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.

SDG Airlines

We fly!

The Escola takes to the air!

SDG Airlines

Eduard Rodés - Director of the Escola Europea Intermodal Transport

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

Not literally, of course! Traditionally, in our courses, we have always focused on various modalities of transport – excluding air! Air transport was always considered as a costly alternative, and not appropriate for large freight shipments. Over the past two years, however, we have made leaps in virtual education and created new educational and innovation tools based on simulators. Whilst still experiential, the simulators that we now use morphed from the constructivist educational model to a behaviorist one. With this new model, we were also able to add air routes, and so a new air cargo transport company – SDG Airlines – was born: A company full of ambition and born in a logistic-port community in which the air sector plays a fundamental role, and without which it would not be possible to understand the current realities of logistics and transport.

Richard Florida says that human creativity is the last economic resource, and I believe he is quite right. Time has also proven him right. Societies advance by leaps and bounds, and ours has been leaping a lot: COVID, climate change, energy crises, geopolitical crises, are only some of the challenges that have pushed us. Along the way we, as a society, keep trying to move forward relentlessly, and for that it is essential to believe in what we do. We need to think that what we dedicate our time to is important to our society.

In the Escola’s latest leap, pushed perhaps more so with the COVID pandemic, we were forced to develop the a virtual port community – the PortVirtualLab (http://pvl.one). After two years, it has grown to be a very important training tool; one which is already implemented in 7 countries and continues to grow in both scope and performance.

The success of the platform can be assigned to the fact that it allows us to move away from an approach that focuses on the learning of contents to one oriented towards criticism and reasoning, seeking to change the student’s point of view. A different point of view, from within the operations themselves; one that allows the student to take on the role of the protagonist. At the Escola we say that the space we build is an avatar of reality, and what we try to do is to immerse the students in this virtual space. They should think of the simulated companies as real ones – I recommend for you to visit our virtual airline company – SDG Airlines – http://sdgairlines.com– and try to interact with them as you would with any internet entity. At the same time, we make our students work in both close and distant teams to complete the operations. The telematic tools become the means that allow the operations to be carried out. Let’s not forget that the vast majority of people close to us have had the means and have learned to use these tools in the last few months – something that was not necessarily the case at the onset of the pandemic.

The simulated world that we have to create and represent mentally helps us understand and explain the operations.  When we are confronted with a given phenomenon, the content of the mental representations we construct depends on the questions we want to answer. It depends on the needs, interests, and emotions of each individual. In our case, this world is represented by international trade operations that require the design and management of international logistic chains that mainly use maritime and air transport.

The companies that we designed companies could be mistaken for real ones, but they have the added characteristic of incorporating values that aim to meaