When joining forces means progress
On December 13th, 2022, was held the final conference of the iTerminals project funded by the European Commission. Thanks to involvement of all TIC 4.0 members and the motivation of the terminals which accepted to deploy the pilots, what was seen few years ago as a concept has translated into concrete projects.
“Developing the TIC40 semantics is one thing but proving that it “just works” and enables the cargo handling industry to speak the same language and digitally connect all equipment and systems from any developer/manufacturer on a “plug and play” and “copy paste” basis was for us the real challenge to convince the industry to #talkTIC.
This is where iTerminals 4.0 comes into the picture: a consortium of founding members of TIC4.0 joined hands to work on a European funded project to immediately test standards developed by TIC4.0 members in pilot projects around Europe and demonstrate their powerful applications.
The result is an impressive demonstration that WETALKTIC enables terminals to adopt at a low-cost powerful tool such as “big data analytics” that allow terminals to make quantum leaps in bottle neck resolution, operation and maintenance optimization, safety management to name just a few” says Boris Wenzel, President of TIC 4.0.
TIC4.0 and iTerminals4.0 innovation are the achievements of a group of persons who believed in the strength of collective intelligence and coopetition. You can enhance, innovate, and embrace the 4th industrial revolution by supporting change and disruptive thinking.
Digitalization projects, leading to automation projects can now become a reality for many more terminals around the world by adopting the TIC4.0 semantics. Joining the “WETALKTIC” movement provides a fantastic opportunity to make significant progress not only for the cargo handling industry but also for the whole maritime logistics chain.
Congratulations to TIC 4.0 leadership team and to all members. FEPORT is proud to have been part of this journey since its beginning.
These are the type of positive news we need in a difficult context and to close a year that has put even more pressure on EU values, its economy and employment.
Our thoughts are with all Ukrainian citizens and all those who run away from war, fight for their freedom and dignity everywhere in the world.
Dear speakers, Dear guests, Dear colleagues,
It has been a pleasure to welcome you for the seventh edition of our Seventh Annual Stakeholders' Conference 2022 (feport.eu).
Our warmest thanks to all speakers for their time, for sharing their thoughts and providing us with valuable insights.
Thank you to the representatives of our sister organizations and guests for their attendance and to Jaap Gebraad and Conor Feighan who moderated with real talent the two sessions of the conference.
It has been a great opportunity to cooperate with TIC 4.0 and Waterborne Technology Platform to conceive the programme of the conference and to benefit from their sponsorship of the lunch and dinner cocktails offered to our guests.
This year’s conference was about competitiveness in a world of perma-crises. Crises would likely be recurrent and recent events had put a lot of pressure on companies and societies as a whole. Challenges could not be faced individually, and the key was better cooperation. Adaptation would also be required with regard to being ready to face consecutive crises. Competitiveness also meant that innovation must be sped up. The critical role of transport and logistics had been highlighted recently and tribute has been paid to employees in the transport sector.
A key point that emerged from the conference was the need for the European transport sector to incorporate a scenario of being faced with continual crises into its planning process. While there was widespread support for the goals of the green transition and the fit for 55 package, calls were also heard to ensure that measures taken to achieve these goals were not to the detriment of the competitiveness of European industry.
Moreover, the importance of continued investment in transport infrastructure was underlined, such as through the expansion of the TEN-T network, with some guest speakers also highlighting the need to make jobs in the industry more attractive to young people.
Among other key takeaways with respect to developments in the market such as vertical integration and consolidation, a strong message calling for regulators to assess that existing pieces of legislation do not distort competition within the maritime logistics chain was conveyed. Moreover, it was mentioned that regulators should intervene when disruptions occur in the market particularly when those are due to a lack of proper enforcement or bad practices from some actors at the expense of the good functioning of the transport and logistics chain.
Finally, a significant number of panellists stressed the importance of collaboration in the area of data sharing and cooperation between all stakeholders if European industry was to continue to be a global leader in an era of ‘perma-crises’.
We look forward to seeing you next year!
We wish you and your families a joyful holiday season and a happy new year.
With kind regards,
28-11-2022 – The EU adopts the Foreign Subsidies Regulation
On 28th of November 2022, the Council of the European Union adopted the Foreign Subsidies Regulation (“FSR”), aimed at preventing foreign subsidies from distorting competition in the internal market. This was the last legislative step following the European Parliament’s adoption of the FSR on 10 November 2022.
