New “normal” or no more “normal” after COVID-19?


Among the words that we hear most when attending different professional events or meetings are the so called new “normal” or back to “normal”.

But can we really go back to normal after this COVID-19 crisis? Can we still expect to pay transport the same price without considering its carbon footprint? Can we praise globalization without a critical eye and hope that things will go back to “business as usual”?

All above questions were part of an interesting conversation which has taken place at TOC Connect in Rotterdam this week where it has been possible again to meet colleagues and friends face to face…

It was very useful to listen to different views, which were based on figures and insightful economic analyses. However, the difficulty remains that no one has a reliable “crystal ball” that displays what will be our future… Indeed, despite all business intelligence we may collect or all the trust we may have in the power of self-fulfilling prophecies regarding a return to a so called “normality”, it is not very realistic to believe that the new “normal” will even partially look like what we have known these last decades. And this is valid for all industries. A small virus like COVID-19 has shown the limits of our individual and collective certainties.

Looking forward, in the maritime logistics chain, the most significant changes will most probably have nothing to do with offer and demand, economies of scale or benefits of globalization and free trade.

Permanent changes and the new paradigm bluntly introduced by COVID-19 will impose themselves. Digitalization, technological innovation, and their application to make operations more efficient even from remote locations have revolutionized within few months our ways of doing and broadened our horizons.

Our environmental awareness fed by nice images of wild animals invading cities and planes as well as cars remaining parked for weeks if not months has probably turned into an environmental consciousness. We now know that our lives can be different, and that the carbon footprint of our activities can be significantly reduced.

The key questions for all of us are: are we ready for a new paradigm? Or will the majority opt and lobby for a business-as-usual model?

Human beings do not like change in general, but can we afford to resist it? Let us see what will happen at COP 26…





28.09.2021  – FEPORT input on Taxonomy criteria

The Platform of Sustainable Finance is currently working on a report containing preliminary recommendations for taxonomy technical screening criteria that should feed into the second Taxonomy Delegated Act which is expected by the end of this year. This Delegated Act will contain Technical Screening Criteria for a list of economic activities that contribute to taxonomy environmental objectives 3-6, which are:

  • Sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources
  • Transition to a circular economy
  • Pollution prevention and control
  • Protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems 

A public consultation, which allowed to give feedback to the Platform of Sustainable Finance’s draft report, remained open until the 28th of September. FEPORT responded to this consultation by explaining how member companies contribute to each of the above taxonomy environmental objectives.

sustainable finance platform

As regards to the sustainable use of water and protection of marine resources, FEPORT members contribute to this objective by complying with several pieces of EU water legislation such as the Water Framework Directive, the Ground Water Directive and the Bathing Water Directive. Moreover, automation and digitalization allow for more efficient communication between port operators and shipping lines as well improved port operations on the yard.

In the area of circular economy, FEPORT members contribute through maintenance of their equipment, which allows their life cycle to be extended. Circularity is also promoted when port terminals opt for upgrading their equipment, for example, for automation purposes, rather than to replace it. Furthermore, terminal equipment can be recycled and even the terminals themselves can be repurposed for other uses, such as for urban development.

Seaport terminals, as already recognized by the first Taxonomy DA, can contribute to climate change mitigation by allowing for the transshipment of goods onto cleaner modes of transport, thus allowing for CO2 emission reductions throughout the transport chain at large. This function as a hub connecting transport modes, also allows for the prevention of air pollutants from other sources than only the GHG ones.


29.09.2021 – EU Ambassadors call for 2050 climate neutrality at IMO

On the 29th of September, the EU ambassadors endorsed a submission by Member States and the Commission to the 77th session of the International Maritime Organization's Marine Environment Protection Committee commenting on document MEPC 77/7/xx on the Revision of the Initial IMO Greenhouse Gas Strategy and MEPC 77/7/3 concerning a Resolution on zero emissions no later than 2050.

In 2018, IMO released its initial strategy, stipulating that total shipping emissions should be halved by 2050 and scheduling its revision in 2023.

Nevertheless, in the EU’s submission, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is called to set tougher emissions cuts by 2030 and to reach “climate neutrality” by 2050 the latest. Aside from the EU, also the U.S., Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and the Solomon Islands called IMO for zero shipping emissions no later than 2050.

The EU is also set to call for intermediate goals on greenhouse gas emissions from shipping to bolster the IMO’s mid- and long-term targets “as a matter of urgency.” The Union is demanding that targets are “technology-neutral … without favoring or excluding any specific renewable and low-carbon fuels or technologies.”

