"Never normal" again... but...

In the port industry, we are used to often hear that port congestion and port productivity are the main causes of disruption in the maritime logistics chains. But we often reply: “Don’t miss the forest for the trees…” as congestion in ports is often the sign of inefficiencies in the maritime logistics chain i.e., upstream and downstream ports.


edito may 2022

One “positive” outcome of the COVID-19 crisis is that port stakeholders for instance in the EU have shown their resilience. Both employers and employees have ensured 24/7 the good circulation of cargoes and the security of the supplies to hospitals, factories, and supermarkets. The pandemic has thrown light on the strategic dimension and the role of ports even if praise of port stakeholders has been very discrete.

At this very moment, in the framework of the necessary support of the EU to Ukraine, port stakeholders and FEPORT members are mobilizing to support the recent EU Commission’s initiative EU-Ukraine solidarity lanes. Port stakeholders are very often problem solvers when difficulties arise and threaten the good functioning of the maritime logistics chain and the EU security of supplies.

But the ability of port stakeholders to handle difficult situations must not exempt other parties of the maritime logistics chain as well as Member States from the responsibility to improve individually. This is exactly what FEPORT has tried to flag out in its Press Release end of April and its recent feedback to the EU Commission regarding the lack of harmonization of border controls and too lengthy veterinary checks regarding agricultural products, for instance coming from Ukraine or from non-EU countries like Serbia, and crossing different borders. 

COVID-19 has taught us that disruption will be part of the new functioning we should all accept. However, this does not mean that we should accept that inefficiencies within the maritime logistics chain become a “destiny”, a “curse” that cannot be overcome. Throughout the two last years, we indeed heard about “coming back to normal slowly”, about the “new normal”, no “back to normal” and then other events such as the Suez blockade by the Ever Given occurred, followed by the lockdowns in some countries. And since end of February, in connection with the tragedy in Ukraine, port stakeholders are facing the consequences of the implementation of the sanctions on Russia, which translate into many justified customs checks leading to further delays and longer dwell times if not storage of part of the containers destined for Russia.

And now, Shanghai…, the lockdown, the lack of information about the reality prevailing there. While some parties are considering that the situation in Shanghai is nothing really exceptional and that hundreds of ships usually wait there while other regions of the world must just wait. Others, for instance in the port sector, are worried by the possible consequences. 

The slowing down of the Chinese manufacturing industry might be an explanation for the situation in Shanghai, but then should not we all question the unbalanced nature of trade flows and envisage more diversification and sourcing from other countries?  Same question arises regarding Ukraine and the lack of transport capacities or alternatives when ports are closed due to war. Should not we seriously invest in multimodality, in a robust physical and digital connectivity and in interoperability all over the EU to be prepared and more agile?

Whatever the explanation about “Shanghai’s bottleneck” is, the situation calls for more awareness and more proactivity from all stakeholders as well as from policy makers. Currently, EU port stakeholders manage and are compelled to accept that exports are not picked up from yards, that schedule reliability remains low, that imports are not collected either and that port terminal capacities are in some ports full up to 90%.

Some will say that congestion is due to the cargo destined to Russia, but this is only partially true and certainly not valid for all ports. It has probably become a habit for a certain number of stakeholders - both public and private ones - to consider that terminals can find space “within a night”, even if operators have been requesting for months or years to extend yards and storage areas without success… It has become a habit to see ships showing up three days later than expected and still expecting to be served as if they were on time. It has become a habit for cargo interests to use yards as areas where they stock their cargo when their warehouses are full… It has become a habit for terminals to reiterate year after year that port multimodal connectivity is vital without being really heard…

Time has come to consider the function of seaports terminals seriously: yards are not open roof warehouses or parking areas. Any owner of a car parking cannot be profitable or efficiently manage its asset if customers do not respect the rules and appointments. This is not only detrimental to business, but just terrible for the environment with trucks waiting in the vicinity of ports longer than needed, with unnecessary moves in the yards to manage the hectic and unpredictable arrivals of ships or their cascading effects… Seaport terminals have no visibility on the contractual relationship between shipping lines and their customers, thus - if they do not receive information from these two important stakeholders - the situation can only get worse.

COVID-19 and the recent events should not justify wrong practices deriving from silo strategies in the maritime logistics chains as this will ultimately harm the EU economy, its citizens, and its businesses. 

There is an urgent need for coordination at EU level to make the best use of port and rail capacities that can be mobilized for Ukrainian agricultural exports. There is an urgent need for more cooperation between different jurisdictions and competition authorities and a real monitoring of practices in the maritime logistics chain that may have negative consequences on the EU economy.



26.04.2022 ELP event on Maritime logistics chains disruption

On the 26th of April, FEPORT participated to the webinar organized by the European Logistics Platform (ELP) on the disruptions that the global supply chains have been suffering from during recent years as a result of several interruptions.  

elp webinar

The opening presentation was given by Mr Olaf Merk, Administrator for Ports and Shipping at the International Transport Forum, who noted that recent disruptions in the maritime supply chain were caused by a misalignment between demand and deployed capacity, as well as limited incentives to solve bottlenecks. Mr Merk stated that the shipping market is more concentrated than it has ever been, with the top nine carriers holding over 85% of worldwide capacity. Local supply chain difficulties (fueled by rising demand in the US, foreclosures in China) have spilled over to the rest of the world as a result of this concentration, increasing the cost of maritime transportation for European exporters. Mr Merk highlighted that, because the system of global alliances and consortia may be regarded as fostering this interdependence, regulators must create comprehensive indicators of container transport performance and more openness on rates and charges to offset its negative effects. Additionally, stronger international cooperation between competition authorities is needed, with a particular focus on fair competition in door-to-door container shipping and carrier vertical integration.

Mr Jordi Torrent, Strategy Director of the Port of Barcelona, discussed the ongoing maritime supply chain disruptions from the port perspective. The war in Ukraine is the latest in a long line of interruptions that have become more common in recent decades as the world has become more globalized. He stated that ports were attempting to manage and react to these disruptions through increased flexibility, and diversification regarding suppliers and the selection of transportation mode. According to the Port's new strategic plan towards 2040, clear goals have been set to ensure the port's competitiveness, continue the energy transition toward decarbonization of its operations, and provide a safe working environment for its employees. Diversification, differentiation, decarbonization, digitization, and flexibility, according to Mr Torrent, are all necessary for ports to adapt and respond to the next disturbances in the logistics supply chain.

Source: ELP



27.04.2022 – EU Commission proposes to suspend duties on Ukrainian imports

On the 27th of April, the European Commission proposed a Regulation suggesting to suspend import tariffs on all Ukrainian exports to the EU for one year. All EU anti-dumping and safeguard measures on Ukrainian steel exports would be suspended for a year under the plan. The European Parliament and the Council must now evaluate and approve the proposal.

This significant measure is intended to promote Ukraine’s exports to the European Union. It will aid Ukrainian producers and exporters in their challenging circumstances in the face of Russia’s armed invasion. The EU is also taking steps on the ground to help send Ukrainian products out into the world by facilitating overland transport of goods. The Commission, for example, has already begun liberalizing conditions for Ukrainian truck drivers transporting goods between Ukraine and the EU, as well as enabling transit and the use of EU infrastructure to channel Ukrainian exports to third countries.

Source: European Commission


28.04.2022 – TRAN adopts Draft Opinion on EU ETS Maritime

On the 28th of April, the TRAN Committee adopted the draft Opinion of MEP Novakov regarding the EU Commission proposal for a revised EU ETS Directive.

In its Opinion, the TRAN Committee calls for an extended phase-in of the EU ETS over a period of three years, starting eighteen months after the entry into force of the Directive. In the first year, ships will need to surrender allowances for 25% of their verified emissions. Afterwards, this percentage will increase gradually, until ships must surrender allowances for 100% of their emissions in the fourth year and every year thereafter.

mep novakov

Furthermore, the Opinion calls on the Commission to consider impacts on the competitive position of EU ports and to avoid creating carbon and business leakage when implementing EU ETS for shipping. At the same time, the EU Commission is required to set up a monitoring scheme and propose measures to address the risks of carbon and business leakage linked to ships rerouting and making evasive port calls.  While doing so, the EU Commission is called upon to determine impacts on the modal split.

Aside from monitoring and evaluating, the Commission is also asked to conduct an impact assessment by the 1st of January 2025, which looks at the effects regarding carbon leakage, the relocation of calls and port business to ports outside of the EU as well as impacts on the modal split. If any negative impacts on the maritime and/or ports’ sectors are found, the EU Commission should propose measures to address them. While conducting this impact assessment, also the effects of the other Fit for 55 proposals ought to be taken into account.

