The Escola Europea is committed to sustainability and digitisation on its 15th anniversary

The Executive and Steering Committees of the Escola Europea met in Barcelona on 26th May for its annual meeting

On 26th May, the Executive and Steering Committees of the Escola Europea met in Barcelona under the presidency of Damià Calvet. After two years of online meetings, this year 2022 the meeting was held in hybrid format on the premises of the Port Authority of Barcelona.

The meeting was attended by Silvio Ferrando representing the ports of Genoa; Luca Lupi on behalf the ports of Rome; Mario Massarotti as a representative of Grimaldi Group; Matteo Catani and Antonio Pedevila in the name of GNV; Catalina Grimalt for the Port of Barcelona and Eduard Rodés and Concha Palacios for the Escola Europea.

In the balance of activities for the financial year 2021, the recovery of face-to-face activities and the favorable evolution of the year 2022 stood out, in which the number of students and courses has grown more than in 2019. The activities related to international projects have also grown and the presence of the Escola Europea in the Mediterranean countries has been consolidated.

 

It is worth highlighting the commitment to the portvirtuallab.com platform, which has meant a technological leap in the development of training models for the digital transition, based on virtual simulators. This places the Escola as a benchmark for innovation in the field of digitalisation in the logistics-port sector.

A second innovative element has been the creation of a sustainability office specialized in the port logistics sector.  Managed by specialists in sustainability management, its objective is to provide support to companies that need to draw up their sustainability reports.

Training, digitalisation and sustainability make up the basic axes of development of the Escola Europea, which this year reaches its 15th anniversary. With a huge activity in Spain and Italy the schools presence has increased in importance across the Western and Eastern Mediterranean.

 

The Port of Barcelona, the Escola Europea and CaixaBank Dualiza bring together companies and teachers to promote talent acquisition

Visit to Aqaba - Escola Europea

The Escola Europea and Port of Aqaba strengthen their ties

Between the 10th and the 11th of April, the director of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport travelled to Aqaba (Jordan) to work together on driving the YEP MED project forward.

As leader of the YEP MED project, co-financed by the ENI CBC Med Programme, the Escola Europea has taken upon itself to visit the southern Mediterranean partners to monitor the progress of the project – something that was planned to take place in 2020-2021 but was hindered by the global health pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus. Following visits to Lebanon, Tunisia and Egypt, this month Eduard Rodés, director of the Escola Europea, travelled to Aqaba to meet with the local partners there.

During the visit, Mr Rodés met with HE Hussein A-Safadi, the CEO of the Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC), who confirmed the significance of the YEP MED project and the corporation’s commitment and support for it and its work.

Subsequently, meetings with logistic operators from the local port community and meetings with local training centres (including Balqa University, JAMS and the National Employment and Training Centre) were conducted. All of the meetings were attended by Mr. Mohammad Al-Sakram and Ms. Hanifa Hamouri, who are responsible for the YEP MED project at the ADC.

“The joint work of the training centres with companies in the sector is a fantastic result of the YEP MED project, which is contributing to the development of more efficient Logistics-Port Communities. This in turn improves the country’s external competitiveness. Witnessing the incredible hospitality of the hosts and having the opportunity to exchange our knowledge is invaluable. It is only through such deep connections that we can ensure that we build a strong, sustainable and innovated network in our region,” stated Mr. Rodés during the visit.

After having toured the Aqaba Port and the Balqaa University, Mr Rodés met with local YEP MED partners to go over the project requirements and offer any other guidance or assistance in the coming months, while initiating collaborative work to ensure the continuity of the initiatives put in place after the end of the project.

The YEP MED project has a budget of €2.9m, with a 10% contribution from the European Union, and a duration of 30 months since it began in September 2020. For more information you can contact Concha Palacios from the project office at concha.palacios@portdebarcelona.cat or head to the website.

Sustainability

The Escola and the Port of Barcelona get closer to sustainability

The second decade of the 21st century has brought sustainability into the limelight in many ports of our globalised world. The port of Barcelona has already been involved in numerous activities related to sustainability over the years, and in March 2022 it has selected the Escola Europea to officially serve as the Technical Office of Port Sustainability – with a strengthened effort to reach the goals set by the Spanish and European authorities that aim to curb transport emissions by 2030.

