“Social Dialogue” in the real world…


When the EU Sectoral Social Dialogue for Ports was established in 2013, the European Commission welcomed the initiative envisaged to allow the social partners to discuss  the challenges faced by the sector and agreed to provide technical and administrative support to the social dialogue in order to address these common challenges.

Acknowledging the importance of the port sector for the EU economy, both Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, and European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor applauded the initiative. Commissioner László Andor pronounced words that are still very relevant in these days of COVID-19 crisis: "We need to reinforce the role of social partners at all levels if we are to come out of the crisis and preserve the benefits of our EU social model and social cohesion”.

All social partners, FEPORT, ESPO, ETF and IDC, subscribe to these objectives and are engaged in the dialogue. Yet, more than seven years later, after listening to many experts invited by the social partners to provide their insights regarding the evolution of the EU port sector, it appears clear that an enhancement of the working conditions - including the improvement of safety at work - does not solely depend on the willingness of the social partners, particularly when work is carried out on board of ships. In this respect, the EU and national regulators’ role in making sure that EU rules[1] are effectively implemented is crucial to avoid accidents that cost the lives of port workers.

Social partners in the EU Sectoral Dialogue for Ports do not want to limit their discussions to health and safety. They want more ambitious debates that are anchored in the real world and which also deal with the competitiveness of the sector and the level playing field within the maritime logistics chain.

Social partners want to instore a constructive, open and solution driven dialogue with EU regulators. They want to question them about regulatory options which have detrimental effects on ports such as the Consortia BER[2] (which has been prolonged by the EU Commission in April 2020 in spite of a strong opposition from many stakeholders including social partners).

As stated in ITF’s recent publication that has been presented during the last Social Dialogue for Ports Committee meeting held on October 14th 2020, the joint withdrawal of ship capacity via blanked sailings allowed by the newly adopted Consortia BER has cascaded to ports, creating challenges relating to connectivity, peaks, reliability and technical unemployment for many port workers…

Can we then reasonably continue to hope that the situation of workers can improve if social partners discuss only about health and safety while, in the real world, employers and employees face the above-mentioned challenges?


[1] Directive 2001/96/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 December 2001 establishing harmonised requirements and procedures for the safe loading and unloading of bulk carriers 
[2] Joint Press Release - Stakeholders in the Maritime Logistics Supply Chain urge the Commission to reconsider its decision and to proceed to a proper objective evaluation of the Consortia BER
Joint Press Release: Supply chain Stakeholders alert President von der Leyen about their disapproval of the Consortia BER extension




02.10.2020 – FEPORT responds to public consultation on NIS Directive

On the 2nd of October, FEPORT responded to the Public Consultation on the NIS Directive (EU) 2016/1148 on the security of network and information systems. The Commission seeks to conclude the review of the NIS directive by the end of 2020. FEPORT provided input into this process by submitting a position paper on cybersecurity challenges in ports.

FEPORT monitors cybersecurity related files, as the digitalisation of the sector and the use of automation entail more investment in the prevention of cyber risks that would threaten business continuity.

nis directive

As many other sectors, ports and private port companies rely increasingly on technologies to be more competitive, comply with some standards and policies, and optimize operations. This brings new stakes and challenges in the area of cybersecurity, both in the Information Technologies (IT) as well as in Operation Technologies (OT) worlds.

Due to the number and diversity of stakeholders taking part in port operations and with whom port companies interact, the challenge is to overcome the technical complexity of port IT and OT systems for the different port stakeholders who use different systems that are developed, managed and maintained by different teams or entities. Moreover, as they are more vulnerable than IT systems, OT systems need to be protected, posing an additional challenge as they are separated from IT systems and networks. Nevertheless, IT and OT systems and networks are becoming more and more dependent and interconnected, thus the importance given by port companies to the resulting risks.

There is however a need to find a right balance between business efficiency and cybersecurity, especially by guaranteeing the continuity of services while keeping IT and OT secure.

The European Union has identified ports as critical infrastructure and defined ports as “any specified area of land and water, with boundaries defined by the Member State in which the port is situated, containing works and equipment designed to facilitate commercial maritime transport operations” in article 3(1) of Directive 2005/65/EC.

