Participants of the inaugural edition of the SURCO Madrid course

The Escola’s takes its signature railway training to Madrid

Promoting rail transport in the intermodal chain, the Escola Europea in collaboration with Puertos del Estado finalised the SURCO Operations II training in Madrid in rail operations.

This January 2023, the first edition of the SURCO – Simple Use of Railway Connections- training took place in Madrid, a training in which different professionals from the public administration and private companies were able to discover the management processes that allow the use of rail transport as a sustainable option in the intermodal chain in depth, in addition to expanding their knowledge of rail infrastructures and intermodal equipment.

For the participants, this was an opportunity to learn about key aspects of the design and management of intermodal chains that integrate the use of railways. Óscar Ródenas, from P&O Ferrymasters, was among the attendees. Reflecting on the course, he highlighted: “Magnificent teaching staff, I have learned a lot in some aspects in which I did not have such extensive and detailed knowledge as they have given me (railway costs, ferro-port terminals). The exchange of views, opinions and knowledge was also very interesting”.

This training, organised and created by the Escola Europea, with the collaboration of Puertos del Estado, Railgroup’s In-Move, the Port of Barcelona, Renfe, ADIF, Viia, Puerto Seco de Madrid, Puerto Seco de Coslada, SLISA and Suardiaz Rail, among other companies in the railway sector, aimed to offer professionals from companies and administrations in the sector a practical and real vision of railway intermodality operations.

After completing its first edition in Madrid, this course, like all editions of SURCO, fulfils the purposes set by the European Union to increase rail traffic and rail motorways in general, as an incentive to promote sustainable mobility in the region, as well as serves as a complement to the plans of the Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda to try to boost rail freight traffic in Spain by making use of the so-called ‘eco-incentives’.

As part of the SURCO series, this training aimed to deepen the understanding of intermodal rail operations between ports and national and international rail inland terminals, focusing on the characteristics and advantages of this type of transport.

This was achieved through theoretical classes given at the Puertos del Estado headquarters, as well as through the resolution of a case study based on real operational scenarios. In addition, participants had the opportunity to learn about intermodal operations and infrastructures through visits to different terminals such as: the intermodal terminal in Coslada and the terminal in Azuqueca de Henares, as well as a visit to the freight and passenger CGO (operations management centre) in Atocha.

Participants of the inaugural SURCO Madrid course during a terminal visit

Theoretical classes focused on the management of railway systems, the European Transeuropean Transport Network, the impact of rail transport on the environment, national and international rail transport and procurement, and the analysis of the costs of rail transport chains.

It is in this context that knowledge of the different aspects surrounding rail freight transport is not only beneficial for professionals but also essential for companies involved in freight transport. This is where the offer of local and international courses and training for professionals, such as SURCO Madrid, takes on special importance.

For more information about the course, you can head to the course page: SURCO Madrid 2023 – Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport.

The War for Talent

When I was younger, the search for employees was very different. Companies created preferred “job profiles,” which would remain unchanged for large periods of time. People would send in their job profiles and hope that they would be accepted for the advertised posts. Those with a university degree (any degree – as frequently the specialisation didn’t necessarily need to be directly linked to the job) were always held in higher esteem. The burden to fill the positions was carried by the unemployed.

We live in a different world now. Workers’ expectations for their professional careers and who they work for have changed. The pandemic has hastened a trend that was already gaining speed in the late ‘10s – of preferred workplace environments, possibilities for employee development and growth, and a work-life balance. On top of that, the rapidly changing nature of work fuelled by technological innovations and environmental ambitions has made job posts flexible, if not obsolete, flexible. This is true when we look at any industry, but when we look at the transport and logistics sector in particular.

The fight for talent

Attracting, identifying, and retaining talent is becoming one of the strategic issues for organisations in the post-Covid world. This is one of the exciting topics currently surrounding Port Logistics Communities (PLCs). Many of the members of these communities depend on each other, and thus the search for solutions and the effectiveness of any joint actions in this field is achieved through common work between different operators. Such inter-cooperation creates a working chain in which the weakest link represents the strength of the entire system. In practice this means that every person should do things to the best of their abilities to ensure overall success.

