Medports Training Programme

The Escola Europea takes one step closer towards sustainable transport

From 13 to 15 October, the Escola organised the first edition of the course “LNG in ports: port systems, its rates and operational management” – a specialised training course in sustainable transport on the role of natural gas in Spanish ports. The training, specifically designed for personnel from the Enagás company, welcomed members of the company’s logistics and commercial departments, as well as staff from plants in Barcelona, Huelva and Cartagena.

The training covered the organisation of the Spanish port system, with a particular focus on the system of port charges, the establishment of the new customs regulations and, in great detail, their application in the use of natural gas, the typology of natural gas-fuelled vessels and the bunkering processes from application to supply.

A second edition of the training is planned for November.

Continuing in providing training in sustainable transport, on the 19th of October the Escola will start a new training course on Energy Transition, designed within the framework of the MedPorts Association, which brings together the ports from all around the Mediterranean. This training will cover topics related to legal regulations and the decarbonisation of the port system, energy transition tools in terminals and port areas, energy transition tools in transport, and the role of port authorities in this transition.

The speakers in this course will include experts from the port and energy sectors from companies and administrations such as DG Move, the Port of Barcelona, ESPO, IREC (Institut de Recerca de l’Energia de Catalunya), the Energy Efficiency Cluster of Catalonia, Cenit, Cefiner, Schlaich DAUSS SLP, HolaLuz, Solve Consulting, the Port of Antwerp, as well as other members of the association such as the Valenciaport Foundation, the Arab Academy and the Port of Marseille.

This training will be the first of a series of trainings developed for this partnership.

Group Photo - Participants of the September MOST course

Autumn courses bring a hint of normalcy back to the Escola’s MOST courses

It has been a difficult 2020-2021 for most of us – with many having to completely reshape and rethink their operations in a newly virtual environment. The Escola has spent a big part of last year and the first half of 2021 offering our signature courses through the Google Classroom lens – hoping to try to bring the Escola’s signature experiential approach to the net. The longing for the traditional approach has not disappeared, however, and both the Escola and the centres have waited for the health crisis to diminish and for on-board courses to be deemed safe again. This moment has arrived in the second semester of 2021.

Having completed one on-board MOST course in the summer, the Escola started the autumn courses with a hybrid MOST courses for students of the Master in Supply Chain Management from the EAE Business School which took place between the 10th and the 16th of September. The course offered online lectures in intermodal logistics and transport operations, as well as had in-person visits to terminals around the Port of Barcelona and a stationed Ro-Pax vessel to visualise the operations first-hand. In total, 13 students could attend the training both online and in person.

“Very well organised and dynamic course. It was very interesting to be able to focus on new proposals for the future and new trends. – Juliene Maksene de EMSUR – EAE course”

This course was then followed by an on-board traditional MOST course that took place between the 18th and the 21st of September. 29 students from the Polytechnic University of Catalunya and Nautical Faculty of Barcelona took part in the training that took place on board of a Ro-Pax shipping vessel between the ports of Barcelona (Spain) and Civitavecchia (Italy). Following the Escola’s signature approach, the students got the opportunity to witness an intermodal transport journey first hand, whilst also learning about the concepts of intermodal transport, transport costs, sustainability, and new technologies. The teachers of the Escola Europea on this occasion were Marta Miquel, the Chief Operating Officer, Antonio Vargas, representing Grimaldi Lines and Eduard Rodés, as course director.

The next month will see the Escola, together with the council of the Prat de Llobregat and Barcelona Activa, organise 3 courses in intermodal transport and port administrations. These courses, which will be carried out online – with an inclusion of some in-person visits to the local port terminals – will provide an all-encompassing overview of the port logistics community and the administrative processes that surround transport operations within a port environment – and will be offered for free for young people and women wishing to find employment in the local port sector. They form part of the training offered under the YEP MED project, which is co-funded by the ENI CBC Med instrument of the European Union.

Port Logistics Community Training

October and November will see the return of the Escola’s YEP MED courses

With the colder months of autumn on their way, the Escola has opened up registrations for the new series of occupational training courses – as part of the European YEP MED project – in port logistics and administrative processes.

The Escola Europea Intermodal Transport, lead partner of the EU-Funded YEP MED (Youth Employment in the Ports of the MEDiterranean) project, jointly with the Council of the Prat de Llobregat (Ajuntament del Prat del Llobregat) and Barcelona Activa, has opened up the registrations for the second semester of courses in the Barcelona region.

The courses, which will be carried out online – with an inclusion of some in-person visits to the local port terminals – will provide an all-encompassing overview of the port logistics community and the administrative processes that surround transport operations within a port environment. Thanks to the funding from the European Union – these courses will be free for the students.

The first course – Introduction to International Trade Operations – will take place online between the 6th and the 15th of October 2021. During the training, the students will receive a general introduction to the administrative processes related to international trade operations in Barcelona, as well as become familiarised with the key aspects related to import and export operations. Registrations are now open for young students and women who have an administration background and are currently looking for employment opportunities. For more information, you can consult the event on our website.