Another measure the TRAN Committee proposes to address carbon and business leakage is to grant a percentage of free allowances to shipping companies that operate on “deep sea routes”, which are routes between two continents over 3000 km or more carried out on a regular service, provided that they perform a significant part of their transshipment activities in EU ports and that they meet a number of to be defined environmental parameters. Moreover, the TRAN Committee seeks to apply the EU ETS to 100% of emissions on voyages from and to non-EU neighboring ports, which shall be selected based on an impact assessment.

In addition to proposing measures to tackle carbon and business leakage, the TRAN Committee also pronounced itself on the establishment of a Maritime Transition Fund. 75% of the revenues raised via the auctioning of allowances in the maritime sector should flow into this fund which will be used to support research and innovation enabling the decarbonization of shipping. Part of these revenues will also be used for alternative fuels infrastructure in ports. Moreover, refueling and recharging infrastructure in ports can be financed through the Innovation Fund according to the TRAN Committee’s Opinion.

Source: European Parliament



28.04.2022 – TRAN adopts Resolution regarding war in Ukraine impact on transport

On the 28th of April, the TRAN Committee approved a Resolution on the impact of Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine on the EU transport and tourism sectors. The statement first expresses gratitude to European transport companies who assist Ukrainian individuals by providing free travel by train, bus, ship, or plane, as well as numerous associations and private initiatives that offer free goods and person transport to and from Ukraine’s border.

delli k

The resolution calls on the EU to intensify sanctions against Russia’s maritime industry and to refuse ships docked in Russia on their way to EU ports access. Furthermore, all ships wishing to dock in EU ports should be prohibited from refueling in Russian ports.

Moreover, MEPs are disappointed that the Commission has not yet addressed the rise in fuel prices for transport operators, and they call for an in-depth analysis of the economic impact of rising fuel prices on EU transport and mobility, as well as the adoption of additional measures to address rising transportation prices in line with the European Green Deal.

The Parliament must now vote on the proposed resolution in Plenary session, which will take place in Strasbourg during the first week of May 2022.

Source: European Parliament



03.05.2022 European Environmental Ports Conference

On the 3rd of May, FEPORT Secretary General Ms. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid was invited to deliver an opening speech in the framework of the European Environmental Ports Conference in Rotterdam.

The main theme of the session was “Fit for 55” and the private port companies and terminals’ views on the different proposals.

european environmental ports conference 1

FEPORT Secretary General underlined the need to safeguard the competitiveness of the EU port sector and prevent the negative effects of carbon leakage in the framework of the implementation of the EU ETS for maritime on employment. “It is crucial that investments into clean refueling and recharging infrastructure in ports remain a public task and that they are demand-driven”, mentioned FEPORT Secretary General. “It is also important to make a good monitoring of the impact before and after the entry into force of the Fit for 55 legislation as additional measures of support, compensation or revision might be needed to mitigate the negative impact on the competitiveness of ports or terminals”, added Ms. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid.

european environmental ports conference 2

There is a need to clarify and avoid confusion regarding the roles and responsibilities of each port stakeholder when it comes to the provision of OPS and the importance of sufficient public funding to support its rollout where relevant. Currently all business cases involving the service provider, or the port authority have a negative return on investment. It will therefore be crucial to use part of the revenues raised via the implementation of EU ETS and FuelEU Maritime to fund refueling and recharging infrastructure in European ports; and to specify in the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation that Member States should draft a detailed funding plan specifying how they are going to finance the rollout of alternative fuels infrastructure such as OPS”, stated FEPORT Secretary General.

“One way of increasing the uptake of OPS before it becomes mandatory in 2030/35 is by stimulating the demand on the shipping side. Increased shipping demand could also reduce the need for public funding.

Demand could, for example, be increased by allowing for a systematic tax exemption under the Energy Taxation Directive”, concluded Ms. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid.


04.05.2022 EU Commission approves Italian scheme to support cabotage and other maritime services in the context of the coronavirus pandemic

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the European Commission has authorized the €119 million Italian scheme to assist cabotage and other maritime services.

The provision was approved under the Temporary Framework for State Aid. The measure will be available to shipowners engaged in cabotage and other marine services. The assistance will be in the form of a waiver of social security and welfare contributions due between the 1st of August 2020 and the 31st of December 2021. The measure’s goal is to lower the beneficiaries’ labor costs, allowing them to meet their liquidity needs and continue their operations during and after the pandemic.