Ports play a crucial role at different levels for many sectors and have been successful pioneers in Europe by interconnecting different modes of transport. As a main vehicle for European imports and exports (food, commodities, etc.) with the rest of the world, ports also enable trade and contacts between all European nations.

For a number of years, ports have been undergoing a digital transformation in order to meet emerging challenges, and port companies have been playing a major role in this respect. They are optimizing existing processes and introducing new capabilities, such as automation and real-time monitoring of operations. This digitalization has been centred around the interconnectivity of IT and OT assets and the introduction of new technological enablers, such as big data and Internet of Things (IoT).

Due to the number and diversity of stakeholders taking part in port operations, the complexity of the port ecosystem is becoming an essential question, also because the level of cybersecurity awareness might not be the same across port actors. However, when it comes to port companies and terminals, awareness and training regarding cybersecurity as well as the recruitment of qualified people to deal with cybersecurity has become a top priority, and consequently there have been huge investments in IT and OT.

The NIS Directive is a first basis to implement cybersecurity measures and concerns some of the stakeholders in the maritime sector. Port companies are involved in the work currently done by ENISA (European Union Agency for Cyber security) at EU level and are looking forward to continuing a constructive dialogue.

IT and OT systems are deployed by port companies who decide about the technical requirements needed to ensure good and secure operations. It is important that any assistance or initiative from EU policy makers remains a bottom up approach.


02.10.2020 – Workshop on the social dimension of the transition to automation and digitalisation, focusing on the transport labour force

On the 2nd of October, FEPORT participated in the workshop on the social dimension of the transition to automation and digitalisation, focusing on the transport labour force, during which Ecorys in consortium with the Hellenic Institute of Transport presented the results of a study on this topic carried out on behalf of the EU Commission.

Taking into account geographical balance and the balance between modes of transport, the study team selected 10 good practices, which could be used to smoothen the transition towards automation and digitalisation for the workforce in the transport sector.

workshop on the social dimension of the transition to automation and digitalisation focusing on the transport labour force

Moreover, the study put forward policy-oriented recommendations to manage the transition for the labour force in transport, looking at the situation from a European perspective and considering all modes of transport. These policy recommendations are focused on different levels, i.e.  EU, national, sectoral and company level, and were explained, discussed and refined during the participatory workshop.


02.10.2020 59th meeting of the Customs Code Committee – Data Integration and Harmonization Section together with the TCG

On the 29th of September and the 2nd of October, FEPORT took part in the 59th meeting of the Customs Code Committee on Data Integration and Harmonization where Member States discussed jointly with business representatives from the Trade Contact Group.

During this meeting, participants were informed that DG TAXUD is preparing an evaluation report regarding the implementation of the Union Customs Code. To support this endeavour, Oxford Research will carry out a study. A questionnaire will be disseminated, and a targeted consultation will be carried out amongst customs authorities and economic operators.

DG TAXUD also explained the adoption procedure regarding the amended UCC Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2447.


06.10.2020 – DBTG and FEPORT sign a MoU during DBTG Hybrid Conference


The Federation of European Private Port Companies and Terminals (FEPORT) and the International Dry Bulk Terminals Group (DBTG) have decided to join forces to raise the profile of  the cargo handling industry and more particularly bulk terminals, and to provide an enhanced service to their respective members. FEPORT and DBTG have sealed their commitment to work together by signing a Memorandum of Understanding.


Both organizations share common interests in relation to various aspects of seaborne dry bulk commodities, e.g. trade, port and terminal handling, interaction with maritime operators (e.g. vessel operators) and hinterland transport operators.


Moreover, DBTG and FEPORT have the highest concern for matters including safety, operational efficiency, environmental and technical excellence throughout the logistics chain. This mutual understanding will help to further strengthen their collaboration and, where areas of joint interest have been identified, establish a closer coordination between the Parties.

The co-operation between the two organisations will involve several activities including the exchange of information, the co-ordination of activities and mutual action to address areas of common concerns.


Furthermore, DBTG (supported by CETOA) and FEPORT want to reinforce their position towards and within IMO. For this end, the two organisations will be actively working on mutual and joint positions, generating opinions within the circles of our mutual members, associated members that will help us in achieving our goals in our mutual lobbies.