The IMO’s environmental protection committee is scheduled to meet in November.

Source: European Commission


06.10.2021 Environment Council exchanges on “Fit for 55” Package

On October 6, EU Environment Ministers met in Luxembourg to exchange views on the “Fit for 55” Package, prepare the COP26 Climate Summit and discuss the new EU forest strategy for 2030.

Ministers started the meeting with a discussion on the preparations for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting, which will be held from the 31st of October to the 12th of November in Glasgow (COP26). The Council adopted conclusions setting the EU’s position at the meeting.

The conclusions call upon all parties to come forward with ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and recognize the need to step up adaptation efforts collectively.

The Council recalls that the EU and its Member States are the world’s leading contributors of climate finance. The conclusions reconfirm their commitment to step up the mobilization of international climate finance and invite other developed countries to scale up their contributions.

environment council

The Council also lays down the EU’s position as regards the finalization of the Paris Rulebook, in particular the voluntary cooperation under Article 6 and a common timeframe for NDCs.

Regarding the “Fit for 55” Package, the EU Environment Ministers held a first formal debate on the 5 proposals presented by the Commission that fall under the remit of the Environment Council, i.e.:

  • EU Emissions Trading System
  • Effort Sharing Regulation
  • Land use, land-use change and forestry Regulation
  • Regulation setting CO2 emission standards for cars and vans
  • Regulation to establish a new Social Climate Fund

In general, Member States welcome the Package as it aims to provide the concrete means for the EU to fulfil its increased climate ambition. Understanding the interlinkages between the files plays a vital role in assessing whether and how all parts of the package contribute to an overall balance.

The package consists of a series of closely interconnected proposals either amending existing pieces of legislation or establishing new initiatives across a range of policy areas and economic sectors.

The debate focused on the balance and interlinkages between the various proposals, as well as on their contribution to the EU’s increased climate ambition. Ministers gave their views on the distribution of efforts between and within the Member States and different economic sectors involved, and on the impact of the proposals on citizens. The debate addressed in particular the extension of emissions trading to buildings and road transport.

Source: European Commission


06.10.2021 Bilbao Futureport Conference

On the 6th of October, FEPORT Secretary General, Mrs. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid participated (remotely) to Futureport Conference held in Bilbao.

world maritime week 2021

The topic of the keynote address was about the Green Deal and the “Fit for 55” proposals and the challenges and opportunities for the maritime sector.

FEPORT Secretary General explained that decarbonization is a must at global level and it can be successful only if all segments of the maritime logistics chain proactively engage.

She also highlighted the need to think sustainability without sacrificing the competitiveness of EU industries and called EU regulators to instore a good dialogue with all industries to implement a successful strategy.

Ms Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid concluded by mentioning that FEPORT members are fully supportive of the leading role of the EU in terms of decarbonization. However, it will be important to adopt consistent EU environmental rules and to ensure that adequate funding is provided to accompany the deployment and uptake of alternative fuels.


06.10.2021 – 8th Mediterranean Ports and Shipping 2021 Exhibition and Conference

On the 6th of October, FEPORT Secretary General, Mrs. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid participated (remotely) to the 8th Mediterranean Ports and Shipping 2021 Exhibition and Conference held in Valencia.

FEPORT Secretary General explained, there are a lot of expectations with respect to port investments in hard infrastructure as well as in alternative fuels infrastructure.

8th mediterranean ports and shipping 2021

It will be essential to proceed to a smart use of financial resources and keep a close eye on the reality of growth rates and cargo flows. Maritime capacities cannot constitute the sole parameter justifying decisions to invest in additional capacities. It is important to enhance the connectivity of ports as the COVID 19 crisis has shown the vulnerability of maritime logistics chains when it comes to connections to the hinterland” she stated.

It will be also important to draw some lessons from what happened in 2020 and in 2021: a network of ports relying only on hub ports and big ships cannot be sustainable nor economically reliable” she continued.

The disruption in the maritime logistics chain is not only due to port congestion and a lack of port capacities. And ports cannot be the buffer absorbing the inefficiencies of the maritime logistics chains.

Port development planning should be based on all economic parameters and take into account the views of those who provide commercial services in EU ports: private investors” concluded FEPORT SG.


08.10.2021 – Finalized agreement at OECD on global minimum tax

On the 8th of October, OECD announced that 136 countries joined the Statement on the Two-Pillar Solution to Address the Tax Challenges Arising from the Digitalization of the Economy. It updates and finalizes a July political agreement by members of the BEPS Inclusive Framework to fundamentally reform international tax rules.


