Social Dialogue in the era of perma crises


After months of interruption due to COVID-19 restrictions and other factors, representatives of the employers’ and employees’ organizations resumed their exchanges in the framework of the Sectoral Social Dialogue for Ports by holding the first meeting of the year on February 28th, 2023, at the Borshette center in Brussels.

All crises that have occurred since 2020 (COVID-19, war in Ukraine, blockade of the Suez Canal, lockdowns in China etc…) have shown the importance of the transport and logistics sector and underlined the crucial role of professionals and workers in adapting and showing resilience to find solutions.

Social Dialogue is not a cosmetic exercise. It is more than a formal listening exercise between social partners. It is an opportunity to take the pulse of the sector and to discuss topics that are of direct interest and impact such as the real causes of disruption in the maritime logistics chain. Hence the importance to have a meaningful dialogue with the EU Commission which is not a social partner per se but which thanks to its power of legislative initiative remains an important counterpart for the social partners.

Discussing the impact of ETS on the competitiveness of EU ports may look far from socially related topics but it is not. If EU ports loose cargo as a consequence of the entry into force of ETS, this will be irreversible and will have an impact on employment.

It was very useful and interesting to have a good exchange of views with DG Climate during the Social DIalogue meeting and to reiterate the concerns of port stakeholders.

It will be crucial for the EU Commission to use indicators that allow the early detection of evasive port calls and reconfigurations of shipping routes before they actually become irreversibly entrenched.

Port stakeholders such as port authorities, terminal operators and trade unions should be involved in the monitoring of the impact of EU ETS Maritime.

The EU Commission should monitor cargo diversion via all relevant non-EU ports, not only those ports where the total share of container transhipment traffic exceeds 65%. If cargo diversion also takes place via ports or terminals outside the EU that handle less than 65% of container traffic, this threshold should be lowered or abandoned immediately.

The review of the Consortia BER was also worth a discussion in the framework of the Social Dialogue for ports because a prolongation of this piece of legislation without any modification will aggravate the unbalanced bargaining power between port stakeholders and shipping lines and will ultimately be detrimental to port stakeholders and other parties of the chain.

In this respect, it was reassuring to hear during the Social Dialogue meeting that DG Comp is carefully considering the input and data provided by different stakeholders and that it has decided to postpone the publication of the evaluation report (staff working document) on the CBER to Summer 2023 instead of first quarter 2023. 

FEPORT believes in a meaningful Social Dialogue that is anchored into the reality of the EU port sector. At this very moment where the EU Commission has presented its Social Dialogue initiative and announced its ambition to launch a vast program of reskilling and upskilling, it is important to ensure consistency between policies and proper reviews of existing pieces of legislation. This is probably the most efficient way to guarantee a real level playing field and to safeguard employment.



01.02.2023 – Commission presents the Green Deal Industrial Plan

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On the 1st of February 2023, the EU Commission presented the Green Deal Industrial Plan which aims at enhancing the competitiveness of the EU’s net-zero industry and support the fast transition to climate neutrality.

The Plan seeks to provide a more supportive environment for the scaling up of the EU's manufacturing capacity for the net-zero technologies and products required to meet Europe's ambitious climate targets and builds on previous initiatives and relies on the strengths of the EU Single Market, complementing ongoing efforts under the European Green Deal and REPowerEU.

The plan is based on four pillars:

  1. A predictable and simplified regulatory environment

The Commission will propose a Net-Zero Industry Act to identify goals for net-zero industrial capacity and provide a regulatory framework suited for its quick deployment, ensuring simplified and fast-track permitting, promoting European strategic projects, and developing standards to support the scale-up of technologies across the Single Market.

Moreover, the Commission will propose to reform the electricity market design.

  1. Faster access to funding

The aim is to speed up investments and financing for clean tech production within EU, guaranteeing a level playing field within the Single Market, while making it easier for the Member States to grant necessary aid for a faster green transition.

The Commission will also explore avenues to achieve greater common financing at EU level to support investments in manufacturing of net-zero technologies, based on an ongoing investment needs assessment. 