The second course – Port Logistics Community Training – will take place both in Barcelona and online between the 18th and the 22nd of October 2021. This course will give the participants a more in depth view of the Port of Barcelona, its infrastructures, logistics equipment and operations, and it will give the local companies offering the workshops the opportunity to showcase their operations and present the professional profiles that they are currently searching for. Like before, this course will be open to young students and women who have an administration background. The completion of the previous course will be a pre-requirement before enrolling in this edition. For more information, you can consult the event on our website.

The final course of this series – Administrative Processes in International Trade- will take place at the end of October over a period of 10 half-days. This course will be taught online and it will incorporate the new innovative approach developed for the YEP MED project which involves the Simulated Practice Enterprises Methodology. The students will have the opportunity to practice all that they have learned in a digital twin of a port community – the Port Virtual Lab – that imitates all transport operations that take place in the real world. This course will ensure that the students finish the 3 course training programme with a complete knowledge and practical experience that will prepare them for the work force. For more information, you can consult the event on our website.

For more information about the YEP MED project you can contact Concha Palacios from the project office at concha.palacios@portdebarcelona.cat or head to the website.

Diploma ceremony held on the 3rd of July 2021

Escola’s restarts its MOST courses

Last Saturday, on the 3rd of July, the intermodal transport course “Motorways of the Sea training – MOST” started in Barcelona. In total, thirty five students from 11 different nationalities studying Master’s programmes in Logistics and International Trade, Internationalisation of SMEs and Customs Law and Management at the University of Barcelona participated in the 4-day long training.

The day began with a solemn ceremony to present diplomas to some 100 graduates which, exceptionally and due to health safety measures, was held outdoors in front of the Escola Europea’s headquarters, at Placeta de l’Areté, Terminal Drassanes on the Moll de Barcelona.  On behalf of the Port of Barcelona and the Escola, its director, Eduard Rodés, welcomed the participants.  On behalf of the University of Barcelona, Dr. Oscar Mascarilla, director of the Master’s programmes, spoke. The Honourable Ramon Tremosa, Minister of Business and Knowledge of the Generalitat de Catalunya until a few weeks ago, supported the event and addressed the students, encouraging them to put their knowledge at the service of the competitiveness of their respective countries. Afterwards, the participants and their accompanying family members made a maritime visit to the Port of Barcelona.

The MOST course started early in the afternoon on the same day, and the group departed for Civitavecchia – the port of Rome – on board of the Grimaldi RO-PAX vessel “Cruise Barcelona”. The teachers of the Escola Europea on this occasion were Marta Miquel, the Chief Operating Officer, Antonio Vargas, representing Grimaldi Lines and Eduard Rodés, as course director.

Simultaneously, the first two weeks of July saw the start of the Escola’s annual Summer School in Port Operations for Vessels and for Goods. The course is held in classroom in-person format with the participation of 16 students from Egypt, Yemen and Somalia.

The MOST course is the first on-board course that the Escola was able to hold since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. It is a promising sign showing the ability of the Escola to begin to bring its unique experiential courses back into play.

Sustainability

Sustainability of transport and logistics in the Mediterranean

Written by Eduard Rodés, Director of the Escola Europea

Written by Eduard Rodés, Director of the Escola Europea

The concept of sustainability, although open to many interpretations, can be understood as based on two elements. The first is the transport network, which is, at European level, fundamentally structured by the work carried out in recent years by the European Commission (EC) on the Trans-European Transportation Network (TEN-T) and which necessarily conditions that of its neighbouring countries, and therefore by extension Mediterranean countries. The transport network is one of the three networks that are essential for economic and social development. The second element is made of the energy and telecommunications networks, which are elements of the digitalisation process. The transport network is dependent on the other two, both in terms of efficiency and sustainability.

The efforts to advance the concept of sustainability are based on the approval by the United Nations (UN) Assembly of the 2030 Agenda in September 2015, structured by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Sustainable development cannot be understood without simultaneously taking into account the interrelationship between the different goals. Spending more time trying to scrutinise the aspects related to Goal 13 on climate change, or Goal 9, which deals with industry, innovation and infrastructure in this article would not be wise, as they depend to a broad extent on the other 15 goals and their mutual interactions to reach the targets. It is most likely that the problem to solve is not pollution or sustainability but the consequences we are facing from our actions in the past two centuries. The underlying problem is our way of life and the habits we have acquired. This is where the COVID-19 pandemic has forced our societies to look at themselves in the mirror. It can now be understood that another way of organising our societies is possible and that everything is more ephemeral and fragile than previously thought.

Sustainability has become one of the critical factors in shaping the policies of all countries. The United Nations, with its Agenda 2030 initiative, and the European Union (EU) with the Green Deal, has set the course for a low-carbon society in 2050. The COVID-19 has further strengthened the need to carry out this sustainability revolution. The road ahead will not be easy and will inevitably lead to drastic changes in the configuration of the transport and logistics sector.