11.10.2021 – AIDA-TRAN joint public hearing on AI and transport

On the 11th of October, the Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age (AIDA) and the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) Committees jointly organized a hearing to discuss the impact of AI on transport modes and mobility, and how to prepare for AI.

The hearing started with an exchange of views on the impact of AI on transport modes and mobility until 2030, followed by a second panel on how the EU can prepare for AI while minimizing risk.

AIDA Committee Vice-Chair, MEP Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, stressed that transport is a crucial aspect in our lives, which artificial intelligence will change tremendously in the upcoming years. While fully autonomous cars might still be years away, optimizing traffic flows, for example, is already a clear step towards a greener and more efficient society. These are tremendous opportunities in artificial intelligence, but we must be active in working towards this transformation through innovation and funding” she said. At the same time, we must have a clear vision on the big picture. New ethical issues, unintended consequences and impacts on the current social arrangements brought by AI-powered transportation should not be side-lined in the debate, concluded MEP Kumpula-Natri concluded.

TRAN Committee Chair Karima Delli said: “AI for transport has the potential of reducing traffic congestion and private car ownership and can thus drive down greenhouse gas emissions. However, it also carries a risk of increasing emissions, as autonomous vehicles might make travel by car more attractive and thus lead to an increase in trips being made by car instead of public transport, bicycles, or walking”.

“Here it is our task to ensure, that innovations provided by technology are used in the right way - to reach our goals and not to hinder them. We have to make sure that while we use AI to improve polluting transport practices, we do not stop supporting and prioritizing our most sustainable modes of transport, such as rail, cycling and walking” she said.

Moreover, a study from the European Parliament's Research Service highlights that Transport is one of the sectors in which artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are seeing rapid uptake. AI systems can detect patterns in a large volume of data and model complex solutions that enable increased efficiency in decision-making and better resource allocation. The biggest transformation in the sector, yet to come, would be the deployment and uptake of highly autonomous vehicles and enhanced traffic management systems. The study analyses the potential benefits of action at EU level in this area.

You can catch-up with the full debate here.

 Source: European Parliament


12.10.2021 Workshop Innovation Fund: lessons learned from the first call for small-scale projects and state aid support

On the 12th of October, FEPORT Secretariat attended a workshop regarding the Innovation Fund and the Environmental Aid Guidelines. The workshop featured various presentations by the Commission, such as DG CLIMA and DG COMP, and CINEA.

As regards to the Innovation Fund, DG CLIMA and CINEA touched upon some lessons learned from the first call for small-scale projects and shared some insights regarding how a successful application should look like.

Also, information was shared about the timeline for future calls for proposals under the Innovation Fund. A new large-scale call with a volume of EUR 1.5 billion will be launched 26 October 2021, for which the deadline of submission will lie around March 2022. Furthermore, a new small-scale call will be published in March 2022. The expected deadline of submission for this call is fixed for late August 2022.

DG COMP presented about the Draft Environmental Aid Guidelines and how they have been adapted to the climate targets of the EU Green Deal. For example, the scope has been enlarged to also cover clean mobility infrastructure. The guidelines also allow for higher amounts of aid and can cover a higher percentage of the funding gap.

So-called “grey investments”, however, will be under higher scrutiny and will be only allowed if they are in line with the EU’s pathway towards net zero by 2050. Aid for gas infrastructure, for example, will only be allowed if it can later be repurposed for cleaner energy sources such as hydrogen, while gas refueling infrastructure can only be covered when no other clean technologies are already available.

 Source: European Commission


14.10.2021 Confitarma Conference “When geography counts: maritime routes of International trade and vulnerability of supply chains”

On the 14th of October, FEPORT Secretary General participated as a speaker to the conference When geography counts: maritime routes of International trade and vulnerability of supply chains” hosted by Confitarma, the Italian Shipowners’ Association.


Organized in the context of the Festival della Diplomazia, the Conference focused on the numerous and diversified threats that make international trade vulnerable and offered the opportunity to discuss possible solutions to improve the knowledge on maritime transport as a whole.

What seems inevitable is that in the future, logistics communities and their customers will have to adapt to a world in which disruptions to logistics chains will be frequent and global. The best way to deal with them is more flexibility, and, where possible, diversifying suppliers, geographical origins and destinations but also types of ships” stated FEPORT Secretary General.

There is an urgent need to enhance the physical and digital connectivity of ports. There is a need to acknowledge the vulnerability of supply chains to solve problems. There is a need to recognize the role of shipping, but also ports, land transport, inland waterways etc… as it is by joining forces that we will go farther”.

