Virtual Meetings are becoming the norm

Towards blue virtual training

Lidia Slawinska

Written by Lidia Slawinska, Consultant

In recent times a vast number of technological transformations has encompassed the maritime sphere. A recent study (2020) commissioned by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG Move) analysed different social aspects of the maritime transport of goods, and identified two technological trends that are particularly visible on the blue horizon in the near future: autonomous and intelligent shipping. The prediction is that in the next three decades these two developments will have become the norm. Ship workers will soon be surrounded by technology that assists in the vessel’s functions, leading to a potential operational redundancy. Terminal operators and freight forwarders will have to deal with smart ports, the Internet of Things, and virtual realities, and the role of the ship operators will shift towards the virtual sphere. This implies a very different training paradigm for the future transport professional – as very different skills will become invaluable. Future professionals will need to acquire an amalgam of different skills, blending the mechanical with the technological, and educational institutions will need to adapt. Covid-19 has doubtlessly accelerated this timeline towards virtual training.

The maritime industry is playing an essential role in the short-term emergency response to COVID-19 by easing the transport flows of vital commodities and products. Although a considerable number of ports has succeeded to stay open to cargo operations, the sector has been hit regardless, and economic losses have been recorded by ports across the Mediterranean. Most of the ports still remain closed to passenger traffic. Mid and long-term recovery will need to further enhance sustainability and resilience of the maritime transport sector as a whole, for sustaining jobs, international trade, and global economy, as much as possible.

The Coronavirus pandemic been instrumental in shifting the ways in which we operate. Overcoming physical distances has become essential to ensure the continued development of businesses ranging across all industries – with the education sector particularly being hit hard. The solution for many has been to turn towards digitisation. Automation, artificial intelligence and the growth of the Internet of Things has enabled many companies and institutions to reshape their business models and operate in remote environments.

The growth of the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is facilitating the move towards a virtual training reality

For a centre like the Escola, which relies on experiential learning methodologies, the technological shift has proved particularly tricky. It’s proven approach towards delivering knowledge through a combination of theoretical lectures and practical workshops is quite difficult to replicate in a digital environment – even with the help of the increasingly popular online meeting applications such as Zoom, WebEx and Go2Meeting. A solution has presented itself in the form of a new project – YEP-MED, or the “Youth Employment in the Ports of the Mediterranean”, which will be launched in September 2020.

The project, headed by the Escola Europea and with 11 partners coming from 7 countries on the Northern and Southern shores of the Mediterranean (Spain, Italy, France, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan), has been selected as one of the projects under the European Neighbourhood Instrument CBCMED in 2020 (http://www.enicbcmed.eu/) . The goals of the project are to adapt training to the sector’s real needs and allow for the acquisition of skills to succeed in the work context; to strengthen the ability of Port Authorities and training centres to combine training and job placements by collaborating with at least 600 companies in 7 countries of the ENI area; and increasing employment rates of young people and women and offering them a real possibility to work within personalised mentoring and tutor programs.

How will this training be offered, in the aftermath of Covid-19? To replace the regular experiential approach of the Escola’s proven methodology, YEP-MED will take the training into the virtual world. The students will take part in teleconferences during workshops and debates with professionals and teachers. These will be accompanied by online on-demand training, which the students will need to complete during the 3 week long courses. If the health-related crisis subsides and the situation permits it, visits to port installations will accompany the on-demand classes. The final element to cement knowledge acquisition will be simulation. Working with ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems, the project partners will re-create digital twins of the port communities involved in the project. They will then ask the participants to take over practice enterprises and solve certain case studies involving transport operations. This system will ensure that the participants (albeit remotely) experience the operations themselves, and gain a considerable amount of experience before entering the work force.

Whether or not this new approach will prove effective, and will become the blueprint to use in future maritime training schemes, is to be seen. Being able to experience the operations in a world as complex as the maritime world is essential to prepare young people for real life operations. The virtual world cannot ever completely replace the physical experience – but in today’s reality it is the best option that educators have to prepare future professionals. Automated processes on board of ships, the internet of things, and smart ports all contribute and make the ERP more reliable and easier to programme. Different sectors have already taken the virtual plunge with training (air transport being one of the most famous ones, given the high cost and risk of real-life tests). Perhaps the sea is next in line.

 

Written by:

  • Lidia Slawinska

 

Useful links:

RePort project nearing its close – 26 trucks modified to run on natural gas

On the 10th of June 2020, the final training organised under the RePort project took place, which focused on the efficient driving techniques of vehicles equipped with natural gas. The participants followed strict health and safety guidelines applied in accordance with the Spanish government guidelines aimed to limit the spread of Covid-19.