DBTG is a not-for-profit society open to all owners/operators of dry bulk terminals world-wide. Established in 1998 DBTG provides a forum and voice for a global, but highly fragmented, industry that is of critical importance to the seaborne trade, transportation and further clients of dry bulk commodities. DBTG together with CETOA, holds a consultative status at IMO.

FEPORT represents the interests of a large variety of terminal operators and stevedoring companies performing operations and carrying out activities over 425 terminals in the seaports of the European Union. FEPORT members employ more than 390 000 port workers.


06.10.2020 – Commission publishes roadmap addressing distortions caused by foreign subsidies

On the 6th of October, the European Commission published a document detailing different legal approaches and focusing on acquisitions of EU businesses and public procurement procedures.

The roadmap closed on the 29th of October.

roadmap on distortions caused by foreign subsidies

The Commission is seeking to identify new tools to address the potentially negative effects on the single market of subsidies provided by governments outside the EU. These subsidies may undermine the level playing field that is needed for all companies in the EU to compete on equal terms.


09.10.2020 – DG MOVE publishes a roadmap on compliance with Flag State requirements

Following the evaluation of Directive 2009/21/EC on compliance with Flag State requirements, DG MOVE has published an indicative roadmap on Compliance with Flag State requirements (shipping). The feedback period will be open until the 20th of November.

flag state requirements

This revision aims at updating and aligning international rules maintaining the IMO-Audit provision and follow-up; in order to clarify and strengthen the Flag States to perform their obligations, including monitoring of EU Recognised Organisations (Classification Societies). It also seeks to digitalise the Flag registers, to revise the Flag State performance measurement and to reward the good quality operators.


09.10.2020 DG MOVE publishes a roadmap on Port State control

On the 9th of October, DG MOVE has published an  indicative roadmap  on Port State control - further improving safety, security and sustainability of maritime transport. The roadmap will be open for feedback until he 20th of November.

A recent evaluation showed that the Port State Control Directive (2009/16/EC) continues to be pivotal in the defence against “substandard” shipping in EU waters, but also identified several areas that can be improved.

port state control

The review of the Directive will focus on more targeted inspections concentrating on operational issues, an incentive mechanism for quality shipping, the recruitment and retention of inspectors, the interface with SafeSeaNet THETIS and the inclusion of foreign fishing vessels.


11.10.2020 – EU framework for FDI screening becomes fully operational

On the 11th of October, the EU framework for FDI screening became fully operational. Over the last eighteen months following the adoption of the first EU investment screening regulation, the Commission and Member States have put in place an effective coordination framework. It will now become instrumental in preserving Europe's strategic interests while keeping the EU market open to investment.

fdi screening

Adopted in March 2019, the FDI screening regulation established an EU-wide framework in which the European Commission and the Member States can coordinate their actions on foreign investments. Following its formal entry into force, the Commission and Member States have worked on putting in place the necessary operational requirements for the full application of the Regulation, including the following points:

  • the notification by EU Member States of their existing national investment screening mechanisms to the Commission;
  • the establishment of formal contact points and secure channels in each Member State and within the Commission for the exchange of information and analysis;
  • developing procedures for Member States and the Commission to quickly react to FDI concerns and to issue opinions
  • updating the list of projects and programmes of Union interest annexed to the Regulation.

Following recommendations by the Commission in its March 2020 guidance, Member States have also agreed to cooperate informally on FDI screening where a foreign investment could have an effect on the EU single market and several of them are also in the course of reforming their screening mechanisms, or adopting new mechanisms.


13.10.2020 – Commission prolongs and expands State Aid Temporary Framework

The European Commission has decided to prolong and extend the scope of the State Aid Temporary Framework to further support companies facing significant turnover losses.

Initially set to expire on 31 December 2020, the amendment prolongs at current thresholds the provisions of the Temporary Framework for an additional six months until 30 June 2021, except the recapitalisation measures which are prolonged until 30 September 2021.