A World in Transition

COVID-19 appeared in the middle of a period of strong transition. Time will tell if there is a change of cycle, leaving behind the silicon and information period, and moved towards robotics, artificial intelligence, and simulation models in virtual environments. Now, the systems we are developing are prepared to aggregate much more data than we have ever had. The programmes can analyse it and simulate scenarios on which to base decisions, much more accurately than those we would have been able to make without their help. This transition is taking place in the three networks previously identified (transport, energy and telecommunications) and as a result of their evolution.

The Energy Transition

The Mediterranean, like the rest of the world, faces the need to seek out renewable energy sources. The consumption of hydrocarbons and energy produced with fossil fuels is reaching the end of the cycle. Governments face the need to seek alternatives that will maintain economic activity while reducing the environmental impact of emissions. Energy efficiency and the progressive penetration of renewable energies must enable economic reactivation in the short term and, at the same time, allow for the consolidation of the value chain associated with their deployment. They are also the pillars of decarbonisation, which gives a boost to the rest of the sectors while improving business and industrial competitiveness through a downward price path.

The energy transition also promotes the implementation and development of new technologies, which are fundamental for managing the demand for electricity and the supply of security in a 100% renewable system, in an industry segment in which the Mediterranean has the potential to acquire leading positions.

The development of hybrid plants allows for more flexibility. Different types of technologies can coexist in the same system, which can already be seen, for example, in wind power plants utilising solar panels. In such cases, the energy can be distributed using the same connection point and the access capacity already granted, provided that the technical requirements are met.

According to the Observatoire Méditerranéen de l’Energie (OME), “it is estimated that energy demand per capita will increase by 62% in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries by 2040 (using 2018 as the reference year). The Mediterranean region is also experiencing intense industrialisation and growth in tourism, putting additional pressure on available energy resources” (UfM, 2019).

These regional challenges, if adequately addressed, can be turned into business opportunities that can contribute to a sustainable energy transition. The Mediterranean is rich in renewable energy sources, such as wind, sun and water. Therefore, it has the potential to promote the transition to more sustainable and low-carbon energy systems. There is also the potential to increase energy efficiency through the development of new technologies that allow, for example, energy-saving and storage. Moreover, the development of gas and energy transmission interconnections will lead to the progressive integration of energy markets in the region, which is an opportunity for countries to better address the energy security challenges.

The problem is addressed from various perspectives depending on the “community” from which it is analysed. The most visible today is the city, which is currently undergoing a process of significant changes due to the evolution of distribution caused by the rapid growth of e-commerce (further accelerated by the COVID-19).

Ports have initiated determined shifts towards an energy transition in their territories. This has led to the emergence of professions such as officers in charge of the energy transition. The working programmes go through the different elements that make up energy consumption and their sources of production.

The first issue is a legislative framework that has been developed to force the transition while maintaining a certain rate of deployment. A second point relates to savings and efficiency policies, as these are aspects that can be applied immediately and with excellent results if used correctly. A third issue relates to energy sources, and significant changes have already been made in recent years in this regard. Gas has played a leading role in the last ten years, and during this period gas-powered ships have been built, supply systems for trucks have been developed, and some tests with port machinery have been established.

One of the critical aspects that condition the implementation process of low-sulphur fuels with low CO2 emissions is the possibility of the Mediterranean being declared an Emission Control Area (ECA). This is one of the most rapidly changing scenarios for the future. The Mediterranean will be an ECA area no later than 2024, as decided at the meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (COP21) held in December 2019 in Naples. The agreement will lead to the presentation of the proposal at the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in 2022.

This is a significant challenge for the shipping companies, which have been working on the emission reduction aspects for years. In 2018, the IMO adopted Resolution 304(72) on the initial strategy for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships, which set a reduction of 40% by 2030 and 70% by 2050. The lifespan of a vessel is approximately 30 years, so times should be calculated taking this into account (IMO, 2018).

Today’s large fuel families are also in transition. Liquefied natural gas is evolving towards biomethane and hydrogen, biodiesel to second and third-generation biofuels, liquid petroleum gas to biogases, and bioethanol to synthetic ones. In all cases, it will be necessary for ships to dedicate more space to storage, as the energy power is lower, and they will need a higher quantity for a result similar to what is attained using traditional fuels.

Maritime transport in the Mediterranean is considered to be “Short Sea Shipping”, which in turn represents 80% of the world’s fleet and one of the main contributors to air quality in port cities. Ports in the Mediterranean are generally located in big cities and operate alongside them, seeking a balance between the advantages of having a port that provides a service and the disadvantages of port-related operations. What is clear is that Short Sea Shipping is configured as a network in the area in which it operates. Ships from the Southern Mediterranean work with the countries of the North and vice versa. Therefore, the regulations that will be implemented will necessarily affect practically all operations. It seems clear that governments will use coercive measures to force a rapid move towards carbon-neutral solutions.