The training consisted of a theoretical class on efficient driving techniques of trucks transformed to run on Natural Gas under the framework of the RePort project, as well as practical workshops in said trucks and with drivers who have attended previous theoretical parts of the training but had yet to complete the practical aspects.

In total, throughout the lifetime of the project, 26 trucks have been adapted to carry natural gas, and their respective drivers have received the corresponding training to operate them safely and efficiently.

The RePort project begun in January 2016. It aims to reduce the air pollutant and acoustic emissions at the Port of Barcelona, with the overall goal of improving the air quality of the city. The project, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, is nearing its end.

RePort - Mobilitat Eco

The overall goal of the RePort has been to develop an innovative technology to convert Diesel engines into Dual-Fuel ones, making it possible for them to run on gas, therewith making them more sustainable and less polluting. The partners have been contributing to the consolidation of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as a real, efficient and sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuels. This helped contribute to the development of a logistics hub within the port area where trucks run on these alternative fuels. This has been in line with the Port of Barcelona’s Sustainable Development Plan, which has set guidelines for a new and more sustainable industrial transportation sector to emerge in the Catalan capital.

The partners involved in RePort are:

The RePort project will finalise in July 2020.

The Port of Barcelona completes the RePort project with 26 trucks converted to dual-fuel

The RePort project, led by the Port of Barcelona is making positive progress and preparing for its final phase. The initiative aims to promote natural gas as an alternative fuel for trucks.

“Today we already have 25 trucks transformed to support compressed natural gas (CNG), and of the remaining one will be transformed to liquefied natural gas (LNG). For this we will put some LNG tanks and adapt the engine so it can work with both diesel and gas,” explained Daniel Ruiz, environmental consultant for the introduction of Liquefied Natural Gas to the Port of Barcelona.

On the 19th of February Daniel Ruiz presided over the general assembly of the RePort project. The meeting aimed to clarify the last points of the final phase of the project, which is scheduled to end on 15 April this year. This included “closing the technical part of the project and the economic justification, where all the documentation must be submitted in order to process the grant”. Also, the meeting served to “talk about the last transformation of the trucks to LNG”.

According to Ruiz, the transformed trucks correspond to different companies that are part of the Association of Container Transport Companies (ATEC according to its Spanish name).

In the words of Daniel Ruiz, the most important thing of this initiative, led and coordinated by the Port of Barcelonam, is the “reduction of emissions of NOx and CO2”, alongside the “reduction of the economic bill, as the use of natural gas results in less consumed diesel, therefore making it more profitable for truckers”.

The RePort project

 The RePort project planned for “the transformation of 26 trucks that operate in the Port of Barcelona and transport containers of goods, transforming them from diesel to the dual-fuel mode, with the use of compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas,” said Daniel Ruiz, from the Port of Barcelona.

RePort is funded by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund under the Catalan FEDER Operational Programme, managed by Acció, the Catalan Government’s agency for business competitiveness.

The project partners are the Association of Container Transporters (ATEC), Gas Natural Fenosa, Generalitat de Catalunya, Dimsport Spain, IDIADA or the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, and the Escola Europea-Intermodal Transport, among others.

Daniel Ruiz reiterated that “the transformation of the engines has consisted of the installation of a switchboard”, which controls the injection of gas into the engine and gas tanks. Of the trucks that are part of the project, 25 have a deposit of compressed natural gas and one has been equipped with liquefied natural gas.

For more information about the project, you can visit the project pages:

 

 

Source:

Diario del Puerto

The Escola consolidates TransLogMED and SailNet projects in Algeria

Between the 9th and 10th of February, the Escola Europea has consolidated the TransLogMED and SailNet projects in Algeria by signing agreements with various significant national institutions of the logistics sectors.

The Escola’s director, Eduard Rodés, met with the president of the national group of port services – Serport, Mr. Achour Djellol, to sign the collaborative document in the framework of the TransLogMED project. The project aims to promote the benefits of the Motorways of the Sea as tools for sustainable development and the creation of employment in the port logistics sectors in the Mediterranean region.

As part of the promotional visit, and to increase collaboration within the country, Mr Rodés visited Aouidette Djelloul, the president of the National Union of Freight Forwarders and Commissionaires of Algeria (Union Nationale des Transitaires et Commissionaires en douane agréés Algériens – UNTCA).

