The Escola Europea closes the year with a course for North African professionals

Over the past week the Escola Europea has organised the MOST MED course which brought together professionals from three countries from the Magreb: Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. The training took place between the 16th and the 19th of December, and welcomed representatives from the port and logistics sectors. The goal was to explain, promote and debate the intermodal services and the motorways of the sea in the Mediterranean.

The course was organised in the framework of the TransLogMED project. The Escola is the leader of the initiative which aims to extend links with countries from the Magreb.

The individuals came both from private companies and public institutions, and thanks to their varied nationalities, the attendees were able to analyse different scenarios from each of the three countries. From Algeria members of the l’École Nationale Supérieure de Technologie (ENST), Groupe Serport and Logitrans Groupe took part. From Morocco, professionals from the Agence Marocaine de Développement de la Logistique, Association des Freights Forwarders du Maroc and UNISHIP came to the training. Finally, from Tunisia representatives of the Office of the Marine Marchande et des Ports, Groupe- Societé Tunisienne de Transit d’Agences et de Transport, Societé Tunisienne d’Acconage et de Manutention, Groupe des Manutentionnaires de Sfax, Institut Méditerranéen de Formation Aux Métiers Maritimes and the Ministry of Transport attended.

This final course marks the end of a busy year for the Escola, which witnessed 83 training actions, among which 35 were courses and 48 were visits – workshops in the Ports of Barcelona, Genoa and Civitavecchia, and on board of the vessels of Grimaldi Lines and GNV.

The Escola has welcomed more than 1200 students in its courses this past year, and more than 1800 individuals participated in the visits – workshops. Overall, a total of 32 training centres with students spanning 45 different nationalities have participated in the Escola’s training actions in 2018.

TransLogMED helps connect the Magreb with European shores

During the final quarter of 2018 the Escola Europea has concentrated its efforts in raising awareness of the benefits and characteristics of the motorways of the sea among the transport professionals in North African countries. Ricardo García, TransLogMED project manager travelled to Algeria in October and Tunisia in December to promote the project through informative conferences.

Aside from raising awareness of the benefits of the MoS as tools for sustainable development and job creation in the logistics sector, the conferences highlighted the efficiency of the innovative door-to-door intermodal supply chain in compensating for the handicaps of relying on single modes of transport (less flexibility of schedules and frequencies, ruptures of the transfers between the courses at sea and on land, numerous and various procedures).

The events were organised with the help of the Escola’s five founding partners: the Ports of Barcelona, Roma and Genoa, and the shipping lines GNV and Grimaldi Lines, as well as local partners. The conference in Algers, Algeria was sponsored by the Union for the Mediterranean, the Algerian Ministry for Transport and the World Bank. It took place on the 24th of October, 2018 and welcomed more than 100 participants from the local transport sector. On the 13th of December the Escola took the project to Sfax, Tunisia, and the information day was co-organised by the Maritime Institute for Maritime Training (IMFMM) and Ardes. Similarly, the event brought together more than 100 professionals from the Tunisian transport scene.

The long-term objective of the project is to foster the development of the motorways of the sea between the Mediterranean countries, which will in turn help promote inclusive growth and youth employability, as well as sustainable development in the region. The project focuses in particular on: Increasing efficiency in logistics and transport, particularly in door to door and platform to platform multimodal solutions; Enhancing the competencies and capabilities of the transport and logistics operators; and creating a knowledge network as the activities become regular, together with a best practice exchange platform that brings together experts from both Northern and Southern Mediterranean countries. For more information you can consult the project website:



To say goodbye to 2018, I chose to write an article about the Dialogus value of the Escola.  I do not refer to the dialogue in its Socratic meaning as a method of inquiry and the search for new ideas which could serve, and indeed does, in our classrooms. In the Escola Europea Dialogus, as a value, is related to the trust and collaboration between people, which is one of the basic elements that comprise a logistic community.

From the dialogue and relationships, which today can be widely accepted as conversations in various channels that society puts within our reach, trust is born. From this trust the possibility to look for new ways of doing things emerges; namely the possibility to apply innovation and creativity to everyday activities and operations. The parties involved accept the associated risks, and with them the potential failures, whilst searching for success and excellence based on new approaches and common efforts.