At present in Spain, gas is at the forefront with a prepared infrastructure that will make it possible to reach 2035 without the need to invest in this concept. For operators, it is profitable because they must bear a significant initial investment to adapt their ships. Still, the cost of fuel is more economical, allowing a return on investment in a relatively short time.

In recent months, hydrogen has been gaining ground as an alternative to traditional fuels in maritime transport for several reasons. It is abundant and available everywhere. In a fuel cell, the generated waste is O2 and water. As a fuel, it has zero emissions, is not toxic, is not a greenhouse gas, can be produced from renewable resources, and is a source for other fuels such as e-fuels and blue fuels. We will have to get used to new nomenclatures such as “Green Hydrogen” produced from renewable energies or “Blue Hydrogen” generated from gas, which generates CO2 in the production process that is captured and stored in underground deposits. Hydrogen has the disadvantage of being difficult to store and transport, and involves complementary elements such as ammonium, ethanol and octane. Ammonia stands out as it is a substance that does not contain carbon in its molecule and therefore does not generate CO2 emissions during its decomposition reaction, besides being the second most-produced chemical compound worldwide after sulphuric acid.

Research is currently underway for the subsequent decomposition of ammonia for its use with catalysts. These include graphene, which due to its characteristics could be an ideal candidate. From a Mediterranean point of view, it is clear that energy sources based mainly on solar energy and gas provide a significant competitive advantage, as the changes that are expected to occur are relatively rapid.

The Digital Transition

To understand what is happening in telecommunications systems, it is worth analysing the role that they have played during the pandemic. It is no longer a question of seeing how technology evolves in the field of communications and how it will affect us. It is about realising that society has been re-structured around a different way of making and maintaining relationships, driven at this time by the pandemic, which, we all assume, will remain as a new form of interaction. The pandemic has accelerated the digital transition, thus reconfiguring human and environmental relationships. At the expense of proximity, some interactions have been enhanced and our environmental impact reduced. During this period, a reasonably high level of educational activity has been successfully maintained. International projects have been supported, many people have teleworked, and the reality is that it seems that quite a few will continue to do so, even if only partially, for the foreseeable future (if not forever). Interestingly, none of this would have been possible without a significant development in digitalisation.

Two clear consequences of this pandemic have been the drastic reduction in mobility and the exponential increase in e-commerce and door-to-door sales. All of it was possible, based on a working system supported by telematics and the digitalisation of documentation and associated information. Everything that was being developed in the world of transport has accelerated rapidly, and where before everyone was putting obstacles in the way, now everyone is looking for solutions. If something could be done telematically, it was done, whether it was administrative boards or family meetings. Some changes will be more disruptive, such as the 5G technology that will allow exchanges of information in real time. This is understandable as there will be no latencies in communications. This is linked to the important development of robotic processes.

Another essential aspect linked to the energy network is its management and use. The “Smart Grid” concept is based on a form of efficient electricity management that uses computer technology to optimise the production and distribution of electricity, to better balance supply and demand between producers and consumers, and to improve the security and quality of supply following the requirements of the digital age. Better energy management will make it possible to create energy communities that will self-manage their production and consumption. Initiatives in this direction are being considered in the Port of Barcelona itself, but the idea goes further. This capacity for knowledge and management that a computerised world allows gives rise to different systems of governance, dependence and resilience. Fortunately, it is not a question of technologies that are difficult to access for the countries of the Mediterranean basin, which already have the necessary energy and know-how.

Digitalisation has a fundamental impact on transport. Advances in digital mapping systems, fleet and transportation management and the development of mobility management networks are transforming its landscape. Each transport system has its network. For land transport, the European Commission is working with the “Intelligent Transport System”, which enables an integrated system of information for traffic, safety, efficiency and sustainability. In short, it is working on the efficient management of the transport network based on the mass collection of data and interaction with the vehicles and drivers themselves.

In the maritime world, the Safe Sea Net, the vessel traffic monitoring in EU waters, managed by the “European Maritime Safety Agency”, is gaining importance. Through it, it is possible to monitor the movement of ships in the Mediterranean, which in turn makes it possible to control environmental aspects with the Clean Sea Net service. The European Commission has continued to improve single window systems with a new initiative born at the height of the pandemic, namely the “EU Single Window Environment for Customs”, which aims to facilitate the actions of the various public administrations involved in the clearance of goods entering and leaving the Union.

The ports have entered a period of digitalisation of all their operations and territories. The Internet of things (IoT) has made it easier to have a massive amount of information available, which in turn has made it possible to create a knowledge base on which to support much more efficient management systems. Ships have become sophisticated centres of sensors and data generators, producing and transmitting information from anywhere, often in real time. At the same time, advances in satellite communications are improving connectivity, allowing for massive increases in the volumes of data transferred at an ever-lower cost.