Until recently, a significant part of operator selection has been done traditionally through general testing and assessment of services. This approach is not ideal to effectively assess increasingly unpredictable or less repetitive operations, which require very short preparation and execution times, and where the margin for failure is small. Moreover, in today’s ever-connected world, it is necessary to rely on the quality of services provided by other participants in the operational chain, which makes individual evaluations complex. Increasingly, relationships must be based on a thorough knowledge of the way our suppliers operate, who then become collaborators and managers of different parts of the operations. Therefore, all of us must be concerned about the entire human element that makes up this team.

The quality of the Port Logistics Community is fundamental for its proper development.

The Port of Barcelona and the Training and Employment Group: a three-sided coin

The Training and Employment group of the Port of Barcelona’s Governing Council tries to help companies in the sector find and maintain the resources they need to adequately fill current and future vacancies. The companies in the port logistics sector are facing a new reality on a day-to-day basis: innovation has become the new fuel for companies, both due to the number of start-ups that pop up and because of the need for large companies to continuously reinvent themselves. This means that what until now was seen as a two-sided coin represented by training on one side and employment on the other, has now morphed into something new; with an third characteristic: innovation. This poses new educational challenges and calls for new training needs – for teachers and students – and new jobs.

To help respond to this situation, a programme made up of several sub-programmes was set up in Barcelona. Incorporating a 360º programme, the idea was to cover all levels of the ecosystem. This system has been called “Vine al Port” in Catalan (or “Come to the Port” in English). It encapsulates various sub-programmes that are aimed at specific audiences: “Descubreix el Port” (Discover the Port), “Aprenem Junts” (Learning together), “Format al Port” (Training in the Port), “Port Talent” (Port Talent) and “Benvingut al Port” (Welcome to the Port).

The goal of this innovative system is to help the Barcelona port community come out strong in the war for Talent by tackling the issues at the fore – identifying what are the training needs that the companies lack, creating training programmes that fill the educational gaps that may exist, helping young students understand the professions of the port community (and what the jobs themselves look like through experiential courses and internships), and then finally filling any existing (or new) positions with the best prepared new workers.

Conclusion

The Escola and the Port of Barcelona have now embarked on this journey to continuously improve the Port Logitics Community. The port must reflect and represent the entire port-logistics community, publicising how its companies treat their staff and how they embody their fundamental values and responsibilities. Doing so will facilitate the community’s public image and therewith help with the war for Talent.

Companies must focus on tangible benefits in the form of good remuneration, mutual health insurance, pension funds, training, promotion, location, etc. It is also important to establish an emotional connection based on initiatives linked to environmental issues, social work or volunteering. In this respect, the PLC can carry out actions that complement what individual companies do with activities such as the food bank or the “Solidarity Container”.

 And finally, a sense of belonging must be fostered so that the people who work in the PLC feel that they are working on a common project with a scope that goes beyond what each one of them could achieve. It is important that this is known, understood and shared. The Port Community should be built together, with the collaboration of all partners involved.

In the new year we will be focusing more on our involvement in this Talent War. Keep an eye out for more news from us which will explain, with great detail, what “Coming to the Port” means and how you, or your colleagues or friends, can get involved to help our Barcelona port thrive.

I wish all of you a fantastic holiday season! 2022 has been, for lack of a more elaborate word, fascinating! The Escola has grown – through our port community, our projects and our initiatives. I am very exited to continue sharing with you our work in the new year.

Bon Nadal I Pròsper Any Nou

 

Written by Eduard Rodés, Director of the Escola EuropeaEduard Rodés

President of the Training and Employment Working Group
Of the Governing Council of the Port Community of Barcelona
Director of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport
Barcelona 12 December 2022

The Escola and In-Move collaborate to promote railways

On the 13th of this month, the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport, a European reference centre for training in logistics and intermodal transport, and Railgrup’s In-Move have signed a collaboration agreement in Barcelona to promote ther use of railway in the intermodal transport chain. 

With this agreement, both entities have committed to raise awareness among transport users and logistic operators to adhere to the European Union’s committment to increase the visibility and practicality of rail transport within the Economic area.