Source: European Commission



05.05.2022 EU Commission publishes study on transshipment options for more competitive intermodal transport and terminal capacity on TEN-T network

On the 5th of May, DG MOVE published a report that compares the performance of different intermodal transshipment technologies in combination with various loading units. The study sheds light on which combinations are most used, how cost- and time efficient and available they are and what their future potential is. The study also analyses the available capacity and limitations of terminals on the TEN-T network.

The study concludes that in general, the standard vertical transshipment technologies (gantry crane/reach stacker) in combination with containers become competitive with road-only transport at distances of around 1000km. At the same time, when looking through the lens of environmental performance, already at 600km most intermodal transport chains would have lower external costs than road-only transport.

The container is the most economical loading unit and vertical craning is more efficient than horizontal transshipment, including for semi-trailers, while some innovative technologies that can simultaneously lift several loadings units can reduce handling times in terminals.

The majority (60-80%) of transshipment capacity in the EU is provided by vertical transshipment technologies, followed by RoRo ships (20-35%). Only around 2% of transshipment capacity is today in other technologies. Importantly, by 2030, the transshipment capacity in the EU will not be sufficient to meet the demand of planned network capacity expansion. Therefore, the availability of terminals across the Trans-European Transport (TEN-T) network requires further investments and careful planning, considering that compatible transshipment solutions need to be available at both ends of a rail/waterborne leg. Furthermore, on many parts of the TEN-T network, structural upgrades are necessary to allow transporting semitrailers on train. Most upgrades are necessary in Spain, France and Italy, which together amount to 75% of such sections.

The required investment for the removal of these network limitations (loading gauge for semi-trailers, terminals with specific technology) is assessed being about 7.7 billion euros according to the medium range scenario.

The study's findings can be of useful guidance for Member States in their relentless efforts to complete the TEN-T core network by 2030, and respectively 2050 for the comprehensive network as well for CEF projects and other investors into terminals.

For the terminal and transport operators who consider investments or new operations, the Annex to the study includes useful fact sheets with details for each transshipment technology-loading unit combination.

Source: European Commission



10.05.2022 3rd EU Domestic Advisory Group meeting

On the 10th of May, the EU Domestic Advisory Group (DAG) under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which advises the EU Commission on TCA implementation, met for the third time and FEPORT joined the meeting. The EU DAG addressed the TCA’s implementation status and considered future collaboration with the Commission, the TCA Civil Society Forum, and the EU DAG counterpart in the United Kingdom.

The Commission provided members of the group with an update on the status of the TCA’s implementation, including the first meetings of the several trade specialized committees. DAG members also discussed the status of the Group’s submission to the Commission, highlighting the most serious concerns about the TCA’s implementation and ideas for increased trade facilitation.

The DAG members discussed the Commission's work in ensuring that the parties' commitments under the TCA are adequately enforced, and that civil society and companies have direct and effective channels to submit issues concerning breaches with Mr Denis Redonnet, Chief Trade Enforcement Officer. The conference also discussed collaboration with the newly constituted EU DAG counterpart in the United Kingdom, as well as a future joint statement emphasizing on preserving a level playing field between the EU and the United Kingdom, as well as a high degree of environmental protection.



10.05.2022 – Carriers ramp up blank sailings as China lockdowns persist

According to Project44’s newest study, ocean carrier alliances are planning to cancel more than a third of their Asian sailings in the next weeks due to a drop in export freight and the coalitions’ blanking efforts to alleviate the impact of the COVID lockdowns in China will stretch shipment lead times even further, especially to North Europe.

According to statistics from the supply chain platform, between weeks 17 and 23, THE Alliance will cancel 33% of its scheduled sailings from Asia, the Ocean Alliance will cancel 37%, and the 2M Alliance will cancel 39% of its head haul journeys.

In regard to port congestion, Project44 data revealed that import dwell durations at Shanghai’s port peaked at roughly 16 days at the end of April, while export dwell times were “pretty steady, at around three days.” Due to a dearth of trucks to transport offloaded containers, import dwell times have increased. Similarly, a significant decrease in export freight to the port has resulted in fewer containers being shipped out of Shanghai, reducing export dwell times.

Nonetheless, ocean vessels have successfully discharged their empty equipment at Shanghai in preparation for the surge of cargo that will follow the conclusion of the COVID lockdowns.