C0VID-19 has played the role of an electroshock and an eyeopener on our individual weaknesses and the limits of silo strategies. So let us use recovery to think holistic in terms of sustainability and competitiveness” concluded the Secretary General.


18.10.2021 EIB and the EU Commission sign agreement to finance alternative fuels infrastructure

On the 18th of October, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Commission signed an agreement that will make it possible to combine EU grants and long-term EIB financing for alternative fuels infrastructure projects. The agreement comes under the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility (AFIF) and is part of the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) transport programme.


18.10.2021 – FMC urges carriers to adopt detention and demurrage best practices

According to the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), Ocean carriers should rapidly adopt three common best practices related to detention and demurrage, which aim at promoting clarity and certainty about how and when fees will be assessed as well as how to challenge disputed charges.

Sent to 25 container lines and the World Shipping Council, the letter urges ocean carriers to display detention and demurrage charges clearly and prominently on their webpage or customer portal.

It also urges them to develop and document clear internal processes on all matters related to detention and demurrage where they have not already done so.

Finally, carriers are called upon to clearly delineate dispute resolution procedures, contacts, and required documentation on their website and invoices.

The letter was signed by FMC managing director Lucille Marvin, who is leading the vessel-operating common carrier (VOCC) audit program and VOCC audit team, both of which were established in July at the direction of FMC chairman Daniel Maffei to assess the top nine ocean carriers’ compliance with the FMC rules on detention and demurrage instituted last year.

Source: Container Management


19.10.2021 EU Commission adopts 2022 Working Programme

On the 19th of October, the Commission adopted its 2022 Work Programme, setting out the next steps in its bold and transformative agenda towards a post-COVID-19 Europe that is greener, fairer, more digital and more resilient.

This Commission Work Programme contains 42 new policy initiatives across all six headline ambitions of President  von der Leyen’s Political Guidelines, building on her 2021 State of the Union speech. It also reflects the lessons learnt from the unprecedented crisis caused by the pandemic, while paying particular attention to our young generation thanks to the proposed European Year of Youth 2022.

eu com 2022 working programme

Regarding the European Green Deal, on top of the “Fit for 55” Package, the Commission will propose a regulatory framework for certification of carbon removals. It will also take further steps towards zero-emission mobility mobilize resources, next to the already proposed Social Climate Fund, doubling the external funding for biodiversity. 

Green bonds will also play an increasingly important role and expresses our commitment to place sustainable finance at the forefront of the EU's recovery effort.

With the pandemic serving as a catalyst for the accelerating digitalization of the world, the Commission will follow up on its path to the digital decade to deliver on the EU’s digital transformation by 2030.

The Single Market remains key to Europe’s innovation and therefore, the Commission has been taking a fresh look at competition policy and will come forward with a Single Market Emergency Instrument to prevent future disruptions.

To address pressing concerns around the supply of semi-conductors powering digital solutions, the Commission will adopt a European Chips Act to promote a state-of-the-art ecosystem and develop new markets for ground-breaking European tech.

Additionally, the Commission will propose a European Cyber Resilience Act to establish common cybersecurity standards and begin building an EU space-based global secure communications system to provide additional EU-wide broadband connectivity and secure independent communications to Member States.

Source: European Commission


21.10.2021 GreenPort Cruise & Congress

During the GreenPort Cruise & Congress that took place in Piraeus from the 20th to the 22nd of October, FEPORT Secretary General gave a presentation entitled: “Challenges and opportunities of the Green Deal: “Fit for 55” proposals and maritime Taxonomy.”

greenport cruise congress 2021

As underlined by FEPORT Secretary General in her speech, sustainability and decarbonization are since many years key priorities of port terminals, which have been very proactive already a long time before the adoption of the EU Green Deal.

greenport cruise congress 2

In fact, port terminals have developed ambitious emission reduction targets and large logistics operators are also proactive in their efforts to reduce emissions. However, more needs to be done by other actors of the chain.

With respect to the “Fit for 55” proposals, FEPORT SG underlined that more visibility over the environmental legislation will be crucial to preserve the commercial competitiveness and attractiveness of EU port companies.


21-22.10.2021 European Council meeting

On the 21st and 22nd of October, the European Council focus on a number of topics and adopted conclusions regarding the COVID-19 situation, the energy crisis, trade and external relations.

During the meeting, the European Council addressed the recent spike in energy prices and considered the impact of the price rises on citizens and businesses, especially vulnerable citizens and SMEs, striving to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The toolbox presented in the Commission Communication on tackling rising energy prices contains useful measures for both the short and the longer term.

european council

The European Council invited the Commission to study the functioning of the gas and electricity markets, as well as the EU ETS market. With the help of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). Subsequently, the Commission will assess whether certain trading behaviors require further regulatory action.