  1. Enhancing skills

As between 35% and 40% of all jobs could be affected by the green transition, developing the skills needed for well-paid quality jobs will be a priority for the European Year of Skills. The green transition must be people-centred and inclusive, with a focus on women and youth.

Moreover, the Commission is working with Member States to set targets and indicators to monitor supply and demand in skills and jobs in sectors relevant for the green transition and will seek to facilitate the recognition and validation of qualifications to match people’s skills to employers’ needs more quickly.

Finally, the EU will ensure a substantial financial support for skills development, fostering and aligning private and public funding.

  1. Open trade for resilient supply chains

This pillar is related to global cooperation and making trade work for the green transition, under the principles of fair competition and open trade, building on the engagements with the EU's partners and the work of the World Trade Organization.

Source: European Commission



01.02.2023 – TRAN MEPs exchange of views with Swedish Presidency

At the beginning of February 2023, the TRAN Committee of the European Parliament received a visit from the Swedish Minister of Infrastructure, Andreas Carlson, to discuss the priorities of the Swedish Presidency.

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The Swedish Minister stated that Focus would be put on trialogues for transport files under the Fit for 55 package, including ReFuelEU maritime, which would boost alternative fuels and had a clear international dimension as similar work was also taking place at the IMO. Work would also be carried out on maritime accident instigation and other similar proposals to adopt to international requirements.

Regarding the TEN-T Revision, the Swedish Minister of Infrastructure pointed out that the TEN-T network is also crucial to ensure more sustainability and that the Presidency is ready to start negotiations when the European Parliament will finalise its positions.

Source: European Parliament


09.02.2023 – ENVI Committee adopts opinion on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive proposal

On the 9th of February, the ENVI Committee adopted its opinion on the proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive which the Commission had issued in February 2022.The opinion was approved with 39 votes in favour, 34 votes against and 2 abstentions.

The aim of the proposal is to oblige large companies as well as SMEs in high-risk sectors to prevent breaches of human rights and identify adverse impacts on the environment along their value chain.

The ENVI opinion calls for requirements for companies to reduce their carbon emissions in line with already existing EU law and formulates the criteria of the mandatory transition plans that companies will need to realize to meet these targets. In the opinion of the ENVI Committee, companies will also need to ascertain that their value chains are aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the European Climate law.

According to MEP Tiemo Wölken (S&D, Germany), “the environment committee is sending a strong signal: we want to oblige companies to make their entire value chain climate-neutral by 2050”, adding that “no company should be able to relocate its particularly climate-damaging activities to countries outside Europe in order to circumvent the strict climate regulations in Europe”.

Source: Euractiv, European Parliament



09.02.2023 – ENVI approves Provisional Agreement on CBAM

On the 9th of February, the ENVI Committee voted on the Provisional Agreement regarding the proposal for a Regulation Establishing a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). The agreement was approved with 63 votes in favour, 7 against and 7 abstentions.

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As of next steps, the agreement will be voted upon in the Plenary Session of the European Parliament, in Strasbourg, on the 13th of March.

The aim of CBAM is to reduce the risk of carbon leakage, i.e, economic activity in certain carbon-intensive sectors moving elsewhere as the EU increases its climate ambition, by requiring importers to buy certificates to cover the emissions of certain imported products which is linked to the carbon price that is used under the EU Emissions Trading System for the same goods.

According to the political agreement, 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).

Source: European Parliament



10.02.2023 – Turkish transport, port and logistics stakeholders mobilize to support the population after the earthquakes.

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Port Operators Association of Türkiye (TÜRKLIM), Association of International Forwarding and Logistics Service Providers (UTIKAD), International Transporters' Association (UND), Railway Transporter Association (DTD), RORO operators and ports have joined their forces in providing aid to earthquake survivors in Southeast Türkiye where two major earthquakes took place on February 6 th , 2023.