Meanwhile, as a result of the export cargo problems in China and the accompanying sailing cancellations, cargo lead times from Asia to North Europe are continuing to rise, with the UK bearing the brunt of the damage due to the carriers' port rationalization initiatives.

Source: The Loadstar



11.05.2022 Provision of OPS in ports: FEPORT calls on the TRAN Committee to clearly define the role of each port stakeholder

Air pollution from ships calling ports constitutes a significant concern for coastal areas and port cities. Connecting ships to Onshore Power Supply (OPS) can significantly reduce GHG emissions.

FEPORT, which represents the interests of 1225 private port companies and terminals employing over 390.000 workers, therefore supports the efforts of the EU Commission and Parliament to increase the deployment of OPS in maritime ports.

However, when implementing an ambitious policy regarding the rollout of OPS and other alternative fuels infrastructure, it is key that the financial and operational responsibilities of each stakeholder are clearly defined.

FEPORT therefore calls on the TRAN Committee to clearly specify in the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) which port stakeholder[1] is responsible for the deployment of refueling and recharging infrastructure such as OPS in consistency with other pieces of EU legislation[2].

FEPORT would also like to underline that OPS deployment depends on the availability of green grid capacity as well as on the installation of different sub stations and connection points in and outside the port. Moreover, the voltage needs to be adapted before the electricity can be finally provided to the ship. 

Therefore, in view of the operational complexity and financing needed for OPS and other alternative fuels infrastructure, FEPORT believes that the responsible party for the deployment of OPS should remain the managing body of the port.

Terminals can, on a voluntary basis, offer OPS as a service when a business case is established and a return on investment is ensured. However, the successful implementation will depend on the involvement of many stakeholders (e.g., shipping lines, local authorities, port authorities and electricity companies, etc.).

FEPORT therefore believes that, as a general principle, port authorities and managing bodies of ports, supported by Member States, should remain the responsible party for building, managing and maintaining the basic infrastructure in ports, including the deployment of OPS and clean bunkering facilities.

Finally, to prevent stranded assets and a waste of public money, the “Fit for 55” legislation should include sufficient guarantees that the infrastructure offered is actually used by ships calling EU ports.


[1] See the wording of article 9 of the ITRE opinion for reference.
[2] See article 2(5) of the Port Services Regulation and added points 157 and 161 of the 2017 amendment to the General Block Exemption Regulation



11.05.2022 Smart Digital Ports of the Future

In the framework of the Smart Digital Ports of the Future 2022 Conference held by Port Technology International (PTI), in Rotterdam on the 11th of May, FEPORT Secretary General Ms. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid was invited to sit in the panel session on Collaboration, Standardization and Data Sharing moderated by IPCSA’s chairman Hans Rook and involving Nico de Cauwer, Sjoerd de Jager and Andreas M. van der Wurff.

sdp speaker

FEPORT Secretary General was asked about the implications for seaport terminals of the sanctions against Russia and whether the communication with the modes of transport upstream and downstream seaports is improving.

The situation is very difficult since end of February, in connection with the terrible tragedy in Ukraine, port stakeholders are facing the consequences of the sanctions implementation on Russia which translate into many customs checks, leading to further delays and longer dwell times - if not storage - of part of the containers destined for Russia. And now, Shanghai… We really do not know what the situation is there. Is it a slowing down of the Chinese manufacturing industry or a real closure of the port? Whatever is the explanation, seen from EU ports expected to handle all situations and be the buffer absorbing all shocks, the situation calls for more awareness. Currently EU port stakeholders manage and are compelled to accept that exports are not picked up from yards, that schedule reliability remains low, that imports are not collected either and that yards are now full up to 90%. It is not sustainable for seaport terminals to continue to manage inefficiencies that are also due to the lack of communication and visibility”, mentioned FEPORT Secretary General.

FEPORT Secretary General was also questioned on data sharing and how governments respond to the increased need for communication not only between businesses but also between businesses and governments/Administrations. “It is a fact that B2B data sharing goes faster than B2A or B2G. The situation is however very heterogenous from one port/country to another but there is definitely more improvement needed from governments and administrations to scale up in terms of electronic exchange of information”, concluded Ms. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid.



12.05.2022 EU Commission establishes Solidarity Lanes to help Ukraine export agricultural goods 

On the 12th of May, the European Commission presented a set of actions to help Ukraine export its agricultural produce.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its blockade of Ukrainian ports, Ukrainian grain and other agricultural goods can no longer reach their destinations. The situation is threatening global food security and there is an urgent need to establish alternative logistics routes using all relevant transport modes.