The purpose of the FSR is to address the distortions to the EU’s internal market caused by subsidies granted by non-EU countries (“foreign subsidies”) to companies active in the EU. According to the Commission, the FSR closes an important enforcement gap in its toolbox, as these foreign subsidies have so far been escaping its control, unlike the subsidies given by EU Member States, which are subject to stringent EU State aid rules.
Under the FSR, the Commission has the exclusive competence to investigate and assess if the businesses operating in the EU have been backed by foreign subsidies, and whether these distort competition in the internal market. In case of distortion, the Commission has wide-ranging powers to impose redressive measures, block deals / public awards and even dissolve concentrations already concluded.
The FSR is expected to be published in the Official Journal in January 2023 and will enter into force 20 days after that. It will only apply six months after its entry into force.
The notification obligation for M&A deals and public tenders will apply nine months after its entry into force. An implementing regulation is expected to be adopted before summer 2023 (and after a public consultation, which will take place in the coming months).
The FSR targets all companies that are active in the EU and have received any form of direct or indirect financial contribution from a non-EU country (“foreign financial contributions”), and in particular, those that engage in M&A transactions or public tenders in the EU. Financial contributions are defined very broadly and include, inter alia:
- Any transfer of State funds: such as capital injections, grants, fiscal incentives, loans, guarantees, contracts given below-market terms, debt to equity swaps or rescheduling, etc.; and;
- Any foregoing of State revenue: such as tax exemptions or granting of special/exclusive rights without adequate remuneration.
The financial contributions may come from the central government, but also any public or private entity whose actions can be attributed to a third country. As things stand, all financial contributions will count, regardless of their size, or whether they qualify as “foreign subsidies” or have an EU nexus.
The FSR applies to private and public companies, including Sovereign Funds. It catches not only foreign companies operating in the EU but also EU-based multinational companies that have received foreign financial contributions.
In general, a subsidy would be considered distortive if it could improve the business’s competitive position in the EU and in doing so, negatively affects competition on the internal market. To ease the Commission’s review, the FSR includes a few legal presumptions to determine the existence of distortion or lack thereof:
- Subsidies likely to be distortive: (i) supporting failing business (without a long-term plan to restructure); (ii) unlimited guarantees; (iii) facilitating a concentration; (iv) an export financing measure that is not in line with the OECD Arrangement on officially supported export credits; and (v) enabling a company to submit an unduly advantageous tender;
- Subsidies unlikely to be distortive: if lower than €4 million in the past three years; or if aimed at repairing damage caused by natural disasters or exceptional circumstances; and
- Non-distortive subsidies (de minimis): below €200,000 per the third country in the previous three years.
If there is a distortion, the Commission will conduct a balancing test before deciding whether to block the deal/award, impose redressive measures or accept commitments. In this regard, the Commission will take into account the positive effects of the subsidy on either the development of the subsidised economic activity on the internal market or to support a broader EU policy objective, such as environmental protection and social standards, and the promotion of R&D.
30.11.2022 – EU institutions agree on the inclusion of the maritime sector in the EU ETS
During the trialogue on the 30th of November, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission reached a preliminary agreement regarding the inclusion of maritime emissions in EU ETS.
MEP Peter Liese, Rapporteur on EU ETS, added: “Compared to the Commission proposal, we agreed on substantial improvements. First, we not only include CO2 in the ETS but also methane and N2O. This is very important because some alternatives to bunker fuels also create problems for the climate if not managed properly. We increased the scope by including offshore vessels bigger than 5000 gross tonnage. These improvements alongside others bring a net benefit for the climate of 20 million tonnes of CO2. They will also increase the revenues which is why we were successful with earmarking 20 million allowances for specific projects in the shipping sector in the Innovation Fund/Climate Investment Fund”.
Moreover, the three institutions compromised on the phasing in period – 3 years – with shipping companies surrendering allowances that cover 40% of their emissions in 2024, 70% in 2025 and 100% in 2026.
The final trialogue negotiation round is scheduled for 16th and 17th December, to confirm the tentative agreement on shipping.
Source: MEP Peter Liese’s website
06.12.2022 – EU co-legislators passes a new law to cut down deforestation in supply chains
After nine hours of negotiations, on the 6th of December the Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement to reduce the risk of deforestation and forest degradation linked to products that are imported into or exported from the EU. The law will cover several commodities such as cocoa, palm oil, tinder, coffee and soy. Moreover, it will apply to a range of derived products such as chocolate, furniture and printed paper.
