Forma’t al Port fills the Escola’s classrooms in the first quarter of 2018

Three hundred and sixty students of higher education courses from thirteen Catalan institutes have filled the classrooms of the Escola Europea during the seven Introduction courses of the Forma’t al Port project organized so far this year.

The participating institutes were: The UAB Foundation (Fundación UAB), the Centre for Polytechnic Studies; Sant Francesc, Prat and López Vicuña Centres for Studies; La Salle Gràcia, Les Salines, Jaume Mimó, Poblenou, Lluïsa Cura, Estela Ibèrica and  Joan Brossa Institutes as well as the Escola del Treball from Lleida.

The main objective of the two-day-long Introduction course is to supply upper cycle first-year students of International Trade and Transport and Logistics with a first-hand experience of the Port of Barcelona, its infrastructures, logistical equipment and port operations. In addition, the companies of port community have the opportunity to promote their activities and the professional profiles they seek for their work force. Finally, the course creates a space for dialogue to encourage exchanges between training centres and companies, and thus promote the hiring of students in programmes of dual training.

Introduction characterises the first level of the Forma’t al Port programme and is considered preparatory for the more complex three-day-long Management course, during which participants receive training on board of one of the vessels that covers the regular short sea shipping route between Barcelona (Spain) and Genoa (Italy).

The Forma’t al Port project was launched in 2014 in Barcelona by the Port of Barcelona, Barcelona-Catalunya Logistics Centre, the Barcelona Provincial Council (la Diputació de Barcelona) and the Escola Europea. The first triennium of activities took place between 2015-2017 and had a great drawing power, giving very positive results. This paved the way for a new triennium 2018-2020, which welcomes back the centres already loyal to the programme alongside the addition of new institutes.

For more information, you can visit the website of the project: https://www.escolaeuropea.eu/training/our-courses/#format.

European ports support community plans to reduce emissions in maritime transport

Port facilities, coastal cities and their local communities are among the groups most vulnerable to extreme climatic conditions resulting from global warming.

The International Maritime Organization, IMO, will adopt its initial strategy for the reduction of greenhouse gases during the month of April in the Committee for the Protection of the Marine Environment. For this purpose, the setting of a limit for the reduction of CO2 emissions in the short term and other measures in the medium and long term will be discussed.

Once adopted, this strategy will be combined with other national measures to test their effectiveness and alignment with the objectives of the Paris Agreement to combat global warming.

This is required by the European Union, which has recently agreed on its position on these negotiations and has the support of the European Sea Ports Organisation  (ESPO). In this sense, they expect their opinions to be taken into account in the negotiation as a constructive contribution.

Under the Paris Agreement, all countries and economic sectors must initiate immediate actions to maintain the temperature rise below 2 °C, although ports, coastal cities and their local communities are among the groups most vulnerable to theclimatic extreme conditions that result from global warming.

Both the measures proposed by Brussels and by the EU countries to achieve this goal require ports to reduce the carbon footprint of their terrestrial activities. In parallel, European ports aim to achieve the decarbonisation of maritime transport through a range of sustainable services.

In this line, the European Directive for the infrastructure of alternative fuels determines that the ports of the TEN-T network should by 2025 have adequate facilities for the bunkering and supply of LNG fuel by means of power supplies in their enclosures.

Source: Cadena de Suministro

Spain and France advance the road map to implement the railway motorways

Companies that choose to operate in the Mediterranean and Atlantic corridors have until July 16 to submit their bids.

The Spanish Minister of Development, Iñigo de la Serna, and the French Minister of Transport, Elisabeth Borne, have celebrated the publication of the two calls for proposals of common interest concerning the establishment of railway motorway services (ferroutage) along the Atlantic and Mediterranean axes.
These expressions of interest are a continuation of those made in 2017 and are aimed at the manufacturers of rolling stock, within the framework of the roadmap approved by the Spanish-French work group on railway motorways, to identify the technical solutions that will allow the transport of road semi-trailers by rail.

