“Getting fit” for July 14th



On July 14th, the EU Commission is expected to publish twelve proposals as part of its “Fit for 55” package. The port industry is looking forward to knowing what six texts[1] in particular will contain.

Ports are expected to play a significant role in achieving some of the objectives of the Green Deal. They have the potential to evolve into “industrial ecosystems” which represent a fantastic opportunity to attract industries and manufacturing centers into the vicinity of ports. Many port activities and related investments directly or indirectly contribute to making the Green Deal happen. Multimodal logistic infrastructures connecting ports to the hinterland will certainly support the transformation of the role of ports be it on the seaside or on the hinterland side. They will also play an important role in allowing goods to leave ports quickly thus preventing congestion and lowering emissions at terminal yards.

Port terminals have developed ambitious emission reduction targets and large logistics operators are also proactive in their efforts to reduce emissions[2]. However, more needs to be done by other actors of the chain. Even if higher costs of zero carbon transport will be a challenge for the whole freight transport chain, they represent an important step towards climate neutrality. What will also be crucial is the public support to stimulate zero carbon freight transport, incentive schemes, charging and refuelling infrastructure, and mitigation of the GHG impacts of ships, trucks, trains and barges coming to ports.  

There are a lot of expectations from the port sector with respect to investments in alternative fuels infrastructure as well as in terms of support to the decarbonization of maritime transport. These expectations should be mirrored by significant financial funding for the needed EU based infrastructure.

If the EU Commission favors the establishment of a dedicated European investment fund that will be based on the revenues from a maritime EU ETS or an emission levy, then it will be important that part of those revenues is reinvested in the European maritime sector to enable the decarbonization of shipping and in infrastructures for the deployment and use of sustainable alternative fuels in ports.

Beyond climate change mitigation, European ports are confronted with other challenges to remain competitive and strengthen their position as industrial clusters creating jobs and contributing in a sustainable and lasting manner to the EU economy and its recovery. European ports cannot alone solve all problems. They need to remain anchored into the reality, particularly regarding investments into additional port capacities. Building new capacities must be correlated to trade growth figures and the effective utilization of existing port capacities by port customers[3].

In this respect, during the recent event co-hosted by MEP Jutta Paulus and MEP Vera Tax about the impact of big ships, some graphs based on data provided by MDS Transmodal have shown that the declining service frequency in the container sector is unfortunately a reality for many ports which are still lucky to be called at. This means that the number of calls has decreased significantly and whenever port congestion occurs, if one European hub port is full, other ports function as a temporary or exceptional backup. So before pointing out to a lack of port capacities leading to port congestion as the main cause of disruption of the maritime logistics chain, it might be useful to check whether the real disruptive factors do not lie upstream or downstream ports.

Finally, at the moment, European ports are faced with so many expectations, it will be important, prior to any discussion regarding the building of new capacities, to check whether a return on investment for public and private port stakeholders, Member States and wider communities is clearly foreseen. The correlation between investments in port infrastructure and figures regarding trade evolution and the geographical composition of freight remain key parameters to be considered.


[1] Proposal on the uptake of renewable and low-carbon fuels in maritime transport - FuelEU Maritime
Revision of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), including maritime, aviation and CORSIA as well as a proposal for ETS as own resource.
Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and a proposal for CBAM as own resource
Revision of the Energy Tax Directive
Amendment to the Renewable Energy Directive to implement the ambition of the new 2030 climate target (RED)
Revision of the Directive on deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure
[2] glec-framework-20.pdf (feport.eu)
[3] Maritime transport in the EU: in troubled waters — much ineffective and unsustainable investment



26.05.2021 Adoption and publication of the TEN-T evaluation staff working document

On the 26th of May, the Commission Staff Working Document regarding the TEN-T evaluation was adopted and published on the DG MOVE website. Also, an executive summary has been made available.  

The evaluation considers whether the TEN-T policy is on the right pathway to complete the core network in 2030 and the comprehensive network in 2050. The evaluation also assesses whether the TEN-T policy is still in line with the EU's increased climate and environmental objectives.  

The evaluation concludes that all main objectives of the TEN-T Regulation remain relevant. Yet, it is recognized that there is a need to advance on requirements in order to enhance the quality of the TEN-T infrastructure.  

Moreover, extended targets and reinforced requirements are needed to bring the TEN-T policy in line with the Green Deal and the digital transition.

To realize this aim, the TEN-T infrastructure should be fully aligned with the provisions of other policy initiatives such as the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive and FuelEU Maritime.

To make the TEN-T network ready for the digital transition, more attention should be given to finding the right balance between setting long-term infrastructure requirements and having requirements that are flexible and can adapt to industry innovation and changing user needs.  

When it comes to the objective of “increasing user benefits” the evaluation stresses that “the TEN-T Regulation could be advanced to strengthen the identification, combination and implementation of projects from the perspective of integrated door-to-door user services” in particular in the passenger transport sector.

Concerning the effectiveness of the TEN-T implementation, it is recognized that this can be enhanced by giving a more important role to the European Coordinators, by increasing the use of Delegated Acts and by making Member States more accountable.


08.06.2021 European Parliament adopts 2020 Annual Report on Competition Policy

On the 7th of June, the European Parliament Plenary session met for a debate on the 2020 annual report on competition policy.

During the debate, many MEPs observed that competition policy often tends to be stacked against small companies, especially when they are in competition with large multi-nationals. In this regard, members supported the report's emphasis on the need for large tech companies to pay their fair share in tax, with numerous calls being heard to the Commission to be more active when it comes to analyzing proposed mergers and acquisitions in the digital sphere and imposing sanctions against those that break competition rules.

The following day, the European Parliament adopted the Competition policy – annual report 2020 with 508 votes in favor, 115 votes against and 68 abstentions.

The Report expresses its concern regarding the increase in industry concentration in Europe and highlights that a strict and impartial enforcement of EU competition rules by independent competition authorities is crucial for European companies active in the internal market and at international level, especially for SMEs.

Moreover, it welcomes the consultation on competition law and the European Green Deal as a step towards greater policy coherence and calls on the Commission to present a comprehensive and forward-looking action plan on how competition rules and State aid legislation should be revised.

Regarding policy responses to COVID-19, the Report welcomes the adoption of a Temporary Framework for State aid measures, and amendments to prolong and expand it, which was established in response to unexpected developments related to the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis to enable Member States to support companies during the pandemic.

Finally, concerning State Aid, the Report calls for the alignment of all EU competition and State aid rules with long-term societal objectives, in particular with the European Green Deal, taking into account the EU’s climate commitments and welcomes the consultation launched on how competition policy can support the European Green Deal and better take into account green and sustainable efficiencies when dealing with State aid, merger control and antitrust rules.


10.06.2021 – FEPORT welcomes G7 agreement on minimum taxation of multinationals and calls on OECD countries to include cargo handling in the scope of BEPS Pillar 2

During their General Assembly meeting held remotely on June 10th, 2021, FEPORT members discussed the recent G7 finance ministers’ historic agreement to apply a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15% to all multinational corporations.

The issue is of immediate concern to port terminal companies as the international shipping industry is pushing for an exemption from the new tax reform deal. FEPORT is preoccupied by the too broad definition of shipping that could lead to an exemption of shipping companies’ own cargo handling activities and beyond. If this were to happen then this would further distort competition in the port services sector to the advantage of shipping companies and undermine the very purpose of the new OECD proposals.

FEPORT therefore calls on OECD member countries to retain any and all kind of cargo and passenger handling activities in the scope of BEPS Pillar 2 to ensure fair competition in the port industry.

We want all cargo and passenger handling activities services to be in”, says FEPORT President Gunther Bonz. “If this were unfortunately not to happen then the only alternative would be to exempt all these activities as well as freight forwarders and hauliers from BEPS 2. That would defeat the purpose of this historic agreement, and this is not what we want”, adds FEPORT President.