The objective is to enable Member States to support businesses in the context of the coronavirus crisis, especially where the need or ability to use the Temporary Framework has not fully materialised so far, while protecting the level playing field. Before 30 June 2021, the Commission will review and examine the need to further prolong or adapt the Temporary Framework.

state aid temporary framework

The amended framework also introduces a new measure to enable Member States to support companies facing a decline in turnover of at least 30% during the eligible period compared to the same period of 2019 due to the coronavirus outbreak. The support will contribute to a part of the beneficiaries' fixed costs that are not covered by their revenues, up to a maximum amount of €3 million per undertaking.

The Commission has also adapted the conditions for recapitalisation measures under the Temporary Framework, in particular for the State's exit from the recapitalisation of enterprises where the State was an existing shareholder prior to the recapitalisation. The amendment allows the State to exit from the equity of such enterprises through an independent valuation, whilst restoring its previous shareholding and maintaining the safeguards to preserve effective competition in the Single Market.


13.10.2020 Meeting of DTLF Subgroup 

On the 13th of October, FEPORT Secretariat participated to the SG2 meeting of the Digital Transport and Logistics Forum (DTLF), which focusses on Corridor Freight Information Systems. The DTLF was set up to bring together public and private stakeholders from the transport sector in order to build a common vision and roadmap towards digital transport and logistics.

This meeting consisted of a technical report on the FEDeRATED and FENIX projects as well as a discussion on the coordination of the DTLF’s activities with those projects. FEDeRATED and FENIX are CEF projects that both aim at improving data-sharing throughout the logistics chain. 

FEDeRATED contributes to this aim by delivering the foundations for a trustworthy and interoperable data-sharing infrastructure for freight transport and logistics, while the FENIX project will create a European federated architecture for data-sharing offering interoperability between the logistics community, infrastructure providers and authorities.

During the meeting, DTLF Subgroup 1, which focusses on paperless transport, presented their progress to SG2. One of the tasks of SG1 is to assist with the implementation of legislation based on the electronic Freight Transport Information Regulation. During the presentation, the possibility of linking eFTI to the European Maritime Single Window environment was evoked.


13.10.2020 4th meeting of the EMSWe data thematic team

On the 13th of October, FEPORT Secretariat participated to the 4th remote meeting of the EMSWe data thematic team.

The European Maritime Single Window aims to harmonise reporting formalities and simplify administrative procedures for ships arriving in or departing from EU ports.

The annexes to the EMSWe Regulation contain various reporting obligations stemming from EU legislation and international legal instruments. Moreover, the European Maritime Single Window environment will include so-called type C formalities, which are based on Member States’ already existing national reporting obligations.

The task of the data thematic team is to establish a dataset based on the above-mentioned reporting obligations.  This dataset mainly focuses on B2A communication, but can also include data elements that private actors, such as port operators, need for safety and/or operational purposes.

This meeting specifically focussed on those data elements originating from national reporting obligations. For example, on ship information, ship certificates and maritime statistics.

During the meeting, DTLF Subgroup 1, which focusses on paperless transport, presented their progress to SG2. One of the tasks of SG1 is to assist with the implementation of legislation based on the electronic Freight Transport Information Regulation. During the presentation, the possibility of linking eFTI to the European Maritime Single Window environment was evoked.


14.10.2020 SSDC Plenary Meeting

On the 14th of October, FEPORT Secretariat participated in person to the European Social Dialogue for Ports Committee meeting that took place remotely and at the Borschette Building.

ssdc oct1

Participants listened to two remarkably interesting presentations.

Mr Olaf Merk presented ITF’s findings on recent developments in container shipping and their impacts on ports during the COVID-19 crisis.

ssdc oct2jpg

The presentation showed that, despite volume drops, liner shipping enjoyed spikes in freight rates and made record profits. This paradox was possible through a joint withdrawal of ship capacity leading to blanked sailings.

Mrs Turtelboom, auditor at the European Court of Auditors highlighted the main elements of the report on The EU’s response to China’s state-driven investment strategy.

The presentation highlighted the blind spots of the current strategy and pointed out three risks that are not at present addressed:

ssdc oct3jpgpng

  • The risk that there is a lack of coordination between infrastructure programmes of the EU and China.
  • The risk that the EU economy is negatively impacted from shocks to its supply chains with key Chinese suppliers.
  • The risk that public health is affected (e.g. Covid-19 pandemic) by increased interconnectedness in a globalised world

Both presentations were followed by comments from the social partners to the representatives of the EU Commission.