The new law will include stringent due diligence obligations for the companies, which will be requested to trace the imported products back to the plot of land where they have been produced. Those related to deforestation will be banned from import and export to the EU.
Marian Jurečka, Czech minister of the environment stated: “The EU is a large consumer and trader of commodities that play a substantial part in deforestation - like beef, cocoa, soy and timber. The new rules aim to ensure that when consumers buy these products, they don't contribute to further degrading forest ecosystems. Protecting the environment around the world, including forests and rainforests, is a common goal for all countries and the EU is ready to take its responsibility”.
MEP Pascal Canfin, chairman of the European Parliament’s environment committee, added: “The great specificity of this law – and this is a world first for palm oil, cocoa, coffee, beef, and rubber – is the obligation to have a certificate based on satellite images and GPS coordinates to know exactly where the commodity comes from. When you arrive on the EU’s internal market – at the port of Amsterdam or Le Havre – you must show this certificate. And if you don’t have it, you can’t go in”.
The law will enter into force twenty days after its formal adoption by the European Parliament and EU countries, planned for the coming year.
07.12.2022 – 7th Plenary Meeting Digital Transport and Logistics Forum
On the 7th of December 2022, FEPORT participated to the 7th plenary meeting of the Digital Transport and Logistics Forum (DTLF).
The first part of the meeting was dedicated to the progress of the DTLF, i.e., the progress of Sub-Group 1 (electronic transport information) and Sub-Group 2 (corridor information systems) and the coordination between SG1 and SG2.
In the second part, the EU Commission provided an update regarding relevant policy developments, for example, regarding the upcoming “Mobility Data Space” communication which should facilitate the pooling, access and sharing of data and will link different already existing EU initiatives regarding data-sharing. Also, already existing pieces of legislation and proposals such as the Data Act and the Data Governance Act should be taken into account. A common data set in ports could be part of the Mobility Data Space.
09.12.2022 – ALICE General Assembly Meeting
On the 9th of December, FEPORT attended ALICE’s General Assembly Meeting which was held online. Aside from an introduction of ALICE’s new Secretariat team members and a discussion on ALICE’s work plan and activities for 2023, also various presentations by ALICE Thematic Groups were given during the meeting.
Salvador Furió (Fundación Valenciaport) gave an overview of the work of the thematic group Corridors, Hubs and Synchromodality. This thematic group among others focusses on further defining the physical internet concept, and has intensified its collaboration with TIC 4.0 and the Waterborne TP. Moreover, in March 2023, a webinar is planned that should look into the operational and legal aspects regarding the upcoming Combined Transport Directive revision proposal.
ALICE’s General Assembly meeting also provided room for presentations by the European Commission, such as by Torsten Klinke (DG MOVE) who detailed the upcoming Green Freight Package, a legislative package which aims at improving the environmental performance of freight transport by increasing its operational efficiency. By doing so, the package will be complementary to other pieces of EU legislation that aim at reducing the transport sector’s fossil fuel dependency such as the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR).
One of the initiatives of the Green Freight Package he outlined included CountEmissionsEU, which Mr Klinke described as an enabling tool which should not lead to additional reporting requirements. The CountEmission EU proposal should follow a well-to-wheel approach and will have an intra-EU focus, although with a global dimension.
Mr Klinke also briefly touched upon TEN-T, specifying that the aim of the Commission proposal is to better multimodal passenger and freight terminals to urban nodes. Also in the new urban mobility framework, more attention is paid to last mile connections and freight aspects of urban mobility.
13.12.2022 – European Parliament and the Council reach a provision agreement on Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism
On the 13th of December, negotiators of the European Parliament and the Council reached an agreement of a provisional and conditional nature on the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM).
CBAM will initially cover products in the following carbon-intensive sectors: iron and steel, cement, fertilisers, aluminium, as well as electricity and hydrogen.
CBAM will begin to operate from October 2023 onwards, but this will be a simplified CBAM where only reporting obligations apply. CBAM should be phased in gradually, in parallel to the phasing out of free allowances under the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).
However, the exact details and timelines in this regard are connected the outcome of the EU ETS negotiations, where the phasing out of free allowances for CBAM sectors is currently under discussion. According to the Presidency of the Council, further work is also required on measures to prevent carbon leakage on exports.
