatom will establish a joint venture which will invest in, build and operate transport and logistics capacity along the Northern Transit Corridor. DP World has already committed to invest $2 billion with the Russian Direct Investment fund, and will continue to work with its Russian partners to find solutions allowing the Corridor to develop sustainably.
The Northern route is expected not only to reduce CO2 emissions by cutting up to 19 days from the journey time between Southeast Asia and Northwest Europe, but also to provide an alternative new route which is not congested, more efficient and faster.
The pandemic highlighted significant challenges in the supply chain, with many cargo owners struggling to find containers to move their goods. Diversification and disruption of traditional routes and methods are required to sustain growth and build back confidence.
26.07.2021 – DCT Gdańsk lays out plans for “Baltic Hub 3”
On the 26th of July, DCT Gdańsk and the Port of Gdańsk Authority have confirmed that the lease for the next container terminal at the port has been awarded to the incumbent operator DCT Gdańsk.
DCT Gdańsk operates T1 and T2 at Gdańsk, which have a total capacity of 3M TEU per annum. With the construction of the new terminal “Baltic Hub 3”, a third deep water quay located at the new port area will be created, increasing the handling capacity of DCT Gdańsk by 1.5M TEU, to 4.5M TEU. The investment is worth €450M, and the third deep water quay will be 717m long with a depthof 18.0m, and 36-ha of yard will be built.
Construction is scheduled to start in Q2 2022 and the project also involves the purchase of seven quay cranes that are able to handle the world’s largest vessels, and 20 semi-automated RMG cranes for the container yard, which will be remotely operated by operators located in ergonomically-designed workspaces.
02.08.2021 – PSA launches first sustainability report
PSA International has announced the launch of its inaugural Sustainability Report 2020 titled “Green Horizons: Enabling a Better World Through Sustainable Port and Supply Chain Solutions”.
The Group aims to reduce its absolute carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 (against a 2019 baseline year) and progressively achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Its target covers Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions as classified by the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol standard.
PSA has made investments and directed innovations to bring about rapid decarbonization of its operations.
Anchoring these efforts is the Group’s Sustainability Strategy Framework presented in the Sustainability Report – a framework derived from a rigorous assessment of the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors that are material to PSA’s business and stakeholders.
10.08.2021 – PSA and RHT to collaborate on decarbonization
PSA International has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the RHT Group of Companies (RHT) to explore co-creation and investment in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) digital asset solutions to further advance the goals of decarbonization in ports and supply chains.
The MoU underscores PSA’s interest to partner industry and technology players that can drive progress across the ESG factors facing its business, and is aligned with the PSA Group’s strategic priority to transform supply chains while driving sustainable value creation.
The MoU partners will jointly ideate and explore collaboration on potential ESG products and solutions that serve PSA’s identified priorities and have a positive impact on global decarbonization efforts.
13.08.2021 – Rail transport boosts HHLA’s half year results
Although global supply chains have been disturbed by the coronavirus pandemic as well as the Suez Canal crisis, HHLA saw a 16% increase in container transport in the first half of 2021, boosting the group’s half year results.
Group EBIT increased 63% year-on-year to €90.5m, which is partially attributable to high storage fees as a result of continued shipping delays at the Port of Hamburg and the positive growth in container transport volumes.
Intermodal container transport recorded 832,000 TEU in the first half of 2021, of which 678,000 TEU was attributed to rail transport which grew 19% year-on-year.
The increase was even more significant in the second quarter compared to the previous year’s pandemic-related weak quarter.
Throughput at HHLA’s container terminals saw a moderate increase, up 0.7% year-on-year to 3.36m TEU. The group’s three Hamburg terminals handled just over 3m TEU, handling around 20,000 TEU more than the same period last year.
This was in particular due to the moderate increase in cargo volumes for Far East services, which offset pandemic-related volume shortfalls in the previous year and the loss of a Far East service in May 2020.
17.08.2021 – DP World completes testing of the BOXBAY high bay storage concept
DP World announced the testing completion of the BOXBAY high bay storage concept at the first full-size facility constructed at Jebel Ali port in Dubai.
Born from the Joint Venture between DP World and German industrial engineering specialist SMS group, this system can store containers in slots in a steel rack up to eleven high. It delivers three times the capacity of a conventional yard in which containers are stacked directly on top of each other, meaning the footprint of terminals can be reduced by 70 percent.
In BOXBAY containers are moved in, out and between slots by fully electrified and automated cranes built into the structure. Individual containers can be accessed without moving any others. The whole system is designed to be fully powered by solar panels on the roof.
Source: DP World
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23.09.2021 Board of Directors – Brussels
28.09.2021 Environment, Safety and Security Committee – Brussels
30.09.2021 Port Policy Committee – Brussels
13.10.2021 Social Affairs Committee – TBC
21.10.2021 Customs and Logistics Committee – TBC
10.11.2021 Sixth Annual Stakeholders' Conference – TBC
18.11.2021 Board of Directors – TBC
01.09.2021 ENVI Committee Meeting – Brussels
01.09.2021 ECON Committee Meeting – Brussels
01.09.2021 EMPL Committee Meeting – Brussels
01-02.09.2021 TRAN Committee Meeting – Brussels
09.09.2021 FISC Committee Meeting – Brussels
27.09.2021 ECON Committee Meeting – Brussels
27.09.2021 TRAN Committee Meeting – Brussels
30.09.2021 FISC Committee Meeting – Brussels
14-15.09.2021 Assises de la Mer – Nice
14-15.09.2021 8th International Maritime Congress – Szczecin (Poland)
22-23.09.2021 GreenTech for Ports and Terminals Conference – Online
05-07.10.2021 World Maritime Week – Bilbao
05-07.10.2021 8th Mediterranean Ports and Shipping 2021 – Valencia
19-20.10.2021 Cool Logistics Global – Rotterdam
20-22.10.2021 GreenPort Cruise & Congress – Piraeus
26-27.10.2021 TOC Europe 2021 – Rotterdam
19.11.2021 SSDC Plenary Meeting – TBC
01-03.02.2022 EuroMaritime – Marseille