15.10.2020 – FEPORT responds to public consultation regarding Energy Taxation Directive revision

On the 15th of October, FEPORT responded to the European Commission’s public consultation regarding the revision of the Energy Taxation Directive (ETD). The European Commission seeks to revise this Directive dating from 2003 in order to align it with the EU’s enhanced climate ambition as well as changes in the EU energy mix.

The ETD affects the business of private port companies and terminals in many different ways. For instance, it has implications for the price that terminal operators pay for the energy they use to operate their cargo handling equipment. At the same time, energy taxes influence the price and by consequence the demand for marine fuels, which has repercussions on the demand of port infrastructure for clean fuels and energy supplies.

etd consultation

Moreover, the ETD affects the markets for energy commodities (e.g. oil, gas, LNG and Hydrogen) that some port operators handle, and energy prices also influence other emissions ascribed to ports, such as those emitted by incoming trucks.

FEPORT underlined that the revision of the Energy Tax Directive should not lead to a short-term categorical rejection of tax concessions for fossil fuels. It must meet objective economic, ecological, and competition-related requirements in a more balanced way.

Specifically, FEPORT underlined four principles that should be taken into account when revising the Energy Taxation Directive.

  1. Adopt a broad approach towards sustainable development and ensure consistency between the ETD revision and other legislative initiatives.
  2. Continue to recognize LNG as a transitional fuel.
  3. The uptake of sustainable alternative fuels and energy sources should be stimulated, by providing for a permanent tax exemption.
  4. FEPORT favours transition periods for tax exemptions currently in place for diesel used by terminal equipment.


22.10.2020 European Commission publishes 2021 Work Programme

On the 19th of October, the European Commission published its work programme for 2021. The work programme contains new legislative initiatives and revisions of existing legislation, initiatives planned for 2020 that were postponed due to the pandemic as well as initiatives designed for the post-corona recovery. The list of initiatives can be found in the annexes to the work programme.

The work programme is based on the same six headline ambitions as the work programme of 2020 among others:

  1. The European Green Deal

As already mentioned in the EU Climate Target Plan, the EU will increase its climate ambition from 50% emission reductions in 2030 as compared to 1990 levels, towards 55% emission reductions. In that regard, measures on smart and sustainable transport will be put forward, including a revision of the TEN-T network regulation and the Directive on intelligent transport systems.

  1. A Europe Fit for the Digital Age

The work programme notes (p.4) that “the EU will continue to work for an international agreement for a fair tax system that provides long-term sustainable revenues. Failing this, the Commission will propose a digital levy in the first half of next year.”

Moreover, the Commission will propose a legal instrument to level the playing field as regards to foreign subsidies in Q2 2020 (see “foreign subsidies” in the annexes to the 2021 work programme).

The new industrial strategy for Europe (already published on the 10th of March 2020) will be updated to particularly take into account the impact of COVID-19.


22.10.2020 EPP Group Position Paper on Mobility and Transport until 2030 and beyond

On the 22nd of October, the EPP Group released its Position Paper on Mobility and Transport until 2030 and beyond.

The paper stresses that mobility and transport are a precondition for prosperity, wealth and opportunities. The EPP Group commits to making the European transport system affordable, reliable, digital and sustainable; to forge a borderless Single European Transport Area; and to reduce pollution and emissions through technological progress, efficiency and investment.  

The paper affirms that maritime transport still has a lot of unexploited potential. Vessels can easily be adapted to use cleaner fuels instead of heavy oil, while hybridisation and electrification is becoming more viable and the EU has already financed substantial research in this respect.

The document also states that the EU should accelerate the adoption of electric vessels for short routes and further digitalise maritime operations. European ports should be equipped with electric charging and grid points to replace the on-board power of ships at anchor produced by diesel generators.

epp group

To make shipping even more competitive, port services should be further liberalised allowing for high standards in quality and the safety of the services. Europe should also have a clear strategy to promote RO-RO shipping for freight, thereby reducing the presence of heavy-duty vehicles on our roads.

At the global level, the EU must use its weight in IMO to achieve a carbon offsetting scheme in international shipping and to ensure a realistic path of emissions reduction.