Moreover, the European Council asked the Member States and the Commission to urgently make the best use of the toolbox to provide short-term relief to the most vulnerable consumers and to support European companies, taking into account the diversity and specificity of situations of Member States.

The Commission and the Council were also called to swiftly consider medium and long-term measures that would contribute to energy at a price that is affordable for households and companies, increase the resilience of the EU’s energy system and the internal energy market, provide security of supply and support the transition to climate neutrality, taking into account the diversity and specificity of situations of Member States; and

Finally, the European Council invited the European Investment Bank to look into how to speed up investments in the energy transition, within its current capital headroom, with a view of reducing future disruption risks and meeting Europe’s global connectivity ambitions.

The extraordinary meeting of the TTE Council (Energy) on 26 October 2021 will take this work forward immediately. The European Council will keep the situation under review and revert in December.

 Source: European Council


26.10.2021 European Port Forum

On the 26th of October, FEPORT Secretariat attended the 5th meeting of the European Ports Forum together with numerous other stakeholders from the sector.

After a brief presentation from DG MOVE of the maritime port aspects of the Fit For 55 proposals and an exchange regarding the implementation of the Port Services Regulation 2017/352/EU, CINEA defined the priorities and main aspects of the 2021 CEF Transport call and its evaluation and award process. Advices on how to prepare and submit a successful proposal were also provided in line with the information presented during the CEF Transport Information Day organized by the Commission on the 27th of September.

CINEA also presented the call for the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility (AFIF). The objective of the AFIF call for proposals is to support the deployment of Alternative Fuel supply infrastructure, thereby contributing to decarbonizing transport along the TEN-T network. With a total budget of €1.5 billion, the AFIF will fund actions through the combination of CEF grants with financial support from financial institutions in order to achieve a higher impact of the investments. It will be implemented through a rolling call for proposals launched on 16 September 2021, with five cut-off dates for the submission of proposals until end 2023.

The meeting concluded with a discussion on the work done in the framework of the Sustainable Ports Subgroup (DG MOVE) and Ports as Hubs for a Sustainable Blue Economy (DG MARE).

FEPORT Secretary General, Mrs. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid, took the floor as vice-Chair of the Sustainable Ports Subgroup to inform the members that the work on the good practices on the use of alternative fuels is ongoing and that the study on the Greening of ports will soon start.


26.10.2021 TOC Europe 2021

On the 26th of October, FEPORT Secretary General, Mrs. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid, gave a presentation at TOC Connect Conference, that took place in Rotterdam from the 26th to the 27th of October.

toc connect 2

FEPORT SG gave a speech during the panel entitled “Market Outlook: Road to Recovery & Alleviating Market Volatility” and asked her fellow speakers and the audience: Will or should the maritime logistics chain return to pre-COVID 19 “normality”?

According to Mrs. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid, the outlook of medium-long term demand remains highly uncertain anticipating carbon taxation and lack of visibility over new fuel types.

Some shipping lines might use their financial position to place more vessel orders (the order book is historically low), expand their portfolios by acquiring regional niche carriers and green their fleets.

It is moreover expected that intraregional shipping services might play a more important role if reshoring and nearshoring trends intensify in a post-pandemic setting.

The recovery phase might go hand in hand with an increased risk of protectionism to support national production in a situation of reduced demand and high unemployment.

toc connect 3

Nearshoring and reshoring strategies are being considered to reduce the dependence on overseas production, develop essential economic activities at a regional/local level, and increase supply chain resilience.

Collaboration and coordination among stakeholders in combating risks and improving resilience — including the application of existing contingency plans and speeding up the use of technologies (digitalization) — facilitated quick responses to the crisis.

“The big challenge for all of us will be “to do better with less” said FEPORT secretary General. “Resources have become scarce, and we need to reduce the carbon footprint of our activities”.

FEPORT Secretary General concluded by suggesting that maritime logistics chains will probably not return to a so called “pre-COVID normality” but will go through some significant transformations.


26.10.2021 TIC 4.0 New Release

On the 26th of October, TIC 4.0 released a new publication titled: “Move and Cycle: Definitions, Dataset Roadmap and Data Model”.

tic 40 newrelease

The publication TIC4.0 2021.002 contains the Semantics, Data Set Roadmap, Data Model and Definitions and focuses on the words “Cycle” and “Move”, as they are two of the most fundamental concepts used in the (container) handling Industry. Although being widely used in the cargo and terminal industry, these two words have different meanings and interpretations depending on the users’ background and the context in which they are used.