The passing of the Law on State Ports in 1992 by the Spanish government marked the beginning of the creation of the Port Authorities, the establishment of a new model for the organisation and operation of the port systems and eliminating the figures of the Autonomous Ports and the Port Boards. One year later, the constitution of the Port of Barcelona as a single Port Community was established. Since then, every 5 years the port has developed a Strategic Plan with the goal of revising the port’s primary goals and strengthening the port community every half a decade. In the latest Strategic Plan, the Port of Barcelona has emphasized the increasing need to bring sustainable transport solutions to the forefront of the port’s activities, and therewith put Barcelona in the frontlines of modern ports.

The III Strategic Plan, which covered the period from 2015 to 2020, characterised at the Port of Barcelona (APB) by the approval of two framework documents for the Port Community’s action and governance of the Port Community: the APB’s 3rd Strategic Plan 2015-2020, which, together with growth and competitiveness, placed sustainability as one of the three central axes for framing all aspects of the business. On the other hand, the approval in 2016 of the Sector Sustainability Plan in 2016, which introduced a new way of approaching sustainability, engaging with it and of relating to the organisations of the Port Community by collecting and processing of non-financial information based on the development of benchmark indicators. In addition, the Port of Barcelona has been a pioneer in incorporating the sectoral view directly into its reporting and by linking it to the 2030 Agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

As such, the Port Authority opened a tender for the creation of a Technical Office of Port Sustainability of the Port of Barcelona, which it awarded to the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport in March of 2022. The contract itself has a duration of 1 year, with the potential for further extensions thereafter.

The Escola’s services will be strengthened and configured in line with sector trends and the Port of Barcelona’s strategic plan, including the promotion of the intermodal transport and energy transition courses as part of the environmental sustainability actions of the port authority; the creation of a Training and Employment Working Group that will promote social sustainability among the different actors of the port community; and finally expanding the new Port Virtual Lab interface to showcase digitalisation efforts in the area.

The Escola and the Baku Port cement their collaboration

On the 10th of March, the director of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport Eduard Rodés signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Head of the Baku Port Training Center Orkhan Adigozalov.  

The agreement aims to share the Escola’s unique and proven model of experiential training in logistics and intermodal transport with the Training Centre at the Port of Baku.

Located on the shores of the Caspian Sea, the port of Baku is the main maritime gateway to Azerbaijan. With the Escola’s continued efforts to extend its network of educational centres across the Mediterranean Sea, an expansion further into neighbouring sea ports seemed logical. Over the next few years, the Escola and the Baku Port training centre will work together to develop an institutional development strategy, which will help the port turn into a regional training and logistics centre, helping the Escola spread its vision of practical and experiential training that fully prepares the professionals of tomorrow.

Prior to the signing of the agreement, on the 9th of March, representatives from the Port of Baku took part in a course that focused on sustainability and “Green Ports”, which was designed and taught by the Escola and specialists from the sector: Eduard Rodés – the director of the Escola, Xavier Sabaté – the head of environmental projects at the Port of Barcelona, and Oriol Vilaseca – an environmental consultant. The goal of this course was to present the strategies of the Port of Barcelona and its Logistics Community related to sustainability and the environment; to analyse new visions concerning the management of ports from the perspective of sustainability and any steps that ports could take tp transform strategies into action; and to analyse the position of the Port of Baku to lead the transport corridors of the Caspian region by making them competitive and sustainable.

In October of 2021 a delegation from the Port of Baku travelled to Barcelona to discover the port’s strategy. It is during this visit that the participants familiarised themselves with the work of the Escola, which gave rise to this blossoming collaboration.

For more information, you can contact the Escola.

The Little Prince

Let’s learn together

On the 15th anniversary of the Escola Europea…

The Little Prince

-“Farewell,” said the little prince sadly.

-“Farewell,” said the fox. “Here is my secret:

Only with the heart can one see well; the most important is invisible to the eyes”.

-“Only with the heart… What is most important is invisible to the eyes….”

– repeated the little prince to remind himself.

-“What makes your rose important is the time you have devoted to it.”

-“It is the time I have devoted to it…” repeated the little prince in order to remember it.

-“Men have forgotten this great truth,” said the fox. “You must not forget it! You are responsible, forever, for what you have cared for. You are responsible for your rose…..”

-“I am responsible for my rose!” -repeated the little prince to remind himself of it.