The Transition of the Transport Network

Finally, the transition of the transport network, supported by infrastructure and physical characteristics, and which include ships, trains and trucks, and structured around energy and information, needs to be addressed. When talking about transport in the Mediterranean, we need to discuss what the European Commission defines as the Motorways of the Sea and Short Sea Shipping. The Commission is considering the creation of a single European maritime space and, in a way, a Mediterranean space. For the Commission’s Motorways of the Sea Coordinator, Kurt Bodewig, the second pillar of the three pillars of its strategy stresses the need to ensure smooth maritime transport by improving multimodal connectivity, and thus ensuring better connections to the TEN-T corridors and better links with neighbouring countries (European Commission, 2020). This programme was launched in July 2020. It reflects the principles of the new legislature of the European Parliament adopted in June 2019, and the guidelines set by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the “Green Deal” programme, which is already setting the agenda for all the countries of the Union. It is important to note that the transport sector has been dramatically affected by the measures to contain the pandemic. The continuity of services has been ensured by transport workers under challenging conditions, showing that their role is critical in serving the essential needs of the population. By extension, the transport sector will also be crucial in supporting the post-COVID-19 economic recovery. This will particularly rely on the maritime and port transport sectors, with cruise, ferry and Ro-Pax operators being the most affected.

The sector faces two significant challenges: on the one hand, an evolution towards a concept of mobility as a service, which implies the integral management of information systems and means of transport oriented to the service of mobility; and, on the other, and always under the same principles, synchro modality and the physical Internet. These challenges are two new ways of visualising freight and passenger transport in which digitalisation, and clean energies will play a fundamental role.

Conclusions

The transitions in the energy, telecommunications and transport networks pose a disruptive change in the transport sector. Companies will have to reconfigure their strategies because they will have to change their means to adapt to the new situation, and management systems will be increasingly based on the digitalisation of operations, with artificial intelligence applying to their day-to-day activities. This brings about new opportunities for companies and the entry of new players from different markets. These new players may have competitive advantages over the rest, something that has already been witnessed in other sectors. Mobility will continue to be a fundamental element in development but will be adapted to a new reality that has emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies will have to reconfigure many of the professional profiles to adapt them to the new reality and to favour the new skills that will be required for a circular economy. These are what we call “Blue Skills”. Training to cope with this transition will be a crucial factor in facilitating that transition.

Energy prices will change very significantly. Solar energy will gain prominence, giving a competitive advantage to countries with deserts, where solar energy performance is very high. This is an excellent advantage for the Southern Mediterranean countries. These price fluctuations will doubtlessly cause instability for a certain period.

Sustainability becomes the driver towards economic recovery. The challenge of building a new sustainable society will mark the agendas and efforts of the post-COVID-19 generation, which is much more open and aware of the challenges that we will have to face.

It is too soon to know how the COVID-19 will affect public transport. It still seems that the pandemic will last for some time, although more hope has emerged with the emergency approvals of the new vaccines in some countries, which should help overcome it. Transport will change, above all, because it already had to change with or without the COVID-19. It will do so with environmentally friendly mobility and be more adapted to serving people and goods thanks to non-polluting fuels and artificial intelligence digitalisation processes. Change is on the Blue Horizon ahead, so let us sail towards it sustainably together.

For more interesting articles, you can head to the CETMO website: 

 

Bibliography and references

 

* Any use or reproduction of the information presented on these articles should be accompanied by a citation of CETMO and IEMed’s intellectual property rights.

The YEP MED training was carried out largely online using the Google Meet platform

148 students join the first YEP MED fully digital international training in Barcelona, Tunis, Civitavecchia and Beirut

The YEP MED training programme based on simulated enterprises allowed students to practice international trade operations using a real-life Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform

The first fully digital international training of the YEP MED (Youth Employment in the Ports of the MEDiterranean) project kicked-off last week in four different port communities: Barcelona, Tunis, Civitavecchia and Beirut. The training course finished on the 31st of May 2021. Each port community was responsible for bringing to life a simulated freight forwarding operator and execute international trade operations between the participating countries.

Thanks to the digital tools, a total of 148 students from the four port communities took part in this unique course. The global coordination and organisation of the project was overseen by the Escola Europea, lead partner of the project, whilst local project partners gave national level support. At the international level, participants could interact with students from other Mediterranean countries and support each other in the export operations they need to design, plan and manage as part of the training. Alongside having a widely international character, the student group also featured a high proportion of women in its midst – who formed around 41% of all participants. Making it easier for women to access employment in the Mediterranean transport sector is one of the key bastions of the YEP MED initiative.

This course was the first of the series of the 2nd stage of the YEP MED training. The first stage comprised vocational training (VT) courses that offered an introduction to port logistics and operations. This second stage gives the students an opportunity to gain practical experience and to gain a global understanding of the port-logistic operations first-hand through the use of a newly designed virtual platform that replicates a real port community in the virtual sphere. The students need to work together to design and prepare transport operations that freight forwarders regularly carry out by accessing the Port Virtual Lab. This virtual reality created by the Escola Europea allows students to interact with different companies that are involved in the process of an import / export operation: shippers of several industries as real-life substitute customers (Play Fine Fruits, Play Fine Clothing, Play Fine Cars, Play Fine Pharma, Play Machine Tools, and Play Chemicals), transport operators such as a shipping line, a rail operator or a haulier company (SDG Lines, Port Railway, Play Haulier), customs related entities such as customs brokers and customs administrations (Play Customs Agent and Play Smart Customs) and a Port Community System (MedTrade). You can find out more about these theoretical companies by going to the Port Virtual Lab site.