Finally, the EPP Group asks for a clear strategy for the EU maritime sector, including benchmarks for reducing emissions.


26.10.2020 Sustainable, Long-term Investments and Competitive European Industry Intergroup launch event

On the 26th of October, the launch event of the Sustainable, Long-term Investments and Competitive European Industry Intergroup took place virtually.

This inaugural session, chaired by MEP Carvahlo, MEP Bonafé and MEP Riquet, featured discussions on the steps the EU needs to prioritise to become green, digital and more resilient and to recover stronger from this unprecedented crisis, and counted with the intervention of Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, European Commission. As discussions continue to evolve, the intergroup aims to convene regular gatherings of the Intergroup to support open dialogue and deepen collaboration.

If interested, you can find here the full recording of the event.


27.10.2020 UIRR Intermodal Summit

On the 27th of October, the International Union for Road-Rail combined transport (UIRR) organized its Intermodal Summit, where policy makers as well as key CEOs from the sector discussed how to promote intermodal transport in order to contribute to decarbonization and move cargo from the road, thereby also reducing accidents.

Representing the EU Commission, Transport Commissioner Valean underlined that for this Commission, Rail Freight Transport is a top priority and also outlined the EU’s ambitions in the context of the European Year of Rail. This Commission is indeed committed to making multimodality a success and will therefore propose a review of the combined transport Directive.

Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Transport Committee István Ujhelyi, explained that the Parliament of this term is strongly committed to clean and safe transport. Citizens are counting on multimodal transport solutions to move trucks from the road.

MEP Ujhelyi lauded the electronic Freight Transport Information (eFTI) Regulation as a catalyst for the digitalization of transport, capable of cutting administrative and bureaucratic burdens in half.

Yet, most of all, the Transport Committee’s vice-Chair applauded the accomplishments of the intermodal transport sector during the corona crisis.

After these introductory statements, various key business players active in intermodal transport, of which plenty are also member of UIRR, were provided the opportunity to share their views. The CEO of Duisport, for example, underlined that intermodal transport also comprises maritime and barge transport.

During the panel discussion, participants agreed that private investment plays a crucial role in reaching the 2030 and 2050 targets regarding climate neutrality and the share of intermodal transport. It is equally important to invest in infrastructure, in particular the last-mile connections, and to ensure that existing infrastructure is efficiently used.

Hupac, Metrans and BASF’s CEOs discussed various innovations to support the uptake of intermodal transport solutions, for example, innovations related to electrification and digitalization, and discussed whether punctuality improvement targets should be adopted, in addition to the already existing modal share targets.

UIRR’s President Ralf-Charley Schulze gave a presentation on the challenges that long-distance freight transport is currently facing, e.g. related to the ageing of the EU population, global competition, the boom of E-commerce as well as urbanization and increased population density. To cope with the EU’s ageing population and the resulting reduction of the workforce, intermodal transport can provide a solution, as it allows transport workers to work in accordance with a more regular schedule and to travel shorter distances. In the context of increasing population density, it is key that intermodal terminals cut emissions as they will increasingly be located in urban areas.

DG MOVE Director for Waterborne Transport, Magda Kopczynska provided a wrap-up of the conference, mentioning the existing consensus regarding the role of intermodal transport in the EU’s decarbonization efforts and in shifting cargo away from the road.

In order to make intermodal transport a success, administrations on all levels – the regional, EU and national ones – need to work together. Moreover, the presence of infrastructure is an important prerequisite.

Mrs Kopczynska stated that the TEN-T guidelines will be revised, and that the importance of promoting intermodality will be duly taken into account in this revision process. State Aid rules will also be revised to facilitate investments in intermodal terminals and in the second half of 2021, the Commission will come with a proposal to amend the Rail Freight Corridors Regulation.


28.10.2020 – Draft own-initiative TRAN report on technical and operational measures for more efficient and cleaner maritime transport

On the 28th of October, the European Parliament Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN) has discussed the draft own-initiative report on technical and operational measures for more efficient and cleaner maritime transport.

FEPORT welcomes MEP Karima Delli’s initiative aiming at limiting the emissions from the maritime sector and acknowledging the role of all port stakeholders.

Maritime transport should indeed be properly incorporated in the Green Deal and FEPORT fully supports the principle that public money should only be invested into sustainable alternatives fuels and energy sources.