We are faced with a change in the model of operations which will be better appreciated with the passage of time. We need to wait a few years to fully understand that what is currently happening. When the change is taking place, it is difficult to appreciate its full impact, especially when dealing with changes that take place in the background. The development and implementation of new technologies is taking us at an incredible speed towards a fundamentally global sector; one that is very technologically advanced and increasingly robotised, with communications spanning various channels and involving more and more interactions between persons and sophisticated information systems. A competition is emerging between complex processes carried out by multifaceted and diverse communities that have to operate in tandem in both formal and informal scenarios. This trend calls for expert knowledge of available technologies, the ability to work in teams, and shared leadership, among others.

I believe in the principle that modern transport logistics should have people capable of sharing, committing and cooperating. Today, after many years working in the sector, I believe that we need to develop collective intelligence. How can we identify the parameters which will develop this collective intelligence within a logistics community?

Thomas W. Malone, in his book “Superminds[1]”, a word that designates a powerful combination of individual minds, delves into the study of the elements that, when combined, take collective decisions that make sense in the long-run. We believe in democracy and that individual votes of the people can bring about positive changes for our society. In many occasions we also positively value the results, as we can justify them as the responses to a collective intelligence that has opted for the most beneficial option for all.

In each logistic or port community we need to identify the elements that favour this cohesion, which is formed by invisible threads that make up a network of interests capable of coordination and progress. Some activities favour it clearly: joint Quality Action Plans, and the Port Community Systems are clear and concrete examples. In today’s society others contribute as well, such as government bodies that represent the main groups of the sector, trade missions, associations, the media, training activities, and in some ports clubs such as the Propeller… Moreover, without a doubt, social media plays an increasingly vital role. I frequently receive connection requests through the LinkedIn platform from various members of the sector, and I am a member of many groups linked to port activities. Through the WhatsApp platform I also engage in dialogue in groups comprised of members of the logistic community. These platforms create links that facilitate discourse between everyone involved and I am convinced will continue to do so in the future.

Does the port community and society help develop collective intelligence?

In my opinion, without a doubt, they do. The results from the work carried out based on the ideals, efforts, knowledge and creativity of a medley of persons are far more superior than the results obtained by the best component of the group individually. This is largely thanks to the ability to work in teams – in modern times a logistic community has to be looked at as a team – and according to the research done by the sociologist Anita Wolley[2], thanks to the number of women within the group, among other things. In this respect in today’s society we are also seeing phenomenal changes for the better.

From the Escola Europea we will continue to work to promote and encourage Dialogus, to help us create collective intelligence which will help us continue building the best nodes of the most efficient transport networks in the upcoming year. Without a doubt, this will best benefit the quality of the services contribute to our society. Together we are constructing networks for a better world.

Happy holidays and a prosperous 2019 to the whole logistics and transport community in the Mare Nostrum, Europe and the world.

Eduard Rodés


Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport

[1] Superminds – The surprising Power of People and Computers Thinking Together. Thomas W. Malones. Onrworld Publications 2018

[2] Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups

Anita Williams Woolley1, Christopher F. Chabris, Alex Pentland, Nada Hashmi, Thomas W. Malone – Science  29 Oct 2010

GNV vessel Excelsior becomes certified as a classroom for the Motorways of the Sea Training (MOST) courses

This December Marta Miquel, Chief Business Officer of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport, delivered the Arete metope to certify the Excelsior vessel of the shipping company Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV), which operates the Tangier-Barcelona-Genoa route, as a classroom of the Training Centre. The certificate has been delivered to Commander Alessandro Fantini and Valerio Esposito, the GNV representatives in Barcelona, ​​and has immediately been placed in a pre-eminent place on the bridge of the vessel. This certificate indicates that the vessel meets the quality requirements established by the Escola to host the MOST courses (Motorways of the Sea Training).