The Simulated Practice Enterprise is a methodological didactic strategy of “Learning by Doing” – through a digital lens. With the ERP system provided by Click & Cargo, the Escola Europea and its partners have worked to develop a digital environment that promotes simultaneous and integrated development of functional competencies of organisational management (social, human and business) based on a methodological-didactic simulation system that allows for contextualized and experiential knowledge. At the same time, the Click & Cargo system contributes to the vocational guidance of students and the employability of graduates through the creation of role-playing assessments and specific tasks representative of the world of work.

“From the point of view of knowledge to be transferred to the students, the training succeeded in achieving the objectives for which it was developed. The content of the sessions is very satisfactory insofar as it offers very varied technical knowledge to be able to use the Click and Cargo. Technical knowledge well founded by theoretical knowledge in international maritime trade techniques. On the educational level, the succession of sessions has been well studied ensuring the progression of the knowledge produced.” – Mr Anis Romdhani, lecturer from Tunis

An additional benefit of the YEP MED training courses is the unique benefit gleamed from the international community of teachers. Thanks to the collaboration of more than 30 teachers from Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) centres and professionals of the sector, the students were presented with a distinctively multicultural and very experienced teaching staff – which further added to the authenticity of the heterogenous Mediterranean training.

“In these two weeks, I had the opportunity to meet students from Beirut, Ortona, Barcelona and Tunis. We have learned how import and export shipping works through the Click&Cargo ERP platform. We have learned and increased our knowledge in the logistics sector with the collaboration of professionals who explained the different procedures and aspects. I found it very useful and interesting for the students who want to continue their career in the sector”. – Flavia di Capua, student from ITS Caboto (Italy)

These YEP MED VT2 and VT3 digital international training courses will take place over the early summer months, concluding before the autumn months and paving the way for the next stage of the training model – the integration of the successful participants in local companies through apprenticeships that will complete the dual training model.

For more information about the YEP MED project you can contact Concha Palacios from the project office at concha.palacios@portdebarcelona.cat or head to the website.

The panel at the press conference

The Escola Europea and Click&Cargo develop a virtual port to be used in simulation exercises

In the framework of the European YEP MED project, the agreement between the Escola Europea and the software development company Click&Cargo has been presented to the public on the 26th of May 2021.

Logos of the entities involved in the project

Participating in the event from the Escola Europea were its director Eduard Rodés and its Chief Business Officer Marta Miquel. The Project Manager from Click & Cargo, Valentina Salinas and the head of development Alex Rodriguez, alongside Marisa Clavero – a teacher from the Institut Lluïsa Cura, and Guillem Sardañés, CEO of the freight forwarding company eGlobe, also joined the press conference to explain the details of the agreement.

Eduard Rodés presented the YEP MED project and the PortVirtualLab.com platform, which will be used for the development of the training applications foreseen in the European project. YEP MED, funded by the ENI CBC Med programme, has a budget of 2.97 million euros and a planned duration of 30 months.

One of the main characteristics of the development of the project has been the close and fruitful collaboration of different organisations in the Barcelona Port Logistics Community, including: the Barcelona Port Authority, ATEIA, Institut Les Salines, Institut Lluïsa Cura, Click&Cargo and various private companies in the sector such as eGlobe.

Marta Miquel of the Escola Europea has highlighted that the agreement has already enabled training in the use of the platform for trainers from institutes and training centres in the 7 participating countries from the project: Spain, France, Italy, Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon. A total of 38 teachers specialised in International Trade from 12 training centres have been prepared to deliver the practice sessions in their respective centres and countries in the coming months.

Since last week, some of these trainers have already begun putting into practice what they have learned in a course that is being conducted online. 148 trainees from Spain, Italy, Tunisia and Lebanon are currently simulating project operations in the first course of this kind for students.

Valentina Salinas emphasised that the use of Click&Cargo as an ERP platform for the freight forwarding sector was the result of a public tender in which it obtained the best score for its technical features and ease of use. The proposed platform is fully accessible online and in English, which eliminates the barriers of distance and language in a sector where English is the lingua franca. The platform aims to integrate digitalisation processes, facilitating and automating the usual tasks of freight forwarding companies.

The co-founder and director of eGlobe, Guillem Sardañés, highlighted the speed and efficiency of the training that students receive in a relatively short time – achieving the same results in just a few weeks -something that normally require months of training. Sardañés highlighted the rapid process of digitalisation of freight forwarding companies and the need to have personnel prepared to face the challenges and changes that these processes entail. He also affirmed that the similarity of real-life operations to the simulated ones is amazing and proposed that the tool could also serve professionals active in the sector as an aid in digital transitions.