From the first hours of the earthquake, TÜRKLIM has established a Crisis and Support Desk, which included all member port operators in the region from Taşucu to Iskenderun, Harbour Masters and Chambers of Shipping in the region. When the organizations to deliver aid to the region by sea started began, coordination of combined transportation was established with UTIKAD, UND, DTD and RORO operators that have regular RORO and ship lines to the region from ports in the Aegean and Marmara, as well as TÜRKLİM member RORO handling terminals.

Preparations for a major logistics operation has also been completed as combining the support and facilities of the regional ports among themselves would have taken much. There is a in meaningful and effective cooperation and coordination with many logistics NGOs.

Ports in Gulf of İskenderun which have suitable RORO platforms, primarily LimakPort İskenderun where the fire has been largely brought to under control, are already in use. Turkish Naval Forces ships have also been using the ports since the first day of the earthquake.

The ports will continue this mission without interruption with all their facilities and capabilities. Many more ships from other countries carrying humanitarian aid are expected to use the ports in the region which are fully prepared. In terms of the importance of maritime transportation and its uninterrupted sustainability, aid will continue to come to the region with more RORO and ship services starting from the coming days. RORO operators and TÜRKLİM member RORO ports are also working in tandem.

Gulf of Iskenderun had the highest number of port investments in Türkiye during the last 20 years in terms of port investments and infrastructure. These modern ports with high capacity and high-speed equipment are built to serve large vessels. Ports such as LimakPort, Isdemir, Atakas Port, Tosyali, Yazici Port, Assan, Orhan Ekinci Pier, Gübretas, MMK, Torosport Ceyhan, Sanko, EMBA and even Sönmez Cement in Adana Yumurtalık Free Zone are ready for any kind of support with their existing piers. Mersin International Port, Mesbaş Port and Ceyport Taşucu Port are also ready to provide support when needed. There are also many storage terminals in Gulf of Iskenderun, such as Global Terminals, Petrol Ofisi, OYAK Güzel Enerji as well as others that store LPG, fuel oil and petroleum products. There is an extremely large capacity in terms of storage terminals in Mersin. ./.

There is no problem at ports in the region except for LimakPort where the fire is now under control.

All other ports continue their normal activities. Also, on the initiative of the Karataş District Governorate in Adana and Disaster and Emergency Presidency (AFAD), large fishing boats have begun to transport food and water from the fishing port in Karatas to the Çevlik fishing port in Samandag, Hatay in order to increase the use of the sea route to expand humanitarian aid. Our fishermen have also mobilized all their means.

The importance of the sea route for fast and uninterrupted aid to the districts and settlements of Hatay close to the Syrian border is evident.

By this time, 6-7 ship trips have already been made. This aid is going to regions such as Antakya, Samandag and Yayladagi. Our Coast Guard authorities welcome these ships and aids are then delivered to people through relevant organizations. As time progresses, fishing boats in the region will also be mobilized via the sea route through the fishing shelters in Adana (Karatas, Yumurtalik) and Hatay (Dörtyol).

Source: Turklim



16.02.2023 Public workshop on European Mobility Data Space

On the 16th of February, FEPORT attended a public workshop on the creation of a common European mobility data space (EMDS) which was organized by DG MOVE.

During the workshop, Dimtrios Gkatzoflias (DG MOVE) presented the objectives of the EMDS and the activities that had been undertaken so far.

The goal of the European mobility data space is to facilitate access, pooling and sharing of data from existing and future transport and mobility data sources, and forms part of the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy (SSMS) which seeks to ensure that the EU transport sector is fit for a clean, digital and modern economy. At the same time, the EMDS fits in to the European Strategy for Data which aims at establishing a single market for data, enable data sharing and establish fair and clear rules on data use and access.

One of the key objectives of the EMDS is to enable technical, organisational and legal operability for data access, re-use and data sharing between public and private actors. The EMDS should also help its users to discover relevant available data sources in the mobility sector and enable the user to understand the data quality and related access conditions. In fact, the EMDS should enhance the efficiency of the logistics sector by combining data from different modal sources and thereby allow more accurate ETAs, and the rerouting of freight in function of available capacity across modes or environmental efficiency.