With this Communication, the Commission sets out an action plan to establish ‘Solidarity Lanes’ to ensure Ukraine can export grain, but also import the goods it needs, from humanitarian aid to animal feed and fertilizers.  

In spite of immediate efforts by the EU and its Member States to ease border crossings between Ukraine and the EU, thousands of wagons and lorries are waiting for clearance on the Ukrainian side. The average current waiting time for wagons is 16 days, while it is up to 30 days at some borders. More grain is still stored and held back in Ukrainian silos ready for export. Among the challenges are differing rail gauge widths: Ukrainian wagons are not compatible with most of the EU rail network, so most goods need to be transshipped to lorries or wagons that fit the EU standard gauge. This process is time-consuming and transshipment facilities along the borders are scarce.

To address these obstacles and set up the Solidarity Lanes, the Commission, together with Member States and stakeholders, will work on the following priority actions in the short term:

  • Additional freight rolling stock, vessels and lorries: The Commission calls on EU market players to urgently make additional vehicles available. In order to match demand and supply and establish the relevant contacts, the Commission will set up a matchmaking logistics platform and ask Member States to designate dedicated Solidarity Lanes contact points (a ‘one-stop-shop').
  • Capacity of transport networks and transshipment terminals: Ukrainian agricultural export shipments should be prioritized, and infrastructure managers should make rail slots available for these exports. The Commission also calls on market players to urgently transfer mobile grain loaders to the relevant border terminals to speed up transshipment. A road transport agreement with Ukraine will also remove bottlenecks. To encourage EU transport operators to allow their vehicles to enter Ukraine, the Commission will also investigate options for top-up financial guarantees.
  • Customs operations and other inspections: The Commission urges national authorities to apply maximum flexibility and to ensure adequate staffing to accelerate procedures at border crossing points.
  • Storage of goods on the territory of the EU: The Commission will assess available storage capacity in the EU and coordinate with Member States to help secure more capacity for temporary storage of Ukrainian exports.

In the medium to long term, the Commission will also work on increasing the infrastructure capacity of new export corridors and on establishing new infrastructure connections in the framework of the reconstruction of Ukraine. The next round of Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) calls for proposals will allow support for projects improving transport connections to Ukraine, including for railway connections and rail-road terminals. Against this background, the Commission adopted a Decision with a view to signing a high-level agreement with Ukraine, updating the maps for the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), as part of the Commission’s policy on extending the TEN-T to neighboring countries.

Source: European Commission



12.05.2022 – EU Commission will phase out State aid COVID Temporary Framework

On the 12th of May, the European Commission announced its decision to phase out the State aid COVID Temporary Framework, adopted on the 19th of March 2020 and last amended on the 18th of November 2021.

Aimed at enabling Member States to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, the State aid COVID Temporary Framework will not be extended beyond the current expiry date, which was set on the 30th of June 2022 for most of the tools provided.

Member States can use all elements of the Temporary Framework until the 30th of June 2022. After this date, Member States may still convert loans into limited amounts of aid in the form of direct grants, applying the conditions of the Temporary Framework and if provided for in their national schemes. Such a conversion may be used under strict conditions to write off loans or parts of them to the benefit of borrowers that are not in a position to repay. Equally, Member States may also have in place schemes that allow to restructure loans, for example extending their duration or lowering applicable interest rates, within specific limits. Furthermore, investment support towards a sustainable recovery, will be possible until the 31st of December 2022, and solvency support until the 31st of December 2023.

Source: European Commission



18.05.2022 ITF Summit and Ministerial Roundtable “The future of supply chains”

In the framework of the 2022 ITF Summit on Transport for Inclusive Societies, which took place in Leipzig between the 18th and 20th of May 2022, FEPORT Secretary General, Ms. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid, was invited to speak during the Ministerial Roundtable on “The future of supply chains: Innovation and regulation for greener, more accessible freight transport”.

itf summit 1

Other speakers from the industry included Mr.Radu Dinescu, President of the International Road Transport Union (IRU), Mr. Clemens Först, Chairman, Rail Freight Forward (RFF) and Mr. Carlos Maurer, Executive Vice President, Sectors & Decarbonisation, Shell.

This roundtable gathered Ministers from Argentina, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Turkey, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Belgium.