On behalf of the training institutes Marisa Clavero emphasised that the YEP MED programme and the PortVirtualLab.com platform have made it possible to go to the most minute levels of details in operations for the first time, which in practice means a simulation of the activities carried out in all levels of a company. She further emphasised the value of the students’ relations with the teams from the other countries, who act as corresponding agents in their respective countries during the exercises. The management of these relations, with the added complexity of dealing with different cultures, different languages and different visions, is a very valuable experience for the profile of a worker in a freight forwarding company, who is also a citizen of the world by the nature of his or her work.

Eduard Rodés pointed out that contact with other software companies in the sector has already begun, with the goal to extend training to other groups from the Port Logistics Community in the coming years and that the Escola Europea will work to facilitate the digitisation processes of all the actors involved in operations.

For more information on the YEP MED project you can contact Concha Palacios from the project office at concha.palacios@portdebarcelona.cat.

Port of Civitavecchia : a new classroom named after Raffaele Meloro

Eduard Rodés, director of the Escola Europea, celebrates the inauguration of the Port of Civitavecchia’s first classroom named after Raffaele Meloro

In spite of the difficulties caused by the pandemic, six months after the start of the advanced technical course “Management of integrated logistics and the shipping processes” – a training jointly organised by the G. Caboto Foundation and the Escola Europea – the 28 students discovered that they could for the first time attend classes in in person in the new classroom set up in Civitavecchia at the offices of the Port Authority of the North-Central Tyrrhenian Sea (AdSP).

To date, all of the training activities of this course have been carried out remotely using the e-learning platform of the ITS Giovanni Caboto Foundation, which has enabled the students to follow the lessons virtually, as well as made access to the necessary teaching materials possible.

The official inauguration of the classroom on the 11th of May was attended by the President of ITS G. Caboto, Cesare D’Amico, the President of the AdSP, Pino Musolino, the Maritime Director of Lazio, Francesco Tomas and the daughter of the former President, Professor Maria Domenica Meloro. Eduard Rodés, the director of the Escola Europea, was present through a virtual connection. Together they unveiled the plaque of the organisation’s new classroom named after Raffaele Meloro, the president of the Autonomous Consortium for the Port of Civitavecchia between the years 1973 and 1994 – a particularly important figure for the port and the city of Civitavecchia.

“It is no coincidence that today we have dedicated this hall of the AdSP to training, naming it after a character as important for the port and the city of Civitavecchia as President Meloro” said Pino Musolino, the current president of the AdSP. “And it is also by following his example of continuous involvement and collaboration with all port realities that we will be able, thanks to highly professionalised courses such as this one on logistics, YEP MED and Formati al Porto, to train the new port managers who will be able to face and overcome the challenges of the real world.”

The event was further celebrated by Eduard Rodés, who said:

“To be able to be here today and see so many students finally in attendance is a source of pride for all of us. The partnership we established last year, at a particular moment in history, has proved to be a strategic choice for the future. This is all part of the celebration of Escola Europea’s fifteenth year of activities, and having this new classroom, fully dedicated to training, is a great gift.”

The participants of the course listened to the panelists during the inauguration

The advanced technical course, promoted by ITS  G. Caboto and financed by the Ministry of Education and the Lazio Region, aims to prepare students to manage logistics activities in the market segments of port-centric supply chains. Following the summer break, the trainees will start participating in project work together with representatives from local logistics partner companies. These companies will also provide 5-month long internship positions for the students, an essential part of the overall training. Thanks to the collaboration between ITS Fondazione G. Caboto, AdSP and the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport, the students will have the opportunity to participate in courses under the umbrella of the European project YEP MED, co-financed by the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) of the European Union with about 2.9 million euros and led by Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport.

Students - Cold Chain course

The Escola responds to growing demand and trains professionals in the cold chain

22 professionals from the Spanish logistics-port sector have registered to the online course on the cold chain

Following the first edition of the course on “Temperature-Controlled Supply Chains” before the pandemic began, the Escola Europea has successfully held the second edition during the last week of April and the first week of May, training professionals in the Cold Chain.

The course, which focused on the development of temperature-controlled logistics chains, allowed participants to discover and understand the best practices in the planning and execution of each stage of cold chain operations, with a particular focus on those employing intermodal transport.  The course contents focused on how temperature-controlled products should be distributed (stored, handled and transported) through the distribution network (manufacturer, service providers and customers) according to the specified temperature conditions. Successful cases related to the subject were also presented, which included: Mercabarna (Barcelona wholesale markets), BEST (a container terminal), CMR Fruits (storage facilities of an importer/distributor), TmZ and Canal Frío (refrigerated rail service).

The Training in Temperature-Controlled Supply Chains aims to provide training in intermodal transport chains for temperature-controlled goods; to offer deep insights into temperature-controlled  logistics, its actors, roles, market segmentation and trends; to understand what are the best practices for planning and execution at every stage of the temperature-controlled supply chain, and specifically those using intermodal transport solutions; and to raise awareness on how temperature controlled products should be distributed (stored, handled and transported) throughout the distribution network (manufacturers, service providers and customers) as per specified temperature conditions.