Source: Council of the European Union
13.12.2022 – Final Conference of the iTerminals 4.0 project
On December 13th, 2022, has been held the final conference of the iTerminals project funded by the European Commission.
iTerminals 4.0 is a consortium of founding members of TIC4.0 who joined hands to work on a project to immediately test standards developed by TIC4.0 members in pilot projects around Europe and demonstrate their powerful applications.
The result is an impressive demonstration that #WETALKTIC enables terminals to adopt at a low cost powerful tools such as #bigdataanalytics that allow terminals to make quantum leaps in bottle neck resolution, operation and maintenance optimisation, safety management to name just a few.
Thanks to TIC4.0 and ITerminals4.0 innovation has become more accessible, cheaper and less risky for our industry, allowing not just the largest terminals to consider it.
In addition to ZPMC , Hyster-Yale Group , RBS EMEA, Cargotec who are part of ITerminals 4.0, several other leading suppliers to the terminal industry such as Konecranes, Navis, Identec Solutions offer “TIC ready” products and solutions, and Prodevelop’s experience in developing BigData platforms provides now opportunities for any terminal operator to envisage BigData projects that will enhance its capabilities.
iTerminals 4.0 was an important moment for all TIC 4.0 members to evaluate the fantastic results achieved so far and to discuss the next steps.
14.12.2022 – Sweden launches the programme, the calendar and the official website of its Council Presidency for the first semester of 2023
The Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU will begin as of January 1st, 2023 and will last until June 30th, 2023. On the 14th December, Sweden launched the official website of the Presidency, as well as the programme and the calendar with the events and meetings scheduled for the six months.
Sweden set four priorities for its Presidency, namely:
- Security – unity
- Resilience – competitiveness
- Prosperity – green & energy transition
- Democratic values and rule of law – our foundation
As regards the third point, i.e. green and energy transition, the Sweden Council presidency will prioritise the achievement of EU climate targets and the reduction of EU greenhouse gas emissions, focusing on trialogues on transport legislation within the Fit for 55 package. Indeed, the Swedish Presidency will prioritise moving the negotiations on any remaining parts of the Fit for 55 package forward with a high level of ambition in the Environment Council. It will also be important to take the results of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) forward. The EU plays a crucial role in keeping global ambitions high.T
he further development of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) will be of key importance for the Presidency, in terms of sustainably and efficiently strengthening and modernising Europe’s transport infrastructure. In this regard, Swedish Presidency’s main objective will be to advance the TEN-T negotiations and, if necessary, take forward the work on revising the Intelligent Transport Systems Directive.
The Commission is expected to present a number of proposals on road, rail and intermodal transport in the first half of 2023, including a revision of the Directive on driving licences and a package for green freight transport.
The Presidency intends to initiate negotiations in the Council on a number of these proposals, among which the Maritime Safety Package: a revision of the directives on compliance with flag State requirements, port state control and maritime accident investigation.
18.12.2022 – Trialogue agreement on the European Trading Scheme for shipping (EU ETS)
The European Parliament and the Council reached a tentative agreement to strengthen the EU Emission trading System (ETS), which will further reduce emissions and address their social impact. Indeed, the two institutions undertook to increase the overall ambition of emission reductions by 2030 to 62%, representing a substantial increase of 19 percentage points compared to the 43% reduction under current legislation. Furthermore, the Parliament and the Council agreed to include maritime shipping emissions within the scope of EU ETS. There will be a gradual phasing-in for shipping companies to return allowances, namely:
- 40% for verified emissions from 2024;
- 70% for verified emissions from 2025;
- 100% for verified emissions from 2026.
The majority of large vessels will be included from the very beginning in the scope of EU ETS. Big offshore vessels above 5,000 gross tonnage will be included in the 'MRV Regulation' on monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions in the EU ETS from 2027. General cargo and offshore vessels between 400 and 5,000 gross tonnage will be included in the MRV Regulation as of 2025 and their inclusion in the EU ETS will be reviewed in 2026. The agreement takes also into consideration geographical specificities and proposes transitional measures for small islands, ice-class ships and voyages related to the outermost regions and public service requirements and strengthens measures to combat the risk of evasion in the maritime sector.