17.02.2023 Deployment of OPS: the level playing field between EU ports is at risk if co-legislators do not adopt consistent pieces of legislation 

FuelEU Maritime and the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR), constitute two important pieces of legislation aiming at bringing down emissions of ships: FuelEU by imposing user requirements on ships to use shore-side and AFIR by laying down ambitious infrastructure deployment targets.

FEPORT welcomes both objectives, as air pollution emitted by ships in the port – such as CO2, sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxide or particulate matter – form a pressing concern for coastal areas and port cities due to its impact on citizens’ health as well as the local environment.

But to achieve a successful rollout of shore-side electricity, it is essential that different actors in the port/maritime ecosystem need to collaborate and be aligned. Port authorities have a central role in the administration and management of port infrastructure, including alternative fuels infrastructure such as OPS. At the same time, terminal operators need to be closely involved in the process as the installations will occupy a significant amount of space on the quayside, hence affecting the terminals’ operations. Coordination is also needed with the electricity provider and with the shipping sector so that supply matches with demand.

As the deployment of OPS is such a complex logistical puzzle, FEPORT has always pleaded for OPS to be provided at those locations in the port (such as berths or terminals) where it makes the most environmental and economic sense.

The deployment of shore-side electricity implies huge investment costs and risks, as there is a lack of voluntary demand from shipping lines to use OPS, and because FuelEU Maritime[1] allows ships to use other zero-emissions technologies at berth.

These investment risks should not be shifted to private terminal operators by compelling them to invest in OPS as it is the case in some ports. Terminal operators have very limited impact on the effective use of shore power. The decision to invest or not in OPS should remain a voluntary commercial decision based on expected return on investment. It is also crucial in this respect that the level playing field between ports is preserved thanks to a clear and harmonized legal framework regarding the responsibility for investments in OPS.

FEPORT therefore calls on the co-legislators, in the framework of the ongoing interinstitutional negotiations on AFIR, to agree on a text which clearly specifies which actor in the port ecosystem is responsible for the provision of alternative fuels infrastructure such as OPS.

FEPORT reiterates that AFIR should be consistent with existing pieces of EU legislation, especially article 2(5) of the Port Services Regulation which specifies that the managing body of the port or where applicable another competent authority is responsible for the management and administration of infrastructure as well as added points 157 and 161 to the 2017 amendment of the General Block Exemption Regulation, which specify that shore-side electricity falls under the definition of port infrastructure.

FEPORT therefore recommends that, in line with the above-mentioned legislation, port authorities and managing bodies of ports remain responsible for building, managing and maintaining the basic infrastructure in ports, including the deployment of OPS and clean bunkering facilities.

Finally, due to the current investment risks, it is crucial to allocate sufficient national and EU funding to the rollout of OPS. The revenues that will be raised via the implementation of FuelEU Maritime and the application of EU ETS to maritime shipping provide an excellent opportunity in this respect. The EU Commission’s upcoming examination of the resource needs of the Connecting Europe Facility should also be carried out bearing in mind the need for public funding to support the rollout of alternative fuels infrastructure in ports. Such funding programs should also take into account the technical needs of terminals and the costly adaptations of terminal superstructure that are required for a successful rollout of OPS.

[1]FuelEU Maritime (see article 5.3.b of the EU Commission proposal) will allow ships to use OPS or another zero-emission technology.



20.02.2023 ISO 14083 standard planned to be published in March

The so-called ISO 14083, i.e. the methodology to quantify and report greenhouse gas emissions deriving from transport chain operations, is expected to be released in March 2023. The aim of the above-mentioned international standard is to support the industry globally in its carbon reduction efforts by providing a universal method for logistics emissions accounting.

The Smart Freight Centre and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development published a guidance document entitled “End-to-End GHG Reporting of Logistics Operations”. This guidance complements the GLEC Framework, and it is built on a series of existing standards (including ISO 14083) and guidance to help organisations quantify and reduce emissions from logistics operations. 