This is why the TIC4.0 community has worked through many sessions to formulate and agree on the structure and definitions for “Cycle” and “Move”, allowing the resulting messages to be precise and unambiguous.

The definitions and scope in this publication focuses on the equipment (CHE) cycle process executing the move, while the following one will focus on the definitions at a more aggregated (Terminal, Vessel, Yard, etc.) high level.

These definitions are part of TIC4.0’s ongoing work to develop a common vocabulary for the cargo handling industry and will be followed by future releases, as defined by the TIC4.0 Data Set Roadmap.


26.10.2021 – TIC 4.0 and TOC Events Worldwide sign an MoU


tic toc 

On October 26th, on the occasion of the TOC Connect event in Rotterdam, Terminal Industry Committee 4.0 and TOC Events Worldwide have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the shared strategy of building TIC4.0 image and visibility to the port and terminal industry, its suppliers and stakeholders, as well as authorities, legislators and relevant stakeholders.

In line with TIC4.0 Strategic Roadmap, this MoU will aim to promote the exposure of TIC4.0 and will contribute to reinforce its role as reference association in what concerns the topic of industry standards for the cargo handling industry.

The signed MoU sets the appropriate framework to establish a continuous cooperation between TIC4.0 and TOC Events Worldwide to pursue cooperative projects of mutual interest. In this manner, TOC Events Worldwide has been appointed as Exclusive Events Partner to assist publication and promotion of all major TIC4.0 publications, actions and news, being also the exclusive provider of webinars and digital events. TOC Events Worldwide will include the standardization topic within its future regional events, thus offering opportunities for promotion on a worldwide basis.

"TIC4.0 has been rapidly gaining recognition as the reference organization when it comes to standards in the terminals and cargo handling industry, and as such we felt it is natural to associate ourselves with TOC Events Worldwide, which is the reference when it comes to organizing conferences and events for the industry.  We are excited to work closely with TOC to promote innovation in the cargo handling industry."

Boris Wenzel, TIC4.0 President

"As TOC Events we have always been proud to be the leading forum to bring legislative and industry initiatives to our commercial clients and market. I am personally very excited that we have signed this agreement, with TIC4.0, which brings us even closer to the development of the future industry standards which will lead the cargo handling industry into the fourth industrial revolution. We look forward to bringing new publications and content around our events going forward."

Sean Deane, TOC Events Worldwide Business Development Manager.


27.10.2021 – TRAN Public Hearing on BRI Impact on modal shift

On the 27th of October, the TRAN Committee held a public hearing on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the global development strategy adopted by the Chinese government, involving infrastructure development and investments.

From DG MOVE, Mrs. Maja Bakran, Deputy Director General, gave a presentation on the EU-China Connectivity Platform. Mrs. Bakran explained that the Commission sees the BRI as China’s foreign policy tool and external infrastructure policy that aims to connect China to the rest of the world and, in parallel, increase its economic and geopolitical influence. Regarding transport relations with China, the Commission has a multi-faceted engagement in line with the EU-China Strategic Outlook Communication of March 2019 and DG MOVE considers Maritime Transport Agreement the building block of EU-China, as most of the trade with China takes place via maritime routes.

The main framework for Europe's engagement with China is the EU-China Connectivity Platform, which is considered by the Commission an important tool for promoting openness, transparency, reciprocity and market access as well as the level playing field for businesses in the area of transportation infrastructure development in both the EU and in China. The Commission is also trying to open opportunities for European investment in China, even though Mrs. Bakran admitted that this all remains challenging.

She also recalled that President von der Leyen has recently announced in her State of the Union address in September that the Commission will soon present a new connectivity strategy called “Global Gateway”. The EU will build global gateway partnerships with countries around the world, and the EU wants investments in quality infrastructure.

The CEO of Duisport, Mr. Markus Bangen, was also among the speakers and, in his intervention, he gave a practical point of views from the logistics operators’ perspective. He affirmed that logistics operators expect this initiative to be a chance for both Europe and China and not only a one-way street.

He noted that this initiative is indeed a reality in which operators are already participating and benefiting from. In fact, 900 billion euros have already been invested under this initiative and more than 7,000 contracts have been signed. These facts and figures clarify testify that the BRI cannot be underestimated by the European Union.