Both In-Move multimodal logistics cluster initiative and the Escola Europea have agreed to offer courses in Spain, which will be aimed at professionals responsible for managing logistics chains in which intermodal transport can be a profitable alternative in terms of service, cost or time. Through this agreement, both companies will form a comprehensive training proposal in intermodal maritime-rail freight transport.

The courses will provide participants with the knowledge and tools to analyse the different elements that are necessary to contract a traint in a transport operation, and understand all of the associated costs, as well as to learn about the infrastructures and intermodal equipment that enable rail transport to be used as part of the multimodal transport chain.

The experiential learning methodology provides a practical point of view, combining theoretical classes and practical visits to transport facilities, introducing the concept of ‘co-modality’ as a tool for improving transport management. In this experience, participants will have access to the railway-port infrastructures, where they will see the logistics and transport operations, their management and their development first-hand, allowing students to experience these operations in person.

Thanks to the agreement between In-Move and the Escola Europea, professionals seeking to specialise in the design of intermodal transport logistics chains will be able to access a unique training offer, designed by both entities and their collaborators –  expert professionals with extensive experience in the rail and maritime freight sectors.

With this commitment, the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transporte strengthens the current offer of its courses and training in rail freight transport which comprise of SURCO Operations I and SURCO Operations II.

 

The intermodal rail course of the Escola Europea is coming to Madrid

Fully committed to including rail in the intermodal transport chain, the Escola Europea, in collaboration with Puertos del Estado and other companies from the railway sector, are taking the SURCO Operations II training course to the Spanish capital.

The intermodal rail SURCO courses – Simple Use of Railway Connections – delve deeper into intermodal rail operations within ports and rail terminals, and focus on the characteristics and advantages of this type of transport.

This edition of the SURCO training, which will take place in the Spanish capital from 23 to 31 January 2023, is designed for professionals from public administration and private companies who are looking for an in-depth knowledge of the infrastructure and intermodal equipment, as well as the management processes that enable rail transport to be used as part of the intermodal chain.

This training, organised and created by the Escola Europea with the collaboration of Puertos del Estado, the Port Authority of Barcelona, Renfe, ADIF, Viia, Puerto Seco de Madrid, SLISA, Suardiz Rail, In-Move de Railgroup, among other companies from the railway sector, seeks formulas so that professionals from companies and administrations can obtain a practical and real vision of railway intermodal operations.

Through theoretical classes, participants will be invited to solve a case study that is based on real operational scenarios. In addition to the theoretical classes and the case study, people will be able to witness intermodal operations first-hand during visits to the Coslada intermodal terminal and the Azuqueca de Henares terminal, as well as a visit to ADIF’s CRC / H24 in Atocha.

The theoretical classes will focus mainly on the management of railway systems, the European TEN-T, the impact of rail transport on the environment, international rail transport and procurement, and the analysis of the costs of rail transport chains.

This training complies with the aims set by the European Union to increase motorways and rail traffic in general, as an incentive to promote sustainable mobility in the region. It is also complimentary to the plans of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda to try to boost rail freight traffic in Spain by taking advantage of the so-called ‘eco-incentives’.

It is in this context that knowledge of the different aspects surrounding rail freight transport is not only beneficial to professionals, but indispensable to companies involved in freight transport. This is where the offer of local and international training courses, such as SURCO Madrid, takes on special importance.

For more information, you can head to the course page:  SURCO Madrid 

2022 sees a record number of students pass through the Escola’s doors as it bounces back up from the pandemic

On Wednesday, the 16th of November the Executive Committee Meeting of the Escola Europea was held. The meeting was chaired by Eduard Rodés. Mario Massarotti representing Grimaldi Group, Antonio Pedevila representing GNV, Silvio Ferrando representing Ports of Genoa, Catalina Grimalt representing the Port of Barcelona and Luca Lupi representing Porti di Roma were in attendance.

The meeting dealt with issues related to the evolution of the Escola’s activities, new initiatives such as Forma’t al Port TALENT, the development of the Port Virtual Lab platform and the organisation’s participation in the Port of Barcelona’s trade mission to Thailand.

The increase in the number of students and new training centres that have joined the Formati al Porto programmes organised by the centre in Italy was also highlighted.