In view of the G20 meeting in Venice, we call on OECD countries to include all kind of cargo and passenger handling activities in the scope of BEPS Pillar 2 to ensure fair competition”, concludes Mr. Bonz.

All cargo handling operators should indeed be taxed in the same way and therefore be concerned by the minimum tax as agreed upon during the G7 agreement. FEPORT members consider that the recovery will be possible if all industries contribute to the effort. The last two years have been difficult for all and require solidarity from all sectors to overcome the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

FEPORT members have also discussed on how to convert the upcoming rules on taxonomy into opportunities for companies to streamline all processes and approach certification schemes in a more holistic way. It is indeed important to keep in mind that European private port companies are already very advanced in terms of certification of their different activities with respect to environment, safety, quality, security, cyber risks etc. The main objective is now to combine those certifications thanks to taxonomy.

It is therefore crucial for corporations which will have to report back about their activities in compliance with the objectives of taxonomy to know more about the criteria that they will have to fulfill in their reporting.

Finally, FEPORT members welcomed the EU Commission’s proposal regarding foreign subsidies and hope that its scope will include all industries of the waterborne sector. This is the condition for the instrument to be efficient.


14.06.2021 – EU Commission adopts MoU for Waterborne Transport Partnership

On the 14th of June, the College of Commissioners adopted a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a Co-Programmed Partnership between the EU Commission and the Waterborne Technology Platform as part of the Horizon Europe Program.

The main goal of the Partnership will be to provide and demonstrate zero-emission solutions for all main ship types and services before 2030, in order to enable zero-emission waterborne transport before 2050. However, the partnership also looks into the port side of reducing shipping emissions, for example, by looking into solutions for clean refueling and recharging infrastructure.

The Partnership brings together the majority of the European waterborne transport sector which among others includes shipyards and maritime equipment manufacturers, shipowners, research institutes and port stakeholders.

Source: Waterborne Technology Platform


14.06.2021 Connecting Europe Facility 2.0 adopted by the Council

On the 14th of June, the Council adopted the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility 2.0 (CEF 2.0) program to fund the development of high-performing, sustainable infrastructure in the fields of transport, digital and energy. 

This second edition of the program is worth €33.71 billion and will run from 2021 to 2027The vote by the Council will be followed by final adoption by the European Parliament.

For the transport sector, the foreseen budget will be €25.81 billion (including €11.29 billion for cohesion countries) and CEF 2.0 will promote interconnected and multimodal networks in order to develop and modernize rail, road, inland waterway and maritime infrastructure.


Priority will be given to further development of the trans-European transport networks (TEN-T), focusing on missing links and cross-border projects with an EU added value. €1.38 billion (in 2018 prices) of the transport budget will be used to finance major rail projects between cohesion countries.

CEF 2.0 will also ensure that when infrastructure is adapted to improve military mobility within the EU, it is dual-use compatible, i.e; meeting both civilian and military needs. Military mobility will have a separate allocation of €1.69 billion within the transport budget.

In the energy sector, the program aims to contribute to the further integration of the European energy market by improving the interoperability of energy networks across borders and sectors, thereby facilitating decarbonization and ensuring security of supply. Funding will also be available for cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy generation. Consistency with EU and national energy and climate plans, including the principle of ‘energy efficiency first’, will be taken into account when defining award criteria.

In the area of digital connectivity, the scope of the program has been broadened to reflect the fact that the digital transformation of the economy and society at large depends on universal access to reliable and affordable high and very high-capacity networks. Digital connectivity is also a decisive factor in closing economic, social and territorial disparities. To qualify for support from CEF 2.0, a project will have to contribute to the digital single market and EU connectivity targets. Priority will be given to projects which generate additional area coverage, including for households.

CEF 2.0 emphasizes synergies between the transport, energy and digital sectors as a way of making EU action more effective and minimizing implementation costs. It will promote cross-sectoral work in areas such as connected and automated mobility and alternative fuels.

The program also aims to mainstream climate action, taking into account the EU’s long-term decarbonization commitments such as the Paris Agreement.