The Escola has already held various activities in Algeria in relation to this project. Futhermore in 2019 a MOST (Motorways of the Sea Training) course dedicated exclusively to Algerian operators will take place.

On the second day of the visit Eduard Rodés met with Abdallah Seriai, the president of the Professional Association of Algerian Maritime Agents (APAMA) and Aziz Mantrach, the president of Fonasba, the international federation of maritime agents, to formally incorporate Algeria in the SAILNET project, a programme nurturing education and international mobility established in seven countries (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Morocco, Tunisia, Argentina and now Algeria). The goal of this project is to establish a unique knowledge network through courses and exchange programmes for young professionals of the maritime and logistics sectors, therewith fostering potential future collaboration between companies in the participating countries.

As part of the event, a presentation on the position of the cosignatory agent as interpreted by international law took place, followed by an introduction to the new agreements between FONASBA and BIMCO (the International Maritime and Baltic Council).

Check out the website http://www.sailnetprogramme.com to find out more about the SAILNET Programme and the Escola’s website to learn all about TransLogMED: https://www.escolaeuropea.eu/projects/translogmed/

TransLogMED helps connect the Magreb with European shores

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

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

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

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

 

The Escola and FONASBA sign collaboration agreements with the first partners for the SAILNET Programme

On the 28th of September 2018, the director of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport, Eduard Rodes, travelled to Naples to sign an agreement of collaboration with the partners of the SAILNET Programme: Mr. Gian Enzo Duci from FEDERAGENTI (Italy), Mr. A. Mantrach from APRAM (Morocco), Mr. António Belmar from AGEPOR (Portugal) and Mr. Walid Dziri from All seas Shipping Agency (Tunisia). The meeting took place during the Naples Shipping Week assembly dedicated to “Port&ShippingTech”.

The signature of the agreement constitutes the kick-off of the Escola’s new exchange programme: SAILNET – Ship Agents Interchange Learning Network. This project has the aim to implement a unique network of knowledge made of courses and internships for young and promising maritime and logistics managers.

SAILNET is an international training and exchange programme successfully established today in 6 countries (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Morocco, Tunisia and Argentina). The course is an interactive, hands-on series of sessions designed to provide young professionals with knowledge and leadership skills, with the content of the sessions building on each other.

Promoted by FONASBA/ECASBA and ESCOLA EUROPEA with the support of the national shipping agents associations of the involved countries, the main aim of SAILNET Programme is to implement an Exchange programme, which may lead to possible collaborations between the companies and firms of the internships. This kind of international and intercultural approach also fosters the creation of new and lasting relationships and, more widely, of a network of people from around the world that could one day result in solid professional and collaborating bonds.

Check out the website http://www.sailnetprogramme.com to find out more about the SAILNET Programme.

For more information on the Escola you can write to info@escolaeuropea.eu.

The Motorways of the Sea to connect Africa to the European shores

This autumn the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport, in conjunction with the National Agency of Ports of Morocco (l’Agence Nationale des Ports – ANP) will organise a conference on the motorways of the sea (MoS) as new tools towards logistics development in Africa. The event will take place on the 3rd of October in Casablanca, Morocco, and it will bring together government representatives and directors of logistics companies in the region, as well as heads of training centres.

The conference will aim to raise awareness among local professionals of the practicalities and the benefits of MoS and intermodal transport as tools for sustainable development and job creation in the logistics sector. Existing short sea shipping services will be presented, alongside descriptions of the Escola’s activities that extend to the African continent.

The Escola’s founding partners, the Ports of Barcelona, Roma and Genoa, and the shipping lines GNV and Grimaldi Lines, are sponsoring the event, with the collaboration of the ANP and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).

Opening the conference, the director general of ANP Mrs Nadia Laraki, alongside Mrs Amane FETHALLAH, Director General of the Merchant Navy and Mr Francesc Carbonell from the UfM, will introduce the intermodal transport solutions existing between the European and African shores. This will be followed by three panels that will focus on innovative training for intermodality, infrastructures for intermodal development, and the different actors from the motorways of the sea respectively. The language of the conference will be in French.

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

The Propeller Club Barcelona plans activities for 2018 and 2019

On Thursday, the 5th of June, the Board of Directors of the Propeller Club Barcelona met to review the activities of the past year and to approve meetings and activities for the second half of 2018 and 2019.