The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Eduard Rodés - Director of the Escola Europea Intermodal Transport

Written by: Eduard Rodés, director of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport

“We learn together” is a declaration of principles and an arrow into the heart of someone who has dedicated a large part of their professional life to education and training.  In 2017, the BBVA bank, in collaboration with the Spanish newspaper El País, launched the educational project “Let’s learn together”, which aimed to pave the way for a better life, and which materialised in a series of easily accessible videos on the internet featuring interviews, stories and workshops with the participation of well-known people in the field of education, teachers, intellectuals and a long etcetera. It was a marvel that I recommend without reservation. In one of them, Nuccio Ordine, a professor at the University of Calabria and writer, takes part. In a brilliant talk, he quotes several times from The Little Prince to refer to the relationship between people and the cultivation of these relationships. In doing so, he refers to the passage of the encounter between the little prince and the desert fox. I wanted to begin this article by taking the last part of the encounter in which beautiful things happen. The first thing is that it tells us is that what is most important is invisible to our eyes. We already knew that, but we need to be reminded of it often so as not to forget it.  Secondly, that what is important is what we have dedicated our time to, the scarcest and most precious resource we have.  And that when we have established an emotional bond with the other, we are also responsible for it.

Think for a moment that the rose is our Port Community. With it, with its members, we can have a distant and indefinite relationship. Or, alternatively, a close relationship with strong ties in which we recognise and need each other. One in which we collaborate and help each other, without ceasing to compete in what we must compete in. To get to know each other we have to spend time with each other in reciprocity, including education.

To build this relationship we need time, rituals, symbols, and values to share and to recognise each other. I hardly ever talk about time because it is generally interpreted from the point of view of the priority that we give to things. In other words, we have time for what interests us, and we prioritise it as such. Rituals, on the other hand are more subtle. They are articulated by joint activities that are carried out. Here I would highlight the Port Community Governing Council. The working groups that have sprouted over the years play a fundamental role. One of the most effective, in my opinion, groups is the Telematic Forum, to which I belonged for many years, and which plays a fundamental coordinating role in the smooth running of the sector’s operations. In recent years, I have promoted what is now the Occupation and Training Working Group, in which the main actors of a Port Logistics Community participate and are represented together with representatives from the world of employment and education – members who have never before maintained a direct and continuous link with the port. This benefits everyone. It is a clear example of the PPP (public private partnership) that has characterised the way many of the western port communities have operated in terms of port development investments for decades. And it is through these groups that we can say that we learn together.

I have long maintained that these relationships produce synapses and shape a collective intelligence that enriches us and makes us stronger. The Port of Barcelona‘s Strategic Plan identifies competition between gateway logistics chains as the fundamental factor for the future. In my opinion, this involves competition between logistics-port communities, which must be capable of creating solutions that adapt to the needs of each moment, through a dynamic disappearance process, and altered to the evolutionary needs of the market. This is something that John Gattorna defined as living supply chains. These communities must increasingly become so, also from an international point of view. Our trade missions must serve to promote real cooperation between operators in each port. This will certainly involve setting up systems that allow for permanent and sustained contact over time.  The recent cooperation agreement between the Port of Barcelona and the Port of Busan in South Korea serves as a good example of the start of a network with such characteristics.

In 2022 an event took place that I believe will mark a turning point in relations in the world of education and that will become a symbol in time. With the start of a new academic year it was announced that, after the summer, a public high school will be set up in the port. It will offer a higher degree in logistics, transport and international trade. It will extend the training to cover everything from initial training to occupational training. My idea for this institute in the port is that companies should be involved from the beginning. The training should be dual, and students should do part of their training inside the companies. It will also be essentials for the teachers to be able to make short visits to the companies to meet the people who manage them and to discover their day-to-day operations first-hand. Moreover, the professionals from these companies should also be occasional teachers at the high school. This would allow the students to gain knowledge directly from the sources of the information.

Ideally I would also like for it to be a great centre of education that defends values. That we would all be able to learn and educate together, with shared responsibilities and commitment. At the Escola we have always said that we provide education and values that identify with creativity, innovation, dialogue, self-determination, work, commitment to people and the environment, and knowledge. We hope that we can help everyone share such goals’ and that the effort will make us stand out for having tried to do things well.

“My flower perfumed my planet …

I couldn’t understand anything then! I should have judged her by her actions and not by her words. She perfumed and illuminated my life! I shouldn’t have run away! I didn’t know how to recognise the tenderness behind her poor astuteness! Flowers are so contradictory! And… I was too young to know how to love her”.

The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 

Learning and moving forward together is the challenge that we must work towards, because together we are strong. Building our Community has to be a priority and that means dedicating time and effort to it. We need to be aware of its contradictions and shortcomings, and appreciate what it does for us. Even if we may find it hard to recognise and sometimes only become aware when we go out to other ports in the world. We have a treasure that we must nurture in order to continue learning together.