This publication confirms the commitment of Spain and France to discuss the development of the two corridors, to favor the modal shift, and to establish and reinforce these alternative services to the transport of goods by road.

These consultancies refer to the itineraries that connect the Northwest (Vitoria) and the East of Spain (Valencia-Murcia) with the North and the East of France (Calais / Lille / Metz) or even further: via Irún, Bordeaux and Paris on the Atlantic Corridor, on the one hand; and via Barcelona, Avignon and Lyon along the Mediterranean Corridor, on the other. Both axes can allow a service with Ile-de-France.

These calls for expressions of interest are aimed at stimulating the initiatives of industrial actors “by providing answers and operational solutions for these services”. Interested companies have until July 16, 2018 to submit their offers.

The report prepared by the two States, which is incorporated into the current consultations, specifies the characteristics and functionalities of the materials proposed by the five designers and manufacturers who responded to the consultation. “The development of truck transport services by rail is an essential element for improving the sustainability of freight transport, according to a joint publication of both ministries, which is one of the priorities of the two States brought forth by the significant volume of traffic of trucks along the two corridors, on the borders of Perthus and Biriatou. “

On the other hand, the two countries welcome the support of their initiative on behalf of the European Union, especially along the Atlantic axis, with the financial support of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). Finally, the ministers agree that “this joint positioning on the railway motorways is in full consonance with the desire to intensify the Franco-Spanish cooperation in the field of transport of freight, promoting the use of environmentally friendly solutions. It is also an illustration of the governments’ conviction that rail freight, especially along these main corridors, is a solution for the future.”

Source: El Vigia

The Escola’s first Summer School on Port Operations to take place in Barcelona

Between the 9th and the 13th of July 2018 the Escola Europea will run the first ever edition of the Summer School focusing on Port Operations. This unique and novel programme will bring the course participants close to the activities carried out in the Port of Barcelona, by offering a thorough analysis of the operations involved and including a practical study of companies, their employees and their facilities.

Alongside practical workshops to different sites across the Catalan enclave, including visits to the Pilot Control Tower, the Border Inspection Post, Tugs facilities, etc, the participants will discover the theories behind the port community and port operations from the perspectives of terminals, cargo and agents; learn about services offered to visiting vessels; discover port security protocols; understand risk management of  dangerous goods and emergencies; find out about infrastructure and the functionalities of the Border Inspection Post; consider the environmental aspects of management of the port area and start to consider qualities of a future port.

The Summer School will be open for anyone to attend, but it will especially benefit students of port management, nautical and maritime transport, transport management and logistics; early or mid-career ship and port agents wishing to develop their knowledge; shipping company personnel wishing to understand the work of the agent; and port terminal personnel wishing to understand how port operations and services work.

The teaching staff will comprise experts in intermodal maritime logistics active within the local community, professionals from the Port of Barcelona, and representatives from the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport. It will be a week not to be missed!

For more information you can consult the course page: https://www.escolaeuropea.eu/courses/port-operations/

Report: LNG Comparable to Other Fossil Fuels

There is no widely available fuel, including LNG, to manage climate change and local pollutants in tandem, according to a recent study by researchers at The University of Manchester.

The researchers carried out a life cycle assessment of current and future fuels used by the shipping companies to quantify their environmental impacts. The alternative fuels assessed in the study were LNG, methanol, liquid hydrogen, biodiesel, straight vegetable oil and bio-LNG. They measured the impacts of local pollutants (sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter) and greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide).

Fuels can incur the release of emissions at various stages of their life-cycle, for example during refining or transportation, or during the cultivation of the fuel if it is bio-derived. The latter may have impacts associated with cultivation, land-use change and agricultural inputs such as fertilizers. Although the upstream emissions are not attributed to the shipping sector, it is essential to ensure wider implications of fuel switches are accounted for, say the researchers. Failure to take upstream emissions into account in any sectoral assessment risks locking in carbon intensive solutions.