Sophie Punte, Founder of Smart Freight Centre, stated: “The GLEC Framework – and soon the ISO 14083 standard – allow for consistent calculation and reporting of global logistics emissions. If coupled with blockchain technology, the sector could deliver a transparency revolution”.

ISO 14083 will also cover both passenger and freight transport, therefore ensuring a common industry guideline for calculating and reporting emissions from freight transport and logistics. Industry-specific guidelines will also be available on topics such as vessel categories, emission intensity defaults and calculation examples for inland waterway transport, which complement the provisions of the main standard.

This represents an important opportunity for the sector to ensure alignment between existing sector practice and an International Standard that is expected to play a significant role in the fight to limit future GHG emissions from transport. 

Source: ISO


20.02.2023 – Increasing costs due to sanctions on Russian petroleum products

On the 5th of February, the EU ban for refined petroleum products from Russia entered into force. The measure represents part of the sixth package of sanctions adopted by the Council of the EU in June 2022.

However, the sanctions against Moscow have led the cost of moving gasoline and other fuels on oil tankers to soar. The Commission set the price cap at 100dollars per barrel but, since the EU wants to avoid having a negative effect on the entire global trade, it would allow services to occur below the enforced low price. 

The ban also forbids EU vessels from carrying Russian-origin petroleum products, with penalties according to national legislation and possibly financial penalty up to 5% of their global turnover.

Penalties will also apply for companies that provide technical, brokering or financial assistance for cargoes carrying Russian refined products. In the case of a vessel sailing under the flag of a third country intentionally carries Russian-origin petroleum oil above the price cap, EU operators will be prohibited from insuring, financing and servicing it for 90 days after the cargo has been unloaded.

However, from the 5th of February, the cost of moving gasoline sharply increased. This was caused by a number of tankers that decided to continue moving Russian products, which led to have fewer vessels serving other oil exporters and to higher costs of freight.

Source: Council of the EU



24.02.2023 Commission approves State Aid to Germany to support rail transport operators using electric traction

The European Commission has approved €1.1 billion German scheme to offset rail transport operators using electric traction in the light of the recent increase in electricity prices. This measure aims to both safeguarding the rail sector’s competitiveness and preserving the environmental performance of electric rail, in line with the objectives of the Commission’s Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy and of the European Green Deal.

The scheme will cover electricity consumed between 1 January 2023 and 31 December 2023.

The Commission has evaluated the measure under EU State aid rules, in particular Article 93 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) on transport coordination, and the 2008 Guidelines on State aid for railway undertakings. The Commission pointed out that:

  • The scheme is beneficial for the environment and mobility, as it supports rail transport using electric traction, that is less polluting than road transport and decreases road congestion.
  • The measure is necessary to achieve the objective pursued, i.e. to support and preserve the modal shift from road to rail transport using electric traction in a situation of exceptionally high electricity cost.
  • The scheme is proportionate, as the aid remains below the maximum thresholds set out in the Railway Guidelines.
  • The aid is limited to reducing the competitive disadvantages faced by rail transport using electric traction compared to road transport. Therefore, the measure will not have undue negative effects on competition and trade in the EU.
Source: European Commission



Member’s News Corner


06.02.2023 – DP World handled around 80 million TEU in 2022

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During 2022, DP World has moved approximately 80 million TEU across its global portfolio of container terminals. The company expects its portfolio to keep growing in 2023, even though the perspectives remain uncertain due to the rising inflation, interest rates and geopolitical situation.

Group Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, said the company’s growth rates moderated in the last quarter of 2022 due to the challenging economic environment. Moreover, he stated: “Overall, we are pleased with the business performance in 2022 and remain focused on growing profitability while managing growth capex. The solid volume performance leaves us well placed to deliver an improved set of full year results”.

Source: Port Technology


07.02.2023  HPC drafts concept study for a hydrogen bunker station on the deep-sea of Helgoland

Hamburg Port Consulting (HPC), a subsidiary of HHLA, has been commissioned by the municipality of Helgoland to conduct a concept study for the creation of a hydrogen bunker station on the deep-sea island.