Source: Council of the EU


15.06.2021 EP Event “Is bigger really better for all?”

On the 15th of June, FEPORT participated to the online event co-hosted by MEP Vera Tax and MEP Jutta Paulus. The event aimed at discussing the impact of mega vessels on the maritime supply chain.

banner ep event v20052021 final

The roundtable was opened by a keynote speech of Mr Olaf Merk, Administrator for Ports and Shipping at the International Transport Forum (ITF), who presented ITF’s findings on mega-ships and their impacts on the maritime supply chain.

Mr Merk explained how the average container capacity doubled since 2004 and the maximum capacity tripled. While larger ships mean economies of scale on the seaside, this trend resulted in additional costs on the landside and more market concentration. Ports and terminals saw their costs increase as they needed to comply with the increasing size of ships, and face peaks, blank sailings and stranded assets.

mega ship costs for ports terminals and service providers

From the environmental point of view, even though mega-vessels would emit less CO2 per TEU-km from one port to another, the trend of mega-vessels also led to an increase of emissions in other parts of the supply chain because of less direct port connections requiring the use of more pre or post shipment land transport (in general trucks).

According to Mr Merk, the recent disruptions of the maritime supply chain are not due to a demand explosion in Europe, but to a very low ship-schedule reliability, and to a misalignment between capacity and incentives to solve bottlenecks, as the possibility to divert traffic to other ports has been made difficult by the upsizing of ships and carriers’ preference for their own terminals.

Finally, Mr Merk presented some policy options to mitigate the negative impact of the increase in size of ships and to restore more balanced relationships between the different actors of the maritime logistics chain.


The first Panel, entitled “Economic rationale behind big ships”, was opened by Mrs Nicolette van der Jagt, CLECAT Secretary General, who expressed her full support to the arguments brought forward by Mr Merk. She then continued by stressing that the situation is getting worse and that the supply chain is having difficulties to cope with it. The record-high freight rates and the unavailability of spare parts and products in factories and shops have been a true shock for all actors of the logistic chain and especially shippers. The mega-ship business model has significantly worsened the quality and differentiation of services well before the pandemic started and compromised competition in the container shipping market due to alliances and consortia.

Mr Jacob Armstrong, Policy Advisor at T&E, highlighted the environmental effects of the upsizing of vessels. According to Jacob Armstrong, big ships bring further local risks to ports, such as oil and scrubber discharges, and additional costs such as dredging. But mega-ships can also cause wider environmental problems such as the additional CO2 emissions produced by the rest of the logistic chain to cope with the less direct port connections. Finally, Mr Armstrong stressed the importance of the ‘polluter-pays’ principle and, thus, that the shipping industry should pay for its external costs. He expressed satisfaction regarding the forthcoming extension of the EU ETS to maritime transport.

Mr Martin Dorsman, ECSA Secretary General, explained that the upsizing of vessels has been a historic trend in maritime transport due to the increase in volumes. As for the current disruptions of the sector, Mr Dorsman recognized that the reliability of carriers is extremely low. He expressed ECSA’s support for the extension of ETS to the maritime sector and called for the development of alternative clean fuels. Regarding the alliances system and the renewal of the Consortia BER, Mr Dorsman stated that Commissioner Vestager’s decision to renew the Consortia BER cannot be a matter of discussion since Ms Vestager is known for her commitment in favor of fair competition rules.


Director Maritime Transport at DG MOVE, Ms Magda Kopczynska, was the first speaker on Panel 2: “Big ships seen from the shore side”. She affirmed that the Commission is aware of the disruptions in the maritime and logistics supply chain, but argued that this is conjunctural and mainly due to the COVID crisis. In her opinion, the maritime sector has proven its resilience and capability to rebound from the crisis as the carriers have been able to manage capacity, at a time of lockdown in ports and fluctuating demand. Ms Kopczynska thus concluded that the Commission should not intervene to solve the current issues but rather wait until the present exceptional circumstances have been overcome.