Nevertheless, LNG has taken over ten years to establish itself as a transitional solution to decarbonize maritime transport and research is still ongoing into cleaner forms of LNG such as Bio-LNG and synthetic LNG.

FEPORT considers that LNG should be promoted in the short- to medium-term, as alternatives are not sufficiently mature. Discouraging investments into LNG would imply stranded assets as the AFI Directive of 2014 spells out that LNG need to be available in core network ports by 31 December 2025.

Moreover, provision 11 makes reference to “better optimization of logistics” as a means to prevent unnecessary emissions. FEPORT strongly believes that optimization should be a must for all parties within the “maritime logistics chain”. It is in the terminal operator’s own best commercial interest to optimize the use of its berth facilities thus also limiting shipping emissions in ports. Efforts should also be produced upstream and downstream of the port call to avoid delays and disruption of port operations.

The deadline for amendments is on the 6th of November, and the report will be voted in plenary early next year.



Members' News Corner


08.09.2020 DP World Antwerp and MPET join forces to intensify the use of rail transport

MSC PSA European Terminal (MPET) and DP World Antwerp joined forces to cooperatively use DP World's rail infrastructure at the Deurganckdock in the Waasland Port.

While the east side of MPET terminal has no own rail infrastructure, the adjacent DP World terminal does have a direct rail connection. In order to enable rail transport directly to and from the east side of MPET, a new container transfer zone has been created at MPET where import and export containers for rail transport can be exchanged

This agreement determines a remarkable progress with regards to mobility and sustainability in the port of Antwerp. The initiative is in line with the port's ambition to increase container transport by rail: from the current 8% to 15% by 2030. Both terminals aim to increase the frequency of existing rail products and develop new connections with the hinterland.


23.09.2020 – Yilport chooses Kalmar’s fuel-efficient terminal tractor solutions 

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, has signed a deal with Yilport to supply a total of 38 terminal tractors: 36 Kalmar Ottawa T2 terminal tractors for its Puerto Bolívar terminal in Ecuador and two Kalmar heavy terminal tractors for its Gävle terminal in Sweden.

Kalmar Ottawa T2 terminal tractors feature an ergonomic cab design, fast fifth-wheel lifting and easy-access service points, while Kalmar heavy terminal tractors provide robust reliability and excellent performance when moving heavy loads in any type of conditions. As part of the agreement, Kalmar has guaranteed a maximum fuel consumption for the Kalmar Ottawa T2 terminal tractors during the warranty period. Fuel consumption will be monitored with Kalmar Insight performance management tool, which gathers data from the fleet and turns that into actionable, impactful insights.


01.10.2020 – HHLA acquires majority stake in Trieste’s multi-function terminal

After its participation in Odessa and Tallinn, HHLA decided once again to invest outside Hamburg and has taken a majority stake of 50.01% in the Piattaforma Logistica Trieste (PLT) terminal within the Free Port of Trieste. With this investment, HHLA is positioning itself in a growing Adriatic market that offers significant opportunities for development.

Angela Titzrath, chairwoman of HHLA’s executive board, said: “The Adriatic region has been developing very dynamically in the past few years. As the northernmost port in the Mediterranean, Trieste is the southern gateway to Central and Eastern Europe. The investment is a strategic expansion to our existing port and intermodal network. The terminal gives us the opportunity to actively participate in and help shape new and changing cargo flows and underlineour ambitions to grow internationally.”

hhla trieste

During the official ceremony marking the closure of the agreement in the Italian seaport of Trieste, Angela Titzrath met the Italian Minister of Economic Affairs, Stefano Patuanelli, and the head of the Port Authority of Trieste, Zeno D'Agostino. In her speech, which she gave in Italian, Titzrath said: “Hamburg and Trieste are not only connected by the fact that both are port cities. They are both also gateways to the world. Let us open them together, courageously and resolutely.”

The position of the Port of Trieste in the Adriatic region allows for excellent development opportunities in hinterland transport, said HHLA. The PLT terminal has its own rail connection. The HHLA rail subsidiary Metrans already connects the Port of Trieste with its European intermodal network.