Mr. Bangen pointed out that Germany is today one of the main beneficiaries in this initiative, but it cannot be the goal that only Germany benefits from it. Because of BRI, trade between Germany and China has recorded a huge change, mainly driven by e-commerce business. Currently German products account for just under 10% of the e-commerce imports to China, but they are strongly increasing that percentage. Moreover, the port of Duisport supports the companies from Germany in north Rhine-Westphalia in positioning themselves on the Chinese markets.


27.10.2021 Waterborne Transport Innovation delivering on the European Green Deal: Emission Trading Scheme and Innovation Fund

On the 27th of October, FEPORT Secretariat attended a workshop organized by the Waterborne Technology Platform which included contributions from the EU Commission (DG RTD and DG CLIMA) as well as representatives from the Waterborne Technology Platform.

Mr Damien Meadows, on behalf of DG CLIMA, outlined the EU’s vision towards the decarbonization of shipping, thereby mainly focusing on the recent proposals of the Fit for 55 Package. He stressed that the EU Commission had really proposed a basket of measures that focused on many aspects related to the decarbonization of shipping such as emissions pricing and taxation which are addressed through the proposals for a revised Energy Taxation Directive and the extension of the EU ETS to maritime. Then FuelEU Maritime imposes requirements on the users whereas the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation looks to the infrastructure side. However, in addition to the FF55 proposals, the EU also continues advocating for higher climate targets on the global level in the IMO framework.

The greatest part of Meadows’ presentation focused on the extension of the EU ETS system to maritime transport. He explained that maritime will be granted a phase-in period, but also defended the Commission’s decision to partly apply the EU ETS to extra-maritime transport and not to intra-EU voyages only. However, as the EU is not responsible for all emissions worldwide, it was decided to only apply emissions trading to 50% of emissions occurring on extra-EU voyages.

Ms. Maria Velkova, also on behalf of DG CLIMA, gave a presentation on the Innovation Fund, thereby particularly focusing on opportunities for the waterborne transport sector. The Innovation Fund mainly focusses on higher TRL levels and allows for projects in the areas of renewable energy (production as well as use), carbon capture use and storage, the decarbonization of energy-intensive industries and energy storage.

A peculiar feature of the Innovation Fund is that it focusses on GHG emission avoidance and that it disburses 40% of the funding at the financial close of the project, while the other 60% is rewarded in the years after the project’s closure, provided that the project realized at least 75% of the GHG emission avoidance that it promised. Valkova also briefly touched upon the types of proposals that were submitted by the waterborne sector during the last small-scale call, such as a project to implement bio-LNG in shipping.

The final contribution was provided by Inkeri Huttu, ABB Marine & Ports, on behalf of the Waterborne Technology Platform. She explained Waterborne’s goals which are to demonstrate zero-emission shipping solutions by 2030 in order to achieve climate-neutral shipping by 2050. Part of the solution in this regard also relates to the need for research into port-based supply infrastructure for alternative fuels and electricity.


28.10.2021 TRAN presentation of the Study on the aviation and maritime sectors and the EU-ETS: challenges and impacts

On the 28th of October, TRAN Committee’s members met to listen to a presentation about the Study on the aviation and maritime sectors and the EU-ETS: challenges and impacts.

The report analyses the potential challenges for and socio-economic impacts on the maritime shipping and aviation sectors resulting from the “Fit for 55” Package. It considers implementation challenges, consequences for the competitiveness of European stakeholders and impacts on sectoral employment, also based on stakeholder consultations. Recommendations on how to overcome implementation issues and adverse competitive and societal effects are also provided.

Regarding the maritime sector, the study presents the following main findings:

  • Including maritime shipping in the EU ETS leads to an increase in transportation costs on routes within the scope, especially for Ro-pax, passenger and Ro-ro ships. The additional costs may be borne by various actors in the value chain, depending on their ability to pass them on.
  • To prevent that a potential reduction of extra-EU seaborne import trades is related to a market distortion, the external costs of all transport modes should be internalized to the same extent.
  • Competitiveness of extra-EU seaborne exports may deteriorate for specific trades, not necessarily affecting the sector negatively.
  • A shift of employment among shipping companies operating in the system scope is conceivable.
  • Port evasion and shift of transshipment hubs cannot be ruled out entirely; especially the latter may have a large impact on specific ports and regional communities.

The report also develops several recommendations for maritime shipping:

  • The ease of integration of the sector into a future global measure should be considered.
  • All potential impacts should be assessed considering the aggregated effects of the different policy measures and the different measures should be consistent and properly geared. Furthermore, the impacts on remote areas like EEA Member States’ overseas territories should be analyzed.
  • An exemption or alternative compliance option for SMEs and small emitters should be considered.
  • The effectiveness of the MRV should be carefully checked and the enforcement should be effective and equally effective for all ships.
  • Some portion of the revenues should be earmarked to facilitate the energy transition of the sector and should also become available for non-Member Sates.
  • The external costs of the different transport modes should be internalized to the same extent.
  • Compensating measures for transshipment ports for the period until other regional measures or a global measure are implemented should be considered if extra-EEA voyages are included. And due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consideration could be given to (including an option for) extending the phase-in period.