Ms Livia Spera, acting Secretary General of ETF, disagreed with Ms Kopczynska’s conclusion and voiced ETF’s frustration regarding the Commission’s inaction in respect to the maritime sector’s related issues - of which the Suez blockage and the pandemic are just the “cherry on top of the cake”. She reminded the audience that the current disruption in the maritime sector is not a new issue and that a broad coalition of stakeholders has been calling for the Commission’s attention for a long time without success.

Evoking the concerns of port workers regarding mega-vessels, ETF Secretary General explained how the “economies of scale” model is putting pressure on the entire maritime sector and encouraging a race to the bottom for workers. The maritime sector, being wider than maritime transport, requires an inclusive approach concerning all those in the sector involved in designing policies and legislation. This is essential in guaranteeing an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable future for the sector. Due to peaks imposed by mega-ships, dockers and freight transport workers are under extreme pressure. Peaks also often result in port and hinterland congestion, leading not only to delays all along the supply chain but also to economic and environmental consequences as well as health and safety issues for workers.

Ms Lamia Kerdjoudj, Secretary General of FEPORT, warmly thanked the two co-hosting MEPs for being receptive to other views than those which are spread in the specialized Press, and which are not always very objective regarding the real causes of disruptions in the maritime logistics chain.

According to FEPORT Secretary General, the COVID pandemic and the Suez blockage are “wake up calls” and catalysts that reveal the structural problems that characterize the functioning of the maritime logistics chain.  The current model which consists in one party imposing decisions to all the other actors of the maritime logistics chain without real dialogue is not sustainable. Port stakeholders in general and terminal operators in particular are perfectly capable of accommodating big ships but can hinterlands and transport networks absorb such massive flows of cargo at once?

Ms Kerdjoudj-Belkaid concluded by calling on the European Parliament to investigate the causes of the current disruptions faced by the actors of the maritime supply chain as this is the only way to establish the truth and learn some lessons.

Ms Theresia Hacksteiner, Secretary General of EBU, acknowledged that mega-vessels are an issue for the inland waterway transport sector. Barge owners and operators are not involved in decisions related to mega-ships and adaptation of ports. The recurrent congestion around European ports is affecting modal shift and leads to high additional costs.

Ms Hacksteiner also questioned the imbalance between the Commission’s ambition to increase the modal share of IWT and its decision to grant specific privileges to the shipping sector such as the Consortia BER. The Commission should therefore create a level-playing field among all stakeholders and seriously monitor the situation.


As concluding remarks, MEP Tax recognized the catalyst roles of the pandemic and the Suez blockage in attracting the attention on the chronic misfunctioning of the maritime logistics chain and confirmed that she will consider a regulation of the size of ships since this is the case for other modes of transport.

MEP Paulus reiterated the need to look at the environmental impact of mega-ships as this is crucial for the EU.

Missed the event? Check out the event video on FEPORT’s YouTube channel by following the link.


17.06.2021 IMO adopts new GHG cutting measures

On the 17th of June, the IMO adopted new mandatory measures to reduce the carbon intensity of international shipping.

The IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 76) adopted amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Annex VI that will require ships to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. These amendments combine technical and operational approaches intended to improve the energy efficiency of ships.

The new measures will require all ships to calculate their Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) following technical means to improve their energy efficiency and to establish their annual operational carbon intensity indicator (CII) and CII rating.

Moreover, ships will get a rating for their energy efficiency (A, B, C, D, E - where A is the best). Administrations, port authorities and other stakeholders as appropriate, are encouraged to provide incentives to ships rated as A or B, thereby sending out a strong signal to the market and financial sector. A ship rated D for three consecutive years, or E, is required to submit a corrective action plan, to show how the required index (C o below) would be achieved.

These measures are intended to meet the IMO carbon intensity reduction target of 11% from 2023 to 2026. However, no measures were adopted to meet the target of 40% energy efficiency increase in 2030.