Moreover, the two institutions have established a Social Climate Fund, which will provide a targeted financial support to Member States, to help vulnerable citizens and micro-enterprises with investments in energy efficiency measures. The fund will start functioning in 2026, before the entry into force of the new ETS for transport and building fuels and will be financed by €65 billion from the EU budget, plus 25% co-financing by Member States.
The Czech minister for environment, Marian Jurečka, commented: “The agreement on the EU Emissions Trading System and the Social Climate Fund is a victory for the climate and for European climate policy. This will allow us to meet climate objectives within the main sectors of the economy, while making sure the most vulnerable citizens and micro-enterprises are effectively supported in the climate transition. We can now safely say that the EU has delivered on its promises with ambitious legislation, and this puts us at the forefront of fighting climate change globally”.
The political agreement reached on the 18th of December is provisional, pending formal endorsement.
Source: Council of the European Union
Member’s News Corner
29.11.2022 – HHLA carries aid supplies to Odessa
Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) is organising the transport of aid supplies through its own European network, with three containers carrying medical supplies already departing Hamburg for the Ukrainian port city of Odessa at the end of November.
HHLA purchased necessary goods – such as surgical gloves and dressing material – thanks to the donation of its employees in Hamburg and at the terminal in the Italian city of Trieste and means from a company aid fund.
Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board, stated: “HHLA continues to uphold its responsibility towards its Ukrainian employees and their families in Odessa. Furthermore, we feel an obligation to provide humanitarian aid in view of the suffering of Ukraine’s population as a result of the ongoing Russian aggression. We therefore intend to make a declaration of solidarity with the people in the Odessa region by transporting urgently needed goods. I would like to thank all the employees who contributed towards organising the transport and took part in the humanitarian campaign through their skills or donations”.
Moreover, the transport of aid supplies is being supported by employees from European rail subsidiary Metrans, forwarding company CTD and container logistics experts HCCR, in close cooperation with the management of the HHLA Container Terminal Odessa (CTO) as well as the local authorities that will ensure that the humanitarian aid reaches the places where it is most needed.
Source: HHLA website
30.11.2022 – First direct rail cargo service launched between Rijeka and Austria
A first regular train connection has been established between the port of Rijeka (Croatia) and Enns (Austria).
On the 11th of November, the first train departed from Adriatic Gate Container Terminal (AGCT) to Container Terminal Enns.
The block train is operated by Maersk Line with CD Cargo Adria providing rail services.
Emmanuel Papagiannakis, AGCT chief executive officer, commented: “For the first time ever, major Austrian shippers can be directly connected by rail to AGCT Rijeka, providing a valuable alternative route with reliable transit times. With the cooperation of all partners including Maersk, CD Cargo and CTE Enns, we believe the product will remain successful and attract more shippers. Following the first ever direct trains to Czech Republic in May, the Austria connection further adds to a growing network of regular weekly block trains which already include Serbia, Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina and continue to illustrate the increasing significance of AGCT as a gateway for Central Europe and Southeast Europe.”
Source: Adriatic Gate Container Terminal
16.12.2022 – PSA Antwerp prepares Europa Terminal for capacity increase
Two agreements have been signed by PSA Antwerp in order to implement large-scale works for the refurbishment of its Europa Terminal on the river Scheldt.
The first agreement was signed with the Austrian crane innovators “Kuenz”, for the delivery of 14 new automated stacking cranes (ASCs) for the terminal, designed and produced together with ABB.
The Europa Terminal will therefore reach a quota of 48 new automated stacking cranes to manage its upgraded yard, with a significant capacity boost. In the future, PSA containers will be able to be stacked with higher density of up to six high, instead of just three high.
The second agreement was signed with Stadsbader/DSG to update the civil and electrical infrastructure for the first phase of the works at Europa Terminal. The works will start in January 2023 and will be finalised in Q2 2025.
These works will increase the container terminal’s capacity by more than 700,000 TEU per year and help PSA Antwerp reach its sustainability goals to reduce its carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 and become completely carbon neutral by 2050.
Source: Port Technology
12.01.2023 ENVI Committee Meeting - Brussels
23-24.01.2023 ITRE Committee Meeting - Brussels
25.01.2023 REGI Committee Meeting - Brussels
30-31.01.2023 TRAN Committee Meeting - Brussels
06.02.2023 ITRE Committee Meeting - Brussels
09.02.2023 TRAN Committee Meeting - Brussels
27-28.02.2023 REGI Committee Meeting - Brussels