More than twenty transport and logistics professionals from companies such as Hapag Lloyd, Docks, Cosco Shipping, Casintra, Evergreen, Clasquin, Pamole, Fundación Cares, PMS International, Hutchison Ports and Datisa participated in the training.

Enric Rodríguez from the freight forwarder Clasquin Intercargo commented: “These have been very productive days and I have personally acquired a great deal of know-how that I intend to apply in my day-to-day work”.

Over the coming months, the Escola Europea will continue to offer technical courses, including Port Operations for goods and for vessels, Groupage and Consolidation Centres and the SURCO rail transport courses. You can view all of our upcoming courses in our online calendar.

Final Zoom of the Training for Trainers Course

YEP MED brings its future trainers closer to its digital port community using the Port Virtual Lab as its platform

32 lecturers, 19 men and 13 women, from TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) centres from 7 countries in the Mediterranean tested the new training platform developed by the YEP MED project

The Escola Europea Intermodal Transport, lead partner of the EU-Funded YEP MED (Youth Employment in the Ports of the MEDiterranean) project, organised the first training of trainers’ course in the framework of the project between the 19th and 27th of April 2021. The course was carried out online, which has allowed for the active participation of teachers from TVET training centres from all of the partner countries involved in the project – a feat that would have been difficult to achieve if presential attendance was required. As part of the training, the participants were divided into 8 teams of 4.  Each team represented one of the logistics-port communities participating in the YEP MED project, so that import and export operations between all the northern and southern countries were simulated. A representative from Morocco also participated as an observer.

The training of trainers’ course has served as a pilot course based on the virtually simulated enterprises of the project. Simulated practice enterprises are recreated in a digital environment that simulates real-time conditions to allow for nearly real-life situations without actually having to involve real companies (and therewith lowering the possibility of costly errors). As part of the YEP MED project, an effort was made to create an ideal replica of a port community in which the “players” could take control and manage companies and/or administrations, and thus gain valuable experience and practice in their training.

“Covid-19 has some advantages that shed light on innovation , and opportunities.the Escola Europea through the YEP MED programme made us travel all along Mediteranean coast without moving from our place and costing us nothing. The programme will prepare the students to dive in port community industry mastering both technical aspects as far as freight forwarding is concerned and digitalisation  that eases and secures interactions between all stakeholders . The YEP MED programme will prevent students from getting left behind. Thanks Escola for existing!”
Kaoutar Guessous
AFFM Vice president/ Casablanca Morocco

The future lecturers of YEP MED’s VT2 (Vocational Training 2) and VT3 (Vocational Training 3) courses tested the capabilities of the simulated Freight Forwarding enterprise (www.playforwarding.com) created in the Port Virtual Lab, a digital twin of a Port-Logistics Community. They also received lectures and workshops on how to use the simulation platform and were taught the key elements of the Freight Forwarding business.

In the Port Virtual Lab created by the Escola Europea, students will be able to interact with different companies that are involved in the process of an import / export operation: shippers of several industries as customers (Play Fine Fruits, Play Fine Clothing, Play Fine Cars, Play Fine Pharma, Play Machine Tools, and Play Chemicals), transport operators such as a shipping line, a rail operator or a haulier company (SDG Lines, Port Railway, Play Haulier), custom related entities such as custom brokers and customs administrations (Play Customs Agent and Play Smart Customs) and a Port Community System (MedTrade). All of these companies are currently under digital development and will be used as real-life substitutes during the second and third part of the YEP MED courses for both the vocational students and young professionals. You can find out more about these theoretical companies by going to the Port Virtual Lab site.

The Training for Trainers finished with a great success – with the teachers impressed by the virtual reality created by Click & Cargo, and by the accuracy of the operations simulated by the system.

“The ToT course has been an amazing opportunity to put into practice all the skills and the professional experiences of professors, managers and professionals of more than 6 countries, working mixed together in international  and multicultural teams, having to replicate into an e-learning ERP platform the real-life experience of a freight forwarder preparing a commercial offer and managing the subsequent shipment at the very last detail, from the ITU booking to the Master and House B/L paperwork, for two separate operations, an export and an import shipment across the Mediterranean Sea,” said Marco Grifone, one of the course participants, from ITS MOST (Italy). “Having each team representing one agent in a partner country, it was possible to feel the difficulties that are experienced in real life by freight forwarders trading across the Mediterranean, and that is also a clear picture of why it is essential to promote projects like YEP MED, in order to improve and make easier the import/export processes for countries that are getting more and more connected every day, in a perspective of peaceful cooperation and trade development which can provide wealth and well-being to the whole Mediterranean community.”

Once the trainers have been trained, courses for the students will start taking place in the late spring and summer of 2021, with first round of the VT2 and VT3 courses expected to take place in the final weeks of May and the first weeks of June of 2021in the participating communities.

For more information about the YEP MED project you can contact Concha Palacios from the project office at concha.palacios@portdebarcelona.cat or head to the website.