A number of stakeholders have expressed doubts regarding the effectiveness of these new IMO measures as the global shipping fleet will be required to reduce its carbon intensity by just 1.5% a year under this climate plan, thus falling far short of the 7% annual reduction required to meet the goals of the Paris agreement.


18.06.2021 – EP Event “Is making the EU a champion of green ships a utopia?”

On the 18th of June, FEPORT attended the online event “Is making the EU a champion of green ships a utopia?” cohosted by MEP Jutta Paulus and MEP Catherine Chabaud.

webinar is making the eu a champion of green ships a utopia

The speakers discussed viable solutions to reduce maritime transport impacts on the sea by developing a European green shipping industry.

Ms Marjolein Van Noort, ENMC, opened the panel discussion by praising the cooperation between the actors of the maritime cluster and stressed the importance for the entire cluster to be actively involved in the decarbonization of the sector. R&D is fundamental to achieve the greening of ships, but now the EU should start concentrating on the retrofitting of existing ships and on the construction of sustainable ones.

Mr Christophe Tytgat, SEA Europe, then took the floor and affirmed that the EU is already a champion of green ships. However, now the focus should be on becoming a champion in zero-emission. The EU has the potential to attain this goal, but the Commission should encourage companies to invest in R&D and protect these companies from unfair competition coming especially from Asian competitors, which are increasingly investing in new technology and/or copying ours. Moreover, European shipyards have been heavily hit by the COVID crisis and new orders are not foreseen until 2023, but the gap could be bridged by retrofitting old vessels. Mr Tytgat concluded by calling for the creation of a maritime fund under the upcoming EU ETS, which would be very helpful for the waterborne sector in order to invest in zero-emission vessels.


21.06.2021 EBU hybrid event 2021

On the 21st of June, EBU held a hybrid event which gathered some guests in Brussels while the other participants attended remotely.

Most of the speakers were invited to provide their views on how the modal share of IWT transport could increase in order to meet the objectives laid down in the EU Green Deal.

In their keynote speeches both Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean and Director General of DG MOVE, Henrik Hololei, pointed to the very important role of IWT in the framework of the recent EU policies. acknowledging the potential of a high modal shift, they emphasised that even though inland navigation is one of the most CO2 efficient modes per transported tonnes of goods, one of the big challenges for the sector is to move further towards zero emission vessels. 


Transport Commissioner Adina Valean stressed that both fleet renewal and infrastructure modernization will be necessary. She explained that these goals will be supported via various EU funding programs such as CEF, Horizon Europe and the InvestEU package. It will be equally important to re-open the debate on the Combined Transport Directive in order to better integrate inland navigation in the wider transport chain.

TRAN MEP Caroline Nagtegaal commented her work as rapporteur on the TRAN Committee INI report on inland waterways. She stressed that the report took into account the importance of inland navigation in the development of the TEN-T core and comprehensive networks. Along the TEN-T corridors, both the physical (e.g. locks and bridges) and the digital infrastructure should therefore be updated.


Finally, MEP Nagtegaal underlined the transitional role of LNG. “In the transition of IWT to zero emissions, no “silver bullet” exists and that multiple fuel and energy solutions should work in tandem to achieve decarbonization” she said.

Both Director General Henrik Hololei and Daniel Mes, member of the cabinet of Commissioner Timmermans of DG CLIMA confirmed to be well aware of the specificities of the IWT sector which requires tailor-made approaches both at regional and national levels.

Source: EBU


24.06.2021 EU Commission releases NAIADES III action plan

On the 24th of June, the EU Commission has put forward a 35-point action plan to enhance the role of inland waterway transport in Europe’s mobility and logistics systems. The action plan serves the objectives of shifting more cargo to the inland waterways as well as to facilitate the transition to zero-emission barges by 2050. These aims correspond to the ambitions set out in the European Green Deal and the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy which set targets for inland waterways and short sea shipping to increase with 25% by 2030 and with 50% by 2050.

The 35-point plan should help the inland waterway sector to take advantage of the opportunities related to the twin green and digital transitions.