05.10.2020 – HHLA increases charging stations and battery-powered AGVs in CTA

By the end of 2020, HHLA intends to put into operation another 6 environment-friendly energy charging stations for battery-powered AGVs and 16 additional lithium-ion AGVs in the Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA) as part of its sustainability strategy

Half of the vehicles in use at CTA are powered by lithium-ion batteries and, by the end of 2022, nearly all of the 100 vehicles will be powered by lithium-ion batteries.

This will reduce annual emissions by approximately 15,500 tonnes of CO₂ and around 118 tonnes of nitrogen oxide as electric AGVs do not generate any local CO₂, nitrogen oxide or fine particulate matter emissions. The battery-powered vehicles ratio of energy consumed to actual power output is three times higher than that of diesel AGVs. Lithium-ion batteries can be charged in just one and a half hours, are highly durable and do not require maintenance making these vehicles economically attractive. 


22.10.2020 – Dutch authorities clear Hutchison acquisition of APMT Rotterdam

The Netherlands Authority for Consumer and Markets (ACM) has cleared Hutchison Ports Netherlands, the parent company of container terminal operator Europe Container Terminals (ECT), to acquire container terminal APMT Rotterdam.

ACM explained that it does not anticipate this move having any significant effects on competition. “After the acquisition, sufficient competition will remain in this sector between the three-active terminal-services companies in the Port of Rotterdam,” said Martijn Snoep, chairman of the Board of ACM.

As a result of the acquisition, ECT will own the ECT Delta terminal, ECT Euromax terminal and APM Terminals Rotterdam in the major Dutch port. At the same time, APM Terminals and Rotterdam World Gateway remain active players, as each operator owns one container terminal on Maasvlakte 2.

apmt rotterdam

In its investigation, ACM said it primarily looked at the competition between terminal services for containers that are directly shipped to destinations elsewhere in Europe. Many containers are shipped from the Port of Rotterdam to destinations in, for example, Belgium, Germany, and France, either by trucks, trains, or barges, according to the Dutch authorities.

ACM’s investigation reveals that the market share of the group to which ECT belongs will increase only slightly as a result of the acquisition. This is the reason this move “will only lead to a small change in the competitive landscape,” according to Snoep.

ACM noted that maritime shipping companies are positive about the current developments and expect the APMT Rotterdam acquisition to result in additional capacity, while the terminal-services companies also expect the competition to be intensified.



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FEPORT meetings

08.04.2020           Board of Directors – Remote

16.04.2020           Environment, Safety and Security Committee – Remote

22.04.2020           Social Affairs Committee – Remote

27.04.2020           Port Policy Committee – Remote

28.04.2020           Customs and Logistics Committee – Remote

06.05.2020           Board of Directors – Remote

25.06.2020           General Assembly – Remote

16.07.2020            Port Policy Committee – Remote

10.09.2020            Environment, Safety and Security Committee – Remote

14.09.2020            Port Policy Committee – Remote

17.09.2020            Board of Directors – Remote

25.09.2020            Social Affairs Committee – Remote

21.10.2020            Customs and Logistics Committee – Remote

04.11.2020             Port Policy Committee – Remote

05.11.2020             Environment, Safety and Security Committee – Remote

12.11.2020             Social Affairs Committee – Remote

18.11.2020             Board of Directors – Remote

03.12.2020            General Assembly – Remote


Institutional meetings

09-10.11.2020          ENVI Committee Meeting – Brussels

10.11.2020               TRAN Committee Meeting – Brussels

10.11.2020                EMPL Committee Meeting – Brussels

16.11.2020                EMPL Committee Meeting – Brussels

16.11.2020                ENVI Committee Meeting – Brussels

30.11-01.12.2020      TRAN Committee Meeting – Brussels

30.11-01.12.2020      ENVI Committee Meeting – Brussels

30.11-01.12.2020      EMPL Committee Meeting – Brussels

07.12.2020                 ENVI Committee Meeting – Brussels



Other meetings

03-04.11.2020          Global Liner Shipping conference – Hamburg

04-05.11.2020          European Environmental Ports Conference – Rotterdam

12.11.2020               Freight Forwarders Forum – Online event

18.11.2020               Digital Transport Days 2020 – Online Event


FEPORT Newsletter - October 2020