A record number of participants attended logistics and transport workshops throughout the year, with a total of 3,380 participants, three times more than expected. This was in addition to the 2,111 students who attended the technical courses. In total, 5,497 people passed through the Escola’s classrooms in 2022.

During the meeting, the ARETE EXCELLENCE distinction was presented to Luca Lupi, who is leaving the board of the Escola after his appointment as director of the Port of Palermo. Eduard Rodés, on behalf of the Executive Board, thanked him for his involvement and dedication during all these years, wishing him good luck and a lot of success in the new stage of his professional development.

In the photo (from left to right): Catalina Grimalt, Luca Lupi, Eduard Rodés and Concha Palacios. Silvio Ferrando, Antonio Pedevila and Mario Massarotti joined the meeting remotely.

The President of the Port of Civitavecchia has appointed Ms Marta Coppola to represent the Port Authority.

Inauguracion de la primera edición del curso Forma't al Port - Talent

The first edition of the Forma’t al Port – TALENT begins

A high performance programme for specialised training in the transport, logistics and port sector

On Thursday the 3rd of November the opening ceremony of the first edition of the Forma’t al Port Talent programme took place at the premisses of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport. The course is a high-performance training in which participants have had to pass assessment tests and professional interviews before being selected to participate. During the training, candidates will be able to see elements that make up a logistics-port community first-hand. They will also obtain a detailed report on their professional profile at the end of the course which will allow them to be a part of a specialised recruitment database for the companies participating in this training.

With this initiative, the Escola Europea, together with the Port of Barcelona, Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Provincial Council, the Zona Franca and the companies sponsoring the Forma’t al Port programme in its TALENT edition, seeks to solve one of the most significant problems in the sector identified within the framework of the Training and Employment working group of the Port of Barcelona Governing Council: the lack of qualified talent.

The opening ceremony was attended by Eduard Rodés, the director of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport; Agustín Oleaga, non-executive president of DHL Supply Chain Iberia, who shared his experience with the students, giving them advice and recommendations to continue their professional career. In addition, Catalina Grimalt, the deputy director general of the Port of Barcelona gave a speech in English, the language in which the training will take place, encouraging the participants and explaining the role that the Escola Europea has played in the development of qualified professionals in the sector.

Grimalt highlighted the long trajectory that Escola Europea has travelled in technical and specialised training: “For 15 years, like the sector, Escola Europea has constantly evolved, like an organism that follows the Darwinian laws of the survival of the fittest. It has grown, spread its influence along the Mediterranean and Atlantic shores and strengthened its relations with international training centres”.

The training will take place in the Barcelona port area and at sea during a SSS route between Barcelona and Civitavecchia. In addition to technical training, trainees will have the opportunity to develop transversal skills such as teamwork, communication and organisation. This will enable them to learn the technical vocabulary of the sector and to function in an international port environment.

The creation of this programme has been possible thanks to the collaboration between public entities, private companies and the academic sector. As a result, the sponsoring companies will have access to a pool of qualified talent, facilitating recruitment processes and giving access to the most qualified young people in the sector within the region. This will ultimately facilitate a solution to the recruitment processes of highly qualified personnel within the sector.

To this end, the Escola continues to collaborate with public and private entities. Professionals of all levels of experience contribute to the design and implementation of all of its courses, so that what students are taught reflects the reality of the sector.

The Escola Europea as a model for training in the logistics and ports industry in Thailand

On the 25th of October the Escola Europea, together with the Port of Barcelona and the Barcelona port community, signed a collaboration agreement in the framework of the Commercial and Trade Mission of the Port of Barcelona to Thailand. The agreement aimed to build and strengthen relationship with this country.

The document focused on training within the industry between the two port communities and was signed by Santiago Garcia-Milà, the Deputy Director General of Strategy and Development of the Port of Barcelona; Emili Sanz, Vice President of FETEIA-OLTRA; Marta Miquel, Chief Business Officer of the Escola Europea Intermodal-Transport; and Witoon Santibunyarat, President of the Thai International Freight Forwarders Association (TIFFA).