On May 19th, FEPORT Secretary General was also invited to participate to another session on “Connectivity and Inclusive Growth in Emerging Economies: the Role of Regional Freight Transport”. She evoked the role played by the transport network in serving the internal market and how strategic it is to have o good multimodal connectivity for ports.

itf summit 2

Ports alone i.e., without connectivity cannot irrigate the hinterland. Hence, the importance for emerging economies to think about their freight transport network in this respect as their development will depend on the quality of the network they will build.

Another element is globalization versus regionalization and this will probably bean important topic in the years to come in combination with the lessons learnt from COVID 19 and other trade tensions.



18.05.2022 REPowerEU Plan

On the 18th of May, the European Commission unveiled its €300 billion plan for weaning the EU off Russian fossil resources “far before 2030”: the REPowerEU Plan.

Ending the EU’s reliance on Russian fossil fuels, which are exploited as an economic and political weapon and cost European taxpayers almost €100 billion per year and addressing the climate problem are both pressing priorities. Europe can reduce its reliance on Russian fossil resources more quickly by acting as a unit.

The RRF, which supports integrated planning and funding of cross-border and national infrastructure, as well as energy projects and reforms, is at the heart of the REPowerEU Plan. In addition to the huge number of relevant reforms and investments already in the RRPs, the Commission proposes to make targeted adjustments to the RRF Regulation to incorporate dedicated REPowerEU chapters in Member States’ existing recovery and resilience plans (RRPs). This approach will be aided by the country-specific suggestions made during the 2022 European Semester cycle.

Saving energy

The simplest and cheapest method to handle the present energy issue and lower rates is to save energy. The Commission wants to improve long-term energy efficiency measures, such as raising the binding Energy Efficiency Target from 9% to 13% under the Fit for 55 package. Saving energy now will help Europe prepare for the next winter challenges. As a result, the Commission released an “EU Save Energy Communication” outlining short-term behavioral adjustments that may reduce gas and oil demand by 5% while also encouraging Member States to launch targeted communication efforts aimed at families and industry. Member states are also urged to employ economic incentives to promote energy conservation, such as lower VAT rates on energy efficient heating systems, building insulation, and appliances and items. In the event of a significant supply disruption, the Commission will establish contingency plans, provide guidance on customer prioritization criteria, and facilitate a coordinated EU demand reduction plan.

Diversifying supplies and supporting our international partners

For several months, the EU has been working with international partners to diversify supply, securing record LNG imports and increased pipeline gas delivery. By pooling demand, optimizing infrastructure utilization, and coordinating outreach to suppliers, the newly developed EU Energy Platform, supported by regional task groups, will enable voluntary joint purchases of gas, LNG, and hydrogen. The Commission will then propose creating a "joint purchasing mechanism" that will negotiate and contract gas purchases on behalf of participating Member States. The Commission will also consider legislative measures to require Member States to diversify their gas supply over time. The Platform will also allow for cooperative renewable hydrogen purchases.

Accelerating the rollout of renewables

A large scale-up and acceleration of renewable energy in power production, industry, buildings, and transportation would boost EU independence, hasten the green transition, and lower prices over time. Under the Fit for 55 package, the Commission recommends raising the headline renewables target for 2030 from 40% to 45 percent.

Reducing fossil fuel consumption in industry and transport

The Commission will present a Greening of Freight Package, aiming to significantly increase energy efficiency in the sector, and consider a legislative initiative to increase the share of zero emission vehicles in public and corporate car fleets above a certain size, in order to improve energy savings and efficiencies in the transport sector and accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles. The EU Save Energy Communication also provides a number of proposals for cities, regions, and national governments that can help to effectively replace fossil fuels in the transportation sector.

Smart Investment

Between now and 2027, an additional €210 billion will be needed to achieve the REPowerEU goals. This is a deposit toward our independence and safety. We can save about €100 billion each year by reducing Russian fossil fuel imports. The business and public sectors, as well as the national, cross-border, and EU levels, must contribute to these investments.

The RRF already has €225 billion in loans available to promote REPowerEU. In the context of REPowerEU, the Commission today adopted legislation and advice for Member States on how to revise and supplement their RRPs. In addition, the Commission proposes to fund the RRF with €20 billion in grants from the sale of EU Emission Trading System allowances now held in the Market Stability Reserve, which will be auctioned in a market-neutral manner. As a result, the ETS not only cuts emissions and fossil fuel use, but it also raises the finances needed to attain energy independence.