One of the proposed actions is the revision of the Combined Transport Directive, which should allow for investments into transshipment capacity and inland multimodal terminals. Moreover, the Commission will establish a framework for measuring and reporting emissions from logistics and transport, with the aim of boosting the demand for more sustainable transport options.

Other action points relate to the revision of several pieces of State aid legislation in view of including inland waterway transport, such as a possible block exemption of aid for the coordination of transport.

In addition, revisions of the TEN-T Regulation as well as the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive are mentioned in the NAIADES III action plan, and a study to green inland ports is announced.

Source: European Commission


29.06.2021 TRAN Committee adopts INI report Towards Future-proof Inland Waterway Transport in Europe

On the 29th of June, 2021, the TRAN Committee of the European Parliament has adopted a draft resolution on Future-proof Inland Waterway Transport (IWT) in Europe. The draft resolution was voted on Monday the 28th of June with 44 votes in favour and 3 abstentions.

The report aims at enabling a modal shift away from road to IWT and recognizes the crucial role of seaports in this matter, while also highlighting the importance of rolling out alternative fuels and propulsion methods for inland navigation. This modal shift is necessary as nowadays, inland waterways only represent 6,1% of freight transport in the EU.

The report also underlines the potential of digitalisation and data-sharing in contributing to a cleaner environment and reducing congestion in ports. Finally, the TRAN MEPs call on the EU Commission to set up a dedicated European inland waterway fund to back the sector’s sustainable transition.

The draft resolution now needs to be voted upon by the European Parliament plenary, most likely during its September session.

Source: European Parliament


29.06.2021 – PRIN Event “EU Ports and Chinese Investments: Time for a Post-Pandemic Maritime Silk Road?”

On the 29th of June, FEPORT participated to the digital event of the PRIN 2017 - BELT & ROAD INITIATIVE which is a research project developed in partnership by the Universities of Bologna, Genoa, Insubria and Trieste and co-financed by the Ministry of University and Research.


The debate focused on the risks and advantages of the Belt and Road Initiative for the European Union and especially for Italy.

Mr Pino Musolino, President and CEO of the Port System Authority of the Central Northern Tyrrhenian Sea, was one of the speakers and took the floor to voice his concerns regarding the Chinese economic and strategic interests in European ports. Mr Musolino said that BRI investments in EU ports are mainly aimed at increasing the volumes of Chinese goods entering our Internal Market, with little interest in getting EU products into the Chinese market.

He also stated that BRI investments can be an opportunity for the EU and Italy if they improve the quality and productivity of EU manufacturing and foster innovation in the supply chain.


29.06.2021 ALICE Plenary Meeting

On the 29th of June, European Logistics Platform ALICE organized its plenary meeting, in which attention was paid to internal organizational issues but which also included a presentation by Mr. Patrick Mercier-Handisyde, Senior Policy Officer at DG R&I, about the role of Freight Transport and Logistics in the Horizon Europe Programme.

He provided information regarding cluster 5 on climate, energy and mobility which will, for example, include a partnership aimed at transforming Europe’s rail system and will cover topics related to connected, automated and smart mobility. Both the Waterborne partnership and the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Joint undertaking are part of this cluster. An information event regarding this cluster will be organized on the 5th and the 6th of July and a brokerage event will be held on the 7th of July.

The plenary meeting also covered updates about ALICE activities. For example, about the ALICE roadmaps Towards Zero Emissions Logistics by 2020 and To the Physical Internet and their implementation. Moreover, ALICE’s advisory role towards the Horizon Europe Shift2Rail and Waterborne partnerships was highlighted.




Members' News Corner


18.06.2021 Best Adds new gantry cranes and shuttle carriers

Hutchison Ports has added two new gantry cranes and two shuttle carriers, meaning Hutchison Port BEST in Barcelona now has a total of 13 quay cranes able to operate the world’s largest container ships.

The cranes are currently being commissioned and they should start operations within the coming weeks.