Among other things, the document highlighted the intentions and needs of the industry in both ports and recognised the need to build better trained, qualified, and digitalised port communities to improve the commercial relationship between Spain and Thailand, and make transactions more efficient. All of this was supported by the signatories, namely the Port of Barcelona, the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport, the Spanish Freight Forwarders Federation (Federación Española de Transitaris – FETEIA in Spanish) and TIFFA.

Trade mission in Thailand 2022

The meeting with the Thai International Freight Forwarders Association (TIFFA) was accompanied by a working session entitled “Logistics training”. The session organised as part of the port’s trade mission to Thailand together with associations of consignees, customs agents and forwarding agents from both Barcelona and Bangkok. This event helped configure the training programmes that make up the Barcelona port community, and therewith position itself as a model of reference for the port-logistics fabric of Thailand.

In practical terms, the agreement reached envisioned the promotion of joint activities in the field of training and the implementation of a pilot training course in international trade operations, which will focus on trade transactions between Thailand, Europe and Mediterranean countries. Based on the results of this pilot course and the parties’ interest in further developing the relationship, the establishment of a stable collaboration framework for the development of joint courses will be considered, as well as the exchange of students in the frameworks of international projects. As part of this commitment to training Port Virtual Lab was introduced – a simulation tool for a cluster of companies and entities that make up a virtual port community, and that is able to simulate real operations.

Digitalization of operations is a necessity in today’s industries and that is why the Escola Europea has developed this innovative training platform. Both professionals and students of higher education institutions and can experience firsthand activities related to international trade, all the while interacting with our simulated companies. This way, Port Virtual Lab  provides the practitioner with an experiential learning environment from a distance, one in which users are immersed in a creative social space that allows them to design and experience their own training and innovation.

If you would like to know more about the trade mission, or are curious about the new platform, you can check out the platform website (https://www.portvirtuallab.com) or contact us (international@escolaeuropea.eu).

Participants del curso SURCO Aragón, octubre 2022

Aragon commits to intermodality in rail transport through SURCO

The SURCO Aragón training, promoted by the Escola Europea and ALIA – Clúster Logístico de Aragón, focused on collaborative dynamics and the optimisation of national and international railway operations.

The SURCO – Simple Use of Railway Connections – courses delve into intermodal rail operations within ports and rail terminals, focusing on rail’s characteristics and advantages. In this edition of the course, held from 26 September to 4 October 2022 between Zaragoza, Barcelona and Perpignan, professionals from different parts of the Aragonese and Barcelona region came together to share the fundamental elements of rail logistics and apply them to reality through visits to operators and through the resolution of a practical case study. The training was organised and created in alliance with ALIA – the logistics cluster based in Zaragoza – and with the support of companies such as ViiA, the Zaragoza Maritime Terminal, the Port of Barcelona, Renfe, SLISA, Aragón Plataforma Logística, ADIF and the terminals of Ambrogio, Morrot and APM Terminals.

The training complies with the aims set by the European Union to increase the use of rail motorways and rail traffic in general as an incentive to promote sustainable mobility in the region. It is in this context that knowledge of the different aspects surrounding rail freight transport is not only beneficial for students and professionals but indispensable for companies involved in freight transport. This is where the offer of training courses that focus on local and international aspects, as SURCO Aragón did, take on special significance.

In this edition, 23 professionals from different freight transport companies, freight forwarders and import and export companies from Aragon, alongside others interested in the use of rail transport, were able to understand and subsequently apply the different elements necessary to offer efficient solutions by the inclusion of rail in the multimodal chain.

Theoretical classes focused on the management of railway systems, the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), the impact of rail transport on the environment, procurement and international rail transport, and cost analysis of rail transport chains.

To apply the theoretical concepts, the course incorporated several visits to the railway infrastructures on the border between Spain and France: ViiA’s Le Boulou railway lorry terminal, the Zaragoza Maritime Terminal, the PLAZA intermodal terminal (ADIF), the Ambrogio intermodal terminal, the Morrot railway terminal, the ADIF traffic control centre in Zaragoza and the APM Terminals container terminal.

In addition to the visits and classes, participants worked on a practical case study in groups, which allowed them to put into practice everything they had learned.

For more information about the course, you can head to: SURCO Aragon 2022 – Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport.

Barcelona Port’s Training and Employment Working Group encourages training for road transport

New studies must help companies recruit people trained in the fields of driving and road transport management.