Under the current MFF, cohesion policy would already invest up to €100 billion in renewable energy, hydrogen, and infrastructure to promote decarbonization and green transition initiatives. A further €26.9 billion in cohesion funds might be made available to the RRF through voluntary transfers. A further €7.5 billion is available to the RRF through voluntary payments from the Common Agricultural Policy. This autumn, the Commission will treble the funds available for the Innovation Fund's 2022 Large Scale Call to about €3 billion.

The TEN-E has aided in the development of a robust and linked EU gas infrastructure. To complement the existing Projects of Common Interest (PCI) List and fully compensate for the eventual loss of Russian gas imports, additional gas infrastructure worth roughly €10 billion is required. Without locking in fossil fuels, generating stranded assets, or jeopardizing EU climate goals, the substitution demands of the next decade may be addressed. Accelerating electrical PCIs will be necessary for the power grid to react to future needs. The Connecting Europe Facility will help, and the Commission is launching a fresh call for ideas with a budget of €800 million today, with a second one expected in early 2023.

Source: European Commission



24-27.05.2022 6th ETF Congress

FEPORT Secretary General, Ms. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid, was invited to participate to the 6th ETF ordinary Congress, which took place in Budapest from the 24th to the 27th of May 2022.

etf congress logo

The theme of the Congress was “All Aboard: Destination Fair Transport!” and representatives of workers from all the transport sector - Civil Aviation, Fisheries, Inland Waterways, Logistics, Maritime Transport, Ports and Docks, Railways, Road Transport, Tourism, and Urban Public Transport were present.

The congress was opened by ETF President Frank Moreels followed by speeches from ETUC’s President, Luca Visentini, Budapest Mayor, Gergely Karácsony and ETF’s Secretary General, Livia Spera.

During the Congress, the representatives of 221 trade unions discussed, debated, and voted upon the program, priorities, and strategies of the ETF for the next five years.



25.05.2022 9th Mediterranean Ports and Shipping 2022 Exhibition and Conference

FEPORT Secretary General, Ms. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid, was invited to participate to the 9th Mediterranean Ports and Shipping 2022 Exhibition and Conference hosted by LUKA KOPER and the Port of Koper.

The topic of FEPORT Secretary General’s intervention concerned the challenges and opportunities of sustainable port development.

Ms. Kerdjoudj-Belkaid explained that the key success factors for sustainable and profitable green port investment are a good knowledge of the customers’ needs to realize smart market driven investments, good port governance rules with a split of rules between private and public port stakeholders as well as a good visibility over the environmental legislation that takes into account the commercial competitiveness and attractiveness of EU port companies and terminals.


Mediterranean Ports and Shipping 2022

With respect to the "fit for 55" proposals, FEPORT Secretary General underlined the necessity that the energy taxation directive allows for a total tax exemption for OPS across all Member States.


Members' News Corner

13.05.2022 Port of Koper expands fleet with more electric Konecranes RTGs

Luka Koper has placed an order for three Konecranes RTG electric cranes with an auto plug-in system, which are planned to be delivered by February 2023. With this addition, the Port Koper will have 30 Konecranes RTGs in its fleet.

The low-noise electric RTGs on order will be comparable to those in use at Koper and will include cable reel systems and auto plug-in capabilities. The RTGs will have energy-efficient LED lights and will feed regenerative power back to the local grid.

                                                                                          luka koper

This contract is part of Konecranes’ Ecolifting programme, which aims to reduce the carbon footprint of container terminal equipment.

With 99,533 TEU handled in March 2022, the Port of Koper broke the previous monthly record of 97,101 TEU set in March 2021.

Source: Port Technology



Events supported by FEPORT


toc europe

To know more, please follow the link.




FEPORT meetings

09-10.06.2022         FEPORT General Assembly – Hamburg

08.09.2022               Board of Directors – Brussels

06.10.2022               Environment, Safety and Security Committee – Brussels

18.10.2022                Social Affairs Committee – Brussels

20.10.2022                Customs and Logistics Committee – Brussels

10.11.2022                 Board of Directors – Remote

24.11.2022                 Port Policy Committee – Brussels


Institutional meetings

10.05.2022                 FICS Committee Meeting – Brussels


Other meetings

09.06.2022                 Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Ports meeting – Brussels

14-16.06.2022            TOC Europe Rotterdam

28-30.06.2022           EuroMaritime Salon – Marseille

23.11.2022                  Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Ports meeting – Brussels



FEPORT Newsletter - May 2022