Fifth Annual Stakeholders Conference





On November 28th, 2019, FEPORT will organize its Fifth Annual Stakeholders’ Conference gathering more than 30 associations of the maritime logistics sector as well as institutional stakeholders.

The topic of the Conference is: “Do we need a “Big Bang” for the European maritime logistics strategy?”

Do we know what is a “Big Bang”?

Some may think about an explosion, a cosmic change, a violent event, a beginning? an end?

To know more, we shall have the pleasure to listen to a well-known astrophysicist who will share with us his knowledge about the “Big Bang” theory and explain how it is relevant to the topic of the conference.

Following the publication of the political Guidelines of EU Commission President Elect, Ms Ursula Von der Leyen and the recent European Political Strategy Centre’s strategic notes on Clean Transport at Sea: Setting a Course for European Leadership, we would like to start a conversation with our guests, speakers and audience about what industry thinks about leadership, level playing field and competitiveness, the Green Deal, future jobs and many other topics.

Do we need a total mind shift, a “big bang” or change of paradigm? Do we need to do more? what do we expect from regulators?

The conference will include three sessions:

  1. Competitiveness and level playing field: lessons learnt from the shipbuilding industry.

  2. Climate crisis: can “slowbalization” and the “Green Deal” be the solutions? 

  3. Jobs of the future: will robots really replace humans in maritime logistics chains?

Do we have the good framework to cope with the rapid pace of changes that are affecting us? Are our rules too self-centric and too defensive?

How can the EU shape global rules and take action to address an unlevel global playing field?

Does it make sense to adopt sectoral support measures?

Can decarbonization and competitiveness go hand in hand? How can this be achieved?

Does the current innovation framework allow us to set ambitious objectives in terms of decarbonization?

All players within the maritime logistics chain are experiencing the effects of disruption. Some are expanding vertically, horizontally and making more and more use of digital tools. The world is becoming smaller and wider at the same time…

What will be the jobs of the future? Will robots really replace human beings working in maritime logistics chains?

To know more about the “Big Bang”, we shall have the pleasure to listen to a well-known astrophysicist, Mr Marc Lachièze-Rey, who will share with us his knowledge about the “Big Bang” theory and explain how it is relevant to the topic of the conference.

During the first session of the conference, we will listen to the views of the participants who will debate about competitiveness and the level playing field.

A senior Economist, at the Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation at OECD will provide a general presentation on the reality of the level playing field in the shipbuilding industry between different regions of the world.

Panelists from DG Grow, DG Comp, VSM Shipyards, the European Transport Federation, ITF OECD as well as ZDS on behalf of the seaport terminal industry will react to the key note speech and share their thoughts on current EU policies. The participants will also discuss whether sectoral support measures in the EU and outside the EU are a source of distortion of competition.

There is also a rising worry that other third countries are not playing by the same rules and that Europe’s openness is being used against its own strategic interests.

The recent European Commission decision to prohibit Siemens’ proposed acquisition of Alstom has triggered a new phase in Europe’s ongoing debate on industrial policy.

Do we need to reform EU competition rules to adapt to a multipolar world where fair competition does not always prevail?

Do we need to change paradigm? What is the future of multilateralism?

The maritime logistics sector like others believes that an important step for the EU will be to identify Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) and value chains of strategic importance to Europe.

Session 1 will certainly offer an opportunity to hear about industry expectations towards EU institutions.

These last years, there is also a pressing realization within the EU that we may not have done enough to prepare for digitalization and decarbonization, and that the EU innovation policy framework has for too long lacked instruments to support disruptive or breakthrough innovation, aimed at creating new markets.

Thus, the importance of a more holistic cluster approach regarding R&D which acknowledges the interlinkages between the different stages from research to innovation, and from incubator to corporations.

Participants in the second session will share their thoughts on how decarbonization targets can be reached and the role of innovation and R&D.