On the 29th of September, in the framework of the Working Group on ‘Training and Employment’ of the Port Authority of Barcelona, an information day has been held regarding the new courses that have launched during the current academic year 2022-23 at the Institute of Logistics of Barcelona and the Institute of the Virgin of the Mercè, as part of the Consortium of Education of Barcelona.

These new studies must help companies recruit people trained in the fields of driving and road transport management.

The road transport sector, through ATEC and SINTRAPORT – the sectoral associations in Barcelona – has identified a lack of specific professional profiles for the development of the economic activity of transport companies. The sector is suffering from the ageing of its workers, especially those engaged in driving, and has detected the lack of profiles as urgent as that of traffic bottlenecks.

In order to combat this situation and attract talent among transport companies in Barcelona, the Barcelona Education Consortium has launched a comprehensive strategy to respond to the situation:

  • The introduction of a new professional training cycle on driving vehicles, to train future lorry drivers.
  • The creation of an integral training center in logistics: the Barcelona Logistics Institute, to prepare courses based on transport management profiles.

It has been noted that throughout 2021 approximately 1000 new vocational training jobs were created from the 11,000 existing ones, and to which 20,000 applications were received. This is in addition to the high employability of students finishing the Dual Training programmes which showed a 70-80% recruitment rate in the first year of completion of the studies, in fields directly related to the studies completed.

In the light of these initiatives, the ‘Training and Employment’ Working Group of the Port of Barcelona Governing Council has organised a day to share the strategy and formative offer initiated by this academic course with the transport community, with the aim of creating synergies between companies and training centres through training projects, dual FP practices and demand-fitting talent recruitment.

During the event Eduard Rodés, the chairman of the Working Group and director of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport, expressed the needs of the sector. He was accompanied by Oscar González, the president of ATEC and Jorge Fernández, the president of SINTRAPORT,.

In response, Josep Ramon Domingo, from the Directorate of Post-Compulsory and Special Regime Education of the Barcelona Consortium, Alex Salinas, the deputy director of the Institute of the Virgin of the Mercè and Mercedes García, teacher and head of studies at the ILB have explained the strategy, content and ways of close collaboration between centers and companies.

Finally, Francesc Bonada, Head of Organization and Sustainability of the Port of Barcelona and Eduard Rodés, have closed the event by recalling the importance of collaboration with the business fabric to know the occupational needs and be able to adapt the training cycles to the current trends of the business community.

Smart Digital Green Ports (SDGP) a training between the Escola Europea and the Port Training Institute

Starting from the 4th until the 8th of September the Smart Digital Green Ports online training will cover solutions for developing digital transformation strategies on ports, as well as environmental sustainability on intermodal transport solutions. 

The Port Training Institute together with the Arab Academy and the Escola Europea gathered a panel of experts in the field to assess the topics for this innovative and much-needed program in the current changing scenario on ports. 

The training out stands in a scenario where Ports are adopting the Smart and Digital adjectives to evolve with the industry needs. Connected, online ports provide a logistical framework that make the necessary Smart, Green and Synchromodality transformations possible.

The smart stands for an optimized in- intra- and outbound flow of goods and information, leading to sustainable, safe, and resilient port operation. And green for the decarbonization of maritime transport for goods and vessels. 

Some of the Escola’s specialized teachers will bring their perspective and knowledge to this training: Mrs. Jessica Celvini as Freight Forwarder lecturer, Marco Muci as environmental and sustainability expert, together with PhD Oriol Vilaseca in Blue and Green Economy. In addition to Eduard Rodés, Director of the Escola Europea, who together with Alaa Morsy, Dean of the Port Training Institute, and Marco Muci, Country Manager of the Escola Europea in Italy, will attend the opening and closing sessions of this training.

Green Ports are responsable of innovative concepts such as low-emission energy supply and production, sustainable alternatives of on-shore supply. Integrating also the latest technology tools to carry out more efficient and secure port operations. Trainings such as these are fundamentally necessary for reaching Smart, Digital and Green Ports among the Mediterranean.

For further information here you can find the general agenda for the course as well as detailed information about this training, that will be held online.