Icon for the SURCO Operations course

Rail takes centre stage in the Escola’s first in-person SURCO course of 2022

With the European Year of the Rail coming to an end in December 2021, the Escola’s team continued the momentum and began the new year with an edition of the SURCO Operations II course in national and international railway operations.

SURCO–Simple Use of Railway COnnections – courses take an in-depth look at intermodal rail operations within ports and rail terminals, focusing on the characteristics and benefits of this type of transport. Railway corridors are continuing to grow with the European Commission spending more resources on the development of interoperable and efficient railway motorways that connect all the countries of the economic block (and beyond). Knowledge of the different aspects that surround freight transport along this mode can be extremely beneficial to today’s students and professionals. This is where the SURCO courses come in handy.

Designed for professionals from freight transport companies, freight forwarders and import and export companies, as well as others interested in the use of rail transport, the course carries out an analysis of the different elements necessary to offer efficient intermodal transport solutions. On this occasion, companies such as ViiA, Terminal Maritima de Zaragoza, BASF, LPF Perthus, Renfe, Adif and Puertos del Estado have collaborated with the Escola’s team in the organisation and promotion of the course.

The group of 18 participants came from a myriad of companies, which included public administrations (such as the Port Authorities of Cartagena, Barcelona and Tarragona) and private companies such as rail operators, freight forwarders and import/export companies  (including Raminatrans, BioIbérica SAU, Medway and Move Intermodal, among others). Initially scheduled to take place in person, the course had to take a more hybrid format due to the deteriorating situation of the ongoing global health crisis. The theoretical classes focused on management of railway systems, European TEN-T, the impact of rail transport on the environment, contracts and international rail transport, and the costs analysis of railway transport chains. The course included several visits to discover the various railway infrastructures on the border between Spain and France (Port Bou terminal, LFP (transborder tunnel of Pertús) and the intermodal terminal Ambrogio), as well as a case study that made the participants put everything they had learnt into practice. The format of the training impressed all of the participants and offered an all-encompassing vision of freight transport by rail.

Participants of the SURCO Operations II 2022

This past week the Escola also organised the first course of 2022– an ad hoc training on Maritime Logistics in hybrid format for 39 students of the Universidad del Pacifico in Peru. The Certification in Maritime Logistics took place over 4 days in Barcelona and included practical workshops on a Ro-Pax vessel of Grimaldi Lines as well as visits to the Port of Barcelona and its terminals.

For more information about the Escola, you can head to the website https://escolaeuropea.eu/training/our-courses/#surco .

 

Forma't al Port Management - December 2021

Discovering the Port and Forma’t al Port: teachers and students get to know the Port of Barcelona in the final weeks of the year

The Forma’t al Port programme managed to recover the numbers of students trained pre-pandemic and trained 590 students in a single year; while the “Discover the Port” initiative was born to give visibility to the port professions to educators.

The Discover the Port initiative has been born with the help of the Port of Barcelona, the Escola Europea and the actors of the training and occupation board of the logistics-port community of Barcelona. Through this programme more than 40 teachers and educators of institutes of Barcelona have been able to learn about the new strategic plan of the Port of Barcelona, along with the update of the study of professional profiles of the port community of Barcelona and that of the infrastructures and companies that accommodate new job opportunities for young people in the area.

This programme aims to inform teachers of the professional profiles that are most in demand and difficult to cover, in order for them to be able to identify and guide potential candidates for these jobs and advise them in their academic and professional career.

Similarly, for students already familiar with the sector, the Forma’t al Port programme was reinvented in a hybrid format to bring the Port of Barcelona and its activities closer to students of Transport and Logistics and International Trade, and to students of the Logistics and Maritime Business Degree, both virtually and in person during the year of health-crisis related restrictions.

In the first half of the year, 530 students attended the Forma’t al Port – Introduction course, which consists of lectures by the different players in the port logistics community, as well as virtual visits to the Port of Barcelona. The students also got to know the Port’s facilities in person through a visit scheduled during a pandemic-safe period of the year.

At the end of the year, in November and December, the Forma’t training returned to its original 100% classroom format and two editions of the Forma’t al Port – Management course were held on board GNV and Grimaldi Lines vessels with a total of 60 participants. The experience proved to be very enriching, as the students were able to interact with their peers from different institutes and the trainers in a safe space.

In view of the success of the programme in recent years, several training centres have applied for partnership in order to be able to offer their students this specialised training. The Escola Europea, the organiser of the courses, is looking for new local sponsors to increase the number of centres and students who can take the courses.