Shipping-related administration should be designed in a careful and timely fashion and sufficient funds should be made available to this end.




Members' News Corner


28.09.2021 – DP World invests into sustainable transport at Stuttgart

In a three to five years investment plan, DP World has planned to spend €35m on its inland container terminal in Stuttgart, to bolster the capacity of operations at the terminal, which has energy efficient rail and barge on-site and is the only tri-modal terminal in Stuttgart.

The investment announcement comes as European road haulage faces a deepening driver shortage which has placed increasing strain on the trucking industry, and rail and barge services are seen as part of the solution to build more resilient supply chains while also reducing carbon output.

DP World’s investment in Stuttgart shows its continued vote of confidence in the strength and resiliency of its inland network, and also helps to ensure it offers sustainable end-to-end solutions for its customers in Europe.

Source: Container Management


05.10.2021 DP World opens empty container park in Southampton

With an investment of £3 million, DP World has opened an 11.5 acre empty container park at Southampton, aiming to increase storage capacity and maintain service levels for customers during the peak pre-Christmas season.

Thanks to this investment, Southampton increased its storage capacity by 25%, enabling DP World to maintain productivity and service levels for the vital next few months and beyond.

In the first half of 2021, a record volume of cargo was handled at the Dubai-based operator’s two UK ports, with Southampton seeing throughput between January and June of 995,000 TEU, the second best first half ever, contributing to a combined UK total of 1,883,000 TEU.

Source: Container Management



14.10.2021 HHLA and MAN complete Hamburg TruckPilot project

In October, HHLA and MAN Truck & Bus completed a project that ran over the course of three years that led to the development and practical testing of an autonomous truck.

The project was part of the strategic mobility partnership between the City of Hamburg and Volkswagen AG and included trials at HHLA’s Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA). During the trials, 40ft containers were transported by an autonomous truck.

According to Frederik Zohm, board member Research & Development at MAN: Pilot projects like Hamburg TruckPilot prove that the use of self-driving trucks is technologically feasible and can be efficiently integrated into the logistics processes.

“Autonomous driving will be a game changer in transportation. In close cooperation with customers and partners, we are testing practical automation solutions with the aim of getting self-driving trucks ready for series production in 2033.”

In the eyes of Till Schlumberger, project manager at HHLA, HHLA’s Altenwerder terminal provided for the ideal setting for the project as: “With its highly automated processes, HHLA CTA is the ideal test environment for trying out promising technologies.

“Our facilities operate 24/7 around the clock, 360 days a year. However, the safe integration of autonomous trucks into the terminal processes is a major challenge, because autonomous and classic transports are intermingled. With Hamburg TruckPilot, we were able to show that this application is possible and promising in practice.”

Source: Container Management





FEPORT Sixth Stakeholders’ Conference

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December 1st, 2021


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FEPORT meetings

18.11.2021                Board of Directors – Brussels

30.11.2021                General Assembly meeting – Brussels

01.12.2021                Sixth Annual Stakeholders’ Conference – Brussels


Institutional meetings

08.11.2021                 ENVI Committee Meeting – Brussels

09.11.2021                  ECON Committee Meeting – Brussels

15.11.2021                  TRAN Committee Meeting – Brussels

15.11.2021                  ENVI Committee Meeting – Brussels

15.11.2021                  FISC Committee Meeting – Brussels

15.11.2021                  ECON Committee Meeting – Brussels

18.11.2021                  ENVI Committee Meeting – Brussels

18.11.2021                  ECON Committee Meeting – Brussels

29-30.11.2021             ENVI Committee Meeting – Brussels


Other meetings

09.11.2021                   VII Trans-Port International Congress – Santiago

09.11.2021                   ESPO Awards – Brussels

16.11.2021                   EPP EoV EU maritime transport and the EU maritime shipping industry – Brussels

19.11.2021                   SSDC Plenary Meeting – Brussels

23.11.2021                   European Port Forum – Brussels

25.11.2021                   Freight Forwarders’ Forum – Brussels

19.11.2021                     SSDC Plenary Meeting – Brussels

01-03.02.2022             EuroMaritime – Marseille


FEPORT Newsletter - October 2021