After a key note speech from a representative from Danish Maritime, panelists from Transport and Environment, Smart Freight Center, the Port of Venice, Hapag Lloyd, CMA CGM, Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center will debate about the climate crisis and how each party of the maritime logistics chain can contribute to the objectives of the Green Deal. Speakers will also discuss slowbalization and the necessity for the EU to intensify its funding for innovation.

How can industry contribute to the objectives of the Green Deal? How can we preserve competitiveness, promote sustainability and create new jobs?

Finally, some industries of the maritime logistics sector are facing a shortage of skills. They are not able to find the profiles they are looking for to remain efficient, sustainable and competitive. Artificial intelligence as well as the use of automation and digitalization will obviously not be the only miraculous “solutions”.

A significant effort in terms of upskilling and reskilling of the workforce is a priority in many industries. This will be the topic of the third and last session of the conference.

After a key note speech from a Professor of the World Maritime University, participants representing DG Employment and DG MOVE, IRU, ICHCA, TIC 4.0, Stielher Consulting and ETF will share their insights about the evolution of the job profiles in the maritime logistics sector and how governments and the EU Commission can support the emergence of new jobs.




08:30 am          Registrations opened

09:30 am          Welcoming speeches

Ms Barbara Schretter, Director General of the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria 

Mr Gunther Bonz, FEPORT President


10:00 am         Opening speech

Ms Adina-Ioana Valean, President of the ITRE Committee of the European Parliament (tbc)

Keynote speech

Mr Marc Lachièze-Rey, Astrophysicist specialized in “Big Bang” 


10:40 am         Session 1

Competitiveness and level playing field: lessons learnt from the shipbuilding industry 

Keynote speech

Mr Laurent Daniel, Senior Economist, Directorate for Science, Tecnology and Innovation at OECD


Mr Paris Sansoglou, Secretary General EuDA

11:00 am         Panel discussion:

Mrs Barbara Bonvisutto, Head of Unit, DG Grow

Mrs Bojana Dohms, Case Handler Shipbuilding, DG Comp

Mr Reinhard Lüken, Managing Director VSM and Member of Sea Europe

Mrs Maya Schwiegershauen-Güth, Head of ITF Flag of Convenience Campaign & Agreements Germany, ETF

Mr Daniel Hosseus, Managing Director ZDS and Member of the Board of Directors of FEPORT 

Mr Olaf Merk, Administrator, ITF OECD

Q&As from the audience (20 mns)


12:30 pm         Lunch break


02:00 pm         Session 2

Climate crisis: can "slowbalization" and the "Green Deal" be the solutions?

Keynote speech

Ms Jenny Braat, Director, Danish Maritime


Mrs Anna Maria Darmanin, Secretary General ETA

02:20 am         Panel discussion:

Mr Alan Lewis, Technical Development Director, GLEC-Smart Freight Center

Mr Pino Musolino, President of the Port of Venice

Mr Pyers Tucker, Strategy Development Manager, Hapag Lloyd

Mr Charles Feld, Institutional Policy Manager, CMA CGM Group 

Mr Gerald Hirt, CEO, Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center

Mr Faig Abbasov, Shipping Programme Manager, T&E

Q&As from the audience (20 mns)


03:45 pm         Coffee break


04:10 pm         Session 3

Jobs of the future: will robots really replace humans in maritime logistics chains?

Keynote speech

Pr Tiago Fonseca, Technical Officer, World Maritime University


Mrs Rachael White, CEO Next Level Info 

04:30 am         Panel discussion:

Mr Istvan Vanyalos, Policy Officer, DG Empl

Mrs Esther Visser, Social Affairs Manager, IRU

Mrs Ellen Dust, Policy Officer, DG Move

Mr Robert Hengster, Head of Maritime Sector, ver.di

Mr Stephan Stiehler, Vice President ICHCA Technical Committee and Senior Consultant Stiehler Consulting 

Mr Boris Wenzel, Managing Director Terminal Link and Chairman of TIC 4.0


05:30 pm         Wrap up

Mrs Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid, FEPORT secretary General


06:00 pm         Closing speech

Mrs Magda Kopczynska, Director Waterborne Transport, DG Move


Cocktail reception