In 2022 the Escola’s team plans to restart face-to-face activities, if the situation permits, and to continue the work of bringing the Barcelona port-logistics community closer to its future professionals.

For more information about Forma’t al Port courses, please contact the programme manager: Marta Miquel – marta.miquel@escolaeuropea.eu.

Escola retains popularity with 1700+ students in 2021 despite the pandemic

Distance learning, digitalisation and online courses marked the evolution of the Escola Europea’s courses despite the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, as was outlined during the bi-annual Executive Committee meeting of the institution held on the 29th of November 2021.

The meeting brought together representatives of the 5 founding partners of the Escola – Catalina Grimalt from the Port Authority of Barcelona, Luca Lupi from the Port Authority of Civitavecchia, Silvio Ferrando from the Port Authority of Genoa, Mario Massarotti from Grimaldi Lines and Mr Antonio Pedevilla from GNV. Representing the Escola Europea, the director Eduard Rodés and the Escola’s Chief Operating Officer Concha Palacios attended.

During the meeting, the Escola’s milestones throughout 2021 were highlighted. The global pandemic has had a toll on the organisation, resulting in an overall drop of courses and students in 2021, as well as in changes in staffing. Nevertheless the pandemic did result in some positive outcomes – with the nation-wide health restrictions the organisation was forced to rethink its course strategy which evolved into a more digitalised approach centering around a Virtual PortLab.

The Escola’s team looked at the evolution of the Escola’s courses and noted that although the organisation has not quite recovered from the drop in 2020, the number of courses has increased to nearly pre-pandemic levels – boding well for the prospects for 2022. In-person courses also restarted in the summer of 2021 as a response to the high demand from partnering universities and educational institutions. This bodes well for the Escola, and the forecast for the coming year is to double the number of courses offered to satisfy this demand.

Towards the end of the year the first edition of the GLIPS (Management of Integrated Logistics and Shipping Processes) course took place as part of the MOST Italy series – which brought 35 professionals from Civitavecchia to Barcelona during the course-workshop and further strengthened the Escola’s commitment to vocational training. Throughout the pandemic the Escola successfully managed to offer Forma’t al Port and the Formati al Porto courses to both Italian and Catalan youth, ensuring the institution’s resilience to unforeseen crises.

During the Committee meeting, a review took place of the projects that the Escola is currently involved in and has planned for 2022. Two ENI CBC Med projects were summarised – YEP MED, in which the Escola is a lead partner, and TechLog. The projects aim to revolutionise the training methodologies offered to young people wanted to enter the port-logistics sector in an increasingly digitised world. Any other new projects under preparation were then presented in advance of their submissions to the European organisations.

2022 looked even brighter in the now newly digitised world of the Escola as the meeting came to a close. The PortVirtualLab platform – initially developed to help support the YEP MED courses as digital learning took center stage in 2020 – will continue to be developed in the coming year with the addition of training profiles of Ship Consignees and Trucking companies. As the platform nears its completion, it will become essential in simulator training for port logistics professionals. The platform serves as a digital copy of real-world port operations, allowing users the flexibility of carrying out transport transactions without the fear of impacting real trade.

The Executive Committee meets twice a year to review the progress and achievements of the Escola Europea’s operations. Its next meeting will take place in the first quarter of 2022.

Icon for the SURCO Operations course

The Escola Europea to kick off 2022 with a course in railway intermodality

Between the 24th to the 28th of January 2022, the Escola will bring back the in-person railway intermodality courses with the newest edition of the SURCO Operations II course. The course offers advanced training in intermodal logistics and international and national railway freight transport.

The training is directed at professionals linked to companies involved with freight transport, shippers and/or port authorities.

The course analyses the different elements required for the provision of rail services and gives the necessary training and information to those who manage logistics chains in which the railroad is seen as a cost-effective alternative for services, cost or time. It also promotes the use of rail transport by exploring its characteristics.

The lecturers of the course are provided by relevant companies in the railway transport sector:   Viia, TMZ Zaragoza, Port de Barcelona, BASF, LFP Perthus, Puertos del Estado, Renfe and Adif. Taking place over 5 days, the course will combine both theoretical lectures on the state of the art of European railways with practical visits to terminals in Barcelona, Zaragoza, and Perpignan (France).

This SURCO course marks a shift back to the Escola’s signature experiential courses following the drastic changes that took place in 2020 and 2021 to help mitigate the effects of the global health crisis.

For more information, you can head to the programme website: https://escolaeuropea.eu/calendar/surco-operations-ii-2022/.