According to statements of the company’s president, the addition of the new equipment constitutes an important step forward in environmental sustainability “as the cranes have an innovative system that allows the energy generated during operation to be reused.”

Moreover, the acquisition of the cranes and shuttle carriers shows how the Hutchison Ports BEST Terminal developed into a very well performing semi-automated terminal, since its first cranes became operational nine years ago. Ever since, BEST increased port productivity, reduced waiting times for trucks and has lowered environmental impact through increased rail quota.

Source: Container Magazine


24.06.2021 Port of Koper extends quayside by 100 meters

The Port of Koper has extended its container quayside at the southern end of its Pier I by 100 meters. This milestone was celebrated on the 24th of June in the presence of Slovenian Minister of Infrastructure Jernej Vrtovec.

The port of Koper is also currently building a container storage area of almost 25,000 m2 in the quayside’s hinterland. The new storage areas should be ready in the first quarter of 2022, meaning the annual capacity of the terminal will grow to 1.5 million TEUs.

The total investment of Port of Koper amounts to €45.6 million of which part is originating from the EU NAPA4CORE project.

Source: Luka Koper


25.06.2021 HHLA transports two container gantry cranes from Hamburg to Tallinn

Two gantry cranes have been loaded at the Buchardkai HHLA Container Terminal in Hamburg onto a barge that should transport the cranes 28/29 June to Estonia, where they should start operations at the HHLA TK Estonia terminal in the port of Muuga, which HHLA acquired in 2018.

HHLA operated the cranes since 2005 at their Buchardkai terminal. When they entered into use, the cranes were able to handle the largest vessels in operation at the time, but increasing ship sizes has led to a need for bigger gantry cranes.

Since 2019 and 2020, HHLA operates five new gantry cranes capable of handling ultra large container vessels of over 23,000 TEU. Of the five smaller cranes that were operated before, three were dismantled in 2020, while the other two are currently on transport to be put into service at HHLA’s terminal in the port of Muuga. After their arrival on the 9th of July, the cranes are expected to commence operations by the end of the year.

Source: Sea News


25.06.2021 HHLA and Man Truck & Bus perform successful test with self-driving truck at Container Terminal Altenwerder

HHLA and truck manufacturer MAN Truck & Bus have for the first time successfully conducted a practice test with a self-driving truck.

The test was performed late May at HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA) but the two companies are developing self-driving trucks with the aim to use them in hub-to-hub container traffic.

According to HHLA, the development towards autonomous driving is gaining traction which shows, for example, from a law that recently passed in German parliament which will under some circumstances allow for the use of autonomous driving systems in Germany for traffic along defined routes between logistics hubs.

Therefore, as stated by Till Schlumberger, project manager at HHLA, “At HHLA, we want to – and must – prepare ourselves at an early stage for the prospect of autonomous trucks picking up or delivering containers at our terminals.”

The benefits of autonomous driving can consist of support and relief to the truck drivers, increased efficiency and reduced fuel consumption.

Source: Container Management




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FEPORT meetings

23.09.2021              Board of Directors – TBC

28.09.2021              Environment, Safety and Security Committee – TBC

30.09.2021              Port Policy Committee – TBC

13.10.2021               Social Affairs Committee – TBC

21.10.2021               Customs and Logistics Committee – TBC

10.11.2021               Sixth Annual Stakeholders' Conference – TBC

18.11.2021                Board of Directors – TBC


Institutional meetings

01.07.2021               ECON Committee Meeting – Brussels

12.07.2021               FISC Committee Meeting – Brussels

12-13.07.2021          TRAN Committee Meeting – Brussels

12-13.07.2021          ENVI Committee Meeting – Brussels


Other meetings

08.07.2021                  Port Forum  TBC

07-09.09.2021            TOC Europe 2021 Rotterdam

14-15.09.2021             Assises de la Mer Nice

05-07.10.2021             World Maritime Week – Bilbao

20-22.10.2021             GreenPort Cruise & Congress – Piraeus

19.11.2021                    SSDC Plenary Meeting – TBC



FEPORT Newsletter - June 2021