The Arete award comes from the Greek word for “excellence” (Ἀρετή). In ancient Greece it was an important part of the education of young Athenians (Paideia). It included physical training, for which the gymnasion was created, and mental training, which gave the population skills of oratory, rhetoric, basic sciences and spiritual formation. All these disciplines serve as inspiration for the Escola, which emphasizes that the vessels in which the courses take place must be able to adapt to this type of training (updated with the requirements of modern training).

Other recipients of this award include the Cruise Rome and Cruise Barcelona vessels of Grimaldi Lines, the GNV vessel Fantastic, Tanit from Cotunav, the Aula dels Estels at the Drassanes terminal and the Europa classroom at the BEST terminal (both in Barcelona).

Mediterranean ECA bid needs Spain’s support

Barcelona City Council has backed an initiative to establish an Emission Control Area (ECA) in the Mediterranean Sea (Med-ECA) to limit air pollution produced by ships and is urging the Spanish Government to support the cause.

Alianza Mar Blava, Transport & Environment, Ecologistas en Acción of Catalonia and Plataforma por la Calidad del Aire have congratulated Barcelona City Council for subscribing to the initiative led by the CleanCruiseNetwork alliance.

The initiative calls for the Spanish Government to actively support the creation, as soon as possible, of a Med-ECA covering all major air pollutants, such as sulphur and nitrogen oxides, but also particles and black carbon, to support efforts in this direction initiated by France and other coastal states of the Mediterranean.

EU coordination

Spain is also being asked to coordinate with the European Commission, with France and the rest of member states of the European Union (EU), as well as with non-EU coastal states, to ensure the creation of said Mediterranean ECA and, subsequently, once created, to support the implementation of a cooperative cross-border management of the same.

Additionally, it is being asked to urgently implement the relevant measures in the Ports of the State to ensure the reduction of emissions from ships, forcing them, once they are docked, to connect to the electricity grid for daily operation, among other measures.

The establishment of a regulatory framework for ECAs in the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the English Channel has led to immediate improvements in air quality of up to 50% since 2015 and associated socio-economic benefits valued in billions of euros.

Source: Maritime Journal

Shipping and Logistics Needs Protection from Cyber Threat After Costly Attacks

Following the extremely costly cyber attacks on the Maersk, Clarkson and COSCO operations this year the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) has gathered together some heavy hitting stakeholders from the legal and logistics sectors to help in drafting its first ever cyber security clause for the benefit of ship owners and other related freight and shipping interests.

Inga Froysa of chartering specialist Klaveness, Oslo is leading a team which includes Navig8 ship management, marine insurance experts the UK P&I Club and international lawyers HFW. The aim is to produce a clause able to deal with cyber security risks and incidents that might affect the ability of one of the parties to perform their contractual obligations. It will necessitate the parties having plans and procedures in place capable of protecting computer systems and data and of responding immediately to any cyber intrusions.

An affected party will have to inform others immediately to enable them to take counter-measures and it will be drafted to cover a range of stakeholders, not just ship operators but inclusive of a range of third-party service providers, such as brokers and agents. The liability of the parties to each other for claims is limited to an amount agreed during negotiations. A sum of $100,000 will apply if no other amount is inserted.

The range of the clause is twofold, firstly it is aimed at raising the awareness of cyber risks among owners, charterers and brokers. Its main purpose is to ensure contracted parties are prepared for a cyber-incident, have suitable protective and reactive measures and can mitigate any damage swiftly. The new clause is due to be published in May 2019.

In the early stages of development, the drafting team discussed if the clause should also address payment fraud. It was concluded that the risk of this increasingly common fraud is probably best dealt with at a procedural level by companies tightening up their internal payment procedures to require verification of any changes to payment details.

The HFW legal team working on the clause is led by senior associate William MacLachlan and also includes partners Elinor Dautlich and Toby Stephens and associate Henry Clack. William MacLachlan observed:

“As the shipping industry wrestles with how to respond to the cyber threat, this clause aims to lay down a benchmark for cyber security measures and explicitly address the question of liability for a cyber security incident. We are pleased to have been able to support BIMCO, the other members of the drafting sub-committee and the shipping community generally on this important and topical point, and look forward to seeing how it is taken up and implemented by the industry.”

Source: Handy Shipping Guide