Among the topics covered in the meeting were:

  • Review of the current memberships of the Club
  • A summary of scheduled colloquium lunches in 2018 along with a list of invited speakers. In September this will include Miquel Camps (vice president of PIMEC and president of PIMEC Autónomos); in October Maite Osés (from Nafosa, Grupo Osés); and in November, Mercè Conesa, President of the Port of Barcelona)
  • A planning of the monthly lunches for 2019. Dates have been proposed for each of the months in 2019, pending confirmation
  • A summary of events to take place in 2018 and 2019 that directly impact the Propeller Club. These included the annual social and benefit event of the Club, the V award for the Propeller Club, and the 2019 General Assembly meeting
  • Finally the steps necessary to take by the Club in light of the new GDRP law that came into effect in May 2018 were summarised to the members of the board.

The Propeller Club Barcelona is a partner in the Escola’s Forma’t al Port project. For more information access the project website or visit the Club’s website.

Butransa Spain collaborates in Forma’t al Port with the Escola

On the 3rd of July, the director of the Escola Eduard Rodés met with Francisco Cuartero, the CEO of Butransa Spain to cement their collaboration in the Forma’t al Port program. The program, sponsored by the Port of Barcelona, Barcelona-Catalunya Logistics Center, the Provincial Council of Barcelona (Diputació de Barcelona) and the Escola Europea, has completed the first semester of its second triennium (2018-2020).

The program, through which the port community approaches students of Transport and Logistics, and International Trade, ended the year 2017 with a record high participation rate. 419 students had had contact with the Port of Barcelona and the business in its community, compared to 2016’s 114 students.

The courses organised under the umbrella of Forma’t al Port encourage the incorporation of students into dual training schemes within the businesses of the sector, with the overall goal of helping to prepare a future logistics community that is able to meet the strategic challenges of the Catalan region.

Forma’t al Port has taken a break for the summer and will return in the autumn with fresh courses for local high school students. There are two Management courses scheduled in October and November respectively, set to take place both in Barcelona and Genova.

Thanks to its brilliant results, the program continues with the goal of helping position Barcelona and Catalonia in the first line of logistics activities in Europe and the world.

For more information go to the webpage of the project: www.escolaeuropea.eu/format or contact us at: formatalport@escolaeuropea.eu

The port of Barcelona adapts 26 trucks for LNG to reduce emissions

This is done under the RePort project, which is financed with European funds for regional development.

The port of Barcelona has adapted a total of 26 vehicles for its propulsion through liquefied natural gas (LNG) in an initiative led by the Port Authority of Barcelona in collaboration with ATEC, the Generalitat and Gas Natural, among other partners. The RePort project aims to promote the use of natural gas as an alternative fuel for trucks within the port area, with the aim of reducing polluting emissions. Within the framework of the project, the engines of a total of 26 trucks have been transformed into the dual-fuel modality. This adaptation allows the engines to use diesel and natural gas simultaneously, contributing to improve the air quality of the port and its immediate surroundings.

The RePort project is integrated into the Ris3cat Movilitat Eco Community, coordinated by Ficosa and co-financed with funds from the European Regional Development Fund, and managed by the Department of Action of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In addition to Ficosa and the Generalitat, the rest of the partners of the initiative, led by the port of Barcelona, are the Container Business Owners Association (ATEC), Gas Natural Fenosa, Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), Idiada, the School of Engineering of East Barcelona (EEBE-UPC), Dimsport Spain, Renewable Technical Consulting (RTC) and the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport.

On Tuesday the 12th of June a presentation of the project detailed the tests planned for the coming months of the 26 trucks to evaluate the effectiveness of the modification. During the presentation, the president of the Port Authority Sixte Cambra, underlined that the RePort project is part of the Catalan Port’s Plan for the Improvement of Air Quality. He stressed that this plan is extremely ambitious and that there is a need to increase the use of natural gas to achieve its objectives.

The control of gas emissions in trucks falls under the responsibility of IDIADA, while the Barcelona Supercomputing Center is responsible for the modeling of the dispersion of pollutant emissions from port activities in both port and city environments of Barcelona. In addition, the RePort project also includes the installation of a real-time monitoring system from Renewable Technical Consulting (RTC) onto each truck, wiht the aim of calculating the percentage of gas replacement along with various other parameters of the engine and the route. Gas Natural Fenosa is responsible for designing the logistics of the supply of natural gas along the main routes that the trucks make either originating or terminating in the Port of Barcelona to establish the points where it will be necessary to install points of supply of this fuel, as well as the cost that this would entails. Finally, the Escola Europea-Intermodal Transport has carried out an efficient driving course for the drivers of the 26 tractors powered by vehicular natural gas (NGV), training them also in safety and handling of this fuel.

For more information about the RePort project you can consult the project page or the Port of Barcelona’s website.