Indeed, in order to reach international sustainability goals and to considerably reduce climate-damaging carbon dioxide emissions caused by shipping, ship owners are seeking to power their vessels with alternative fuels. Ongoing studies and research focus on ammonia, methanol and hydrogen as alternative fuels to replace conventional marine diesel fuels.

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The concept study implemented by HPC aims to evaluate the market potential of alternative fuels for island shipping with the aim of estimating the potential demand, taking into consideration the local framework conditions. Furthermore, the research seeks to investigate the conditions and prerequisites for the possible location of a hydrogen bunkering station, drawing up suitable plans to ensure the logistics of supplying the fuel.

Christoph Tewis, Project Manager for AquaCore and the TransHyDE project Helgoland, claimed: "Taking into account the good availability of green hydrogen in the area of the island, we would like to examine the extent to which Helgoland can also reliably provide a supply for ships calling there in the future".

Source: HHLA



16.02.2023 YILPORT helps earthquake victims in Turkey

1000 containers have been transported from NATO’s Southern Operations Center (SOC) in Taranto to Turkey to help people affected by the earthquake.

The containers held all the equipment necessary for the shelter facilities in the NATO camp, established in the heavily impacted region of Hatay, based in the south of the country, on the Mediterranean coast.

Source: Port Technology


20.02.2023 Kalmar, PSA Italy ink deal for eight Eco Reachstackers

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, has signed an order to supply PSA Italy for deployment at its Genova Pra’ and SECH container terminals.

The machines came with a fuel saving guarantee. This will improve financial predictability through an agreed and fixed level of fuel consumption based on the cargo handling drive cycle.

They included Kalmar Insight, which is a performance management tool that turns data into actionable and impactful insights, along with a variety of add-on safety features including a fire-suppression system.

The Kalmar Eco Reachstacker uses a much smaller engine than traditional solutions, reducing fuel consumption and emissions without compromising productivity.

It offers an improved overall driving experience with smoother acceleration and less cabin noise. 

PSA Italy operates two container terminals in the Port of Genoa, PSA Genova Pra’ and PSA SECH, and one in the Port of Venice.

Together they handle approximately 2 million containers each year and employ around 1,000 people. 

Source: Port Technology



Events supported by FEPORT


20-24.03.2023 Inland Navigation Week 2023, Brussels

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31.05.2023 – European Environmental Ports Conference 2023, Valencia




FEPORT meetings

07.02.2023                 Environment, Safety and Security Committee - Hybrid

14.02.2023                 Social Affairs Committee - Hybrid

14.02.2023                 Customs and Logistics Committee - Hybrid

16.02.2023                 Board of Directors – In person

05.04.2023                 Port Policy Committee

13.04.2023                 Board of Directors

03.05.2023                 Environment, Safety and Security Committee

04.05.2023                 Port Policy Committee

09.05.2023                 Social Affairs Committee

30.05.2023                 Customs and Logistics Committee

01-02.06.2023            FEPORT GA – Arles, Marseilles

21.09.2023                 Board of Directors

26.09.2023                 Customs and Logistics Committee

28.09.2023                 Social Affairs Committee

04.10.2023                 Environment, Safety and Security Committee

05.10.2023                 Port Policy Committee

02.11.2023                 Board of Directors


Institutional meetings

06.02.2023                   ITRE Committee Meeting – Brussels

09.02.2023                   TRAN Committee Meeting – Brussels

27-28.02.2023              REGI Committee Meeting – Brussels

28.02.2023                   Sectoral Social Dialogue for Ports – Brussels

03.07.2023                   Sectoral Social Dialogue for Ports

09.11.2023                   Sectoral Social Dialogue for Ports



Other meetings and conferences

        07.03.2023              IMLI Course on the Law of Ports

07-08.03.2023        Maritime Anti-Corruption Network Conference – Hamburg

       15.03.2023               TIC 4.0 General Assembly meeting – Hambur

       18.05.2023               Livorno international conference

        31-01.05.2023         European Environmental Port Conference 2023 – Valencia


FEPORT Newsletter - February 2023