Dr Paul Gilbert, Senior Lecturer in Climate Change Mitigation, said: “In particular, LNG is a promising option for meeting existing regulation, but it is not a low greenhouse gas emissions fuel.

“To understand the full extent of the environmental implications it is important to consider the emissions released over the full life-cycle and not just during fuel combustion. Otherwise, there is a risk of misleading the industry and policy on the true emission penalties of any alternative fuels.”

The two conventional fossil fuels and LNG produce comparable baseline greenhouse gas emissions. When taking into account non-CO2 emissions, any reductions of greenhouse gas emissions in terms of CO2e are negligible for LNG, states the study. The main life-cycle hot-spots include liquefaction efficiency; extent of venting and flaring; and methane slip – the unintended release of methane during ship operation.

Even under idealized conditions, reductions of CO2 emissions are strictly limited. Bio-LNG produced from agricultural waste is an exception. The results show that it has the potential to cut CO2 emissions significantly. However, feedstock is limited.

The figure (sourced from the Journal of Cleaner Production) shows lifecycle emissions in terms of carbon dioxide equivalents, distinguishing between upstream and operational emissions.

The study says effort needs to be directed at overcoming barriers to exploiting the identified low carbon potential of fuels or finding alternatives. Gilbert said it is important to ensure that any short-term measure doesn’t diminish the potential roll-out of low carbon fuels, in particular when taking into account the long life times of ships and fuel supply infrastructure.

Source: Maritime Executive 

Port-railway connections remain key for the development of rail transport

The third month of the year saw the beginning of new railway connections in Spanish ports and the start-up of different projects linked to intermodality, while the works of the Mediterranean Corridor continue to advance.

The month of March has brought very good news for Renfe, which in 2017 achieved net profits for the first time without taking extraordinary income into account (specifically, 70 million euros). In addition, after receiving the PQQ pre-qualification passport, it can now participate in the railway competitions in the United Kingdom, which currently has the most competitive and liberalized rail market in Europe.

Its merchandise division has managed to balance its EBITDA to a negative figure of 0.9 million euros, 7.71 million more than in 2016. However, its traffic has shown a decrease of 5% in the first months of 2018, especially due to the fall in metric width movements.

On the other hand, Spanish ports continue to maintain their commitment to rail connections. In the third month of the year the first direct service for the transport of vehicles from Germany was started, operated by DB Cargo, sharing the leading role with the Medway line between the ports of Seville (Spain) and Sines (Portugal), with a capacity of of more than 100 TEUs per trip.

In addition, the Port Authority of Cartagena has given the green light at the beginning of the record for the improvement of the Escombreras railway terminal, and the fourth weekly intermodal rail service between the Intermodal Terminal of Navarra, located in Noáin, and the BEST terminal in the Port of Barcelona has been launched.

Intermodal terminals and the Mediterranean Corridor

In this context, it is necessary to point out that the Navarrese administration plans to promote the intermodal nodes of Noáin-Imárcoain and Tudela-Castejón within the framework of its logistics strategy 2018-2028, while Spanish Ministry of Development (Fomento) and the Junta de Extremadura will work on the development of three new intermodal freight terminals in Cáceres and Badajoz.

Likewise, work has begun on installing the first section of the 750-meter lane of the three branches that the Miranda Container Terminal will have in Burgos, at the initiative of JSV Logistic. Cimalsa is immersed in a project to promote intermodality in the cross-border transport of goods between France and Catalonia.

Regarding the connections with France, another issue that has continued to be debated in March is the reopening of Canfranc, which would boost the traffic of the Maritime Terminal of Zaragoza, with a total movement of 180,000 containers per year.

In March, the development of the Mediterranean Corridor has also advanced, since Adif has been awarded the contract for the project to connect in the standard width the multimodal platform of La Llagosta, in Barcelona, with this infrastructure.

Nevertheless, in the south of Spain a demand to boost this section of the corridor, with the same benefits for the coastal branch as for the interior, meaning a double platform across its entirety from the French border all the way to Andalusia.

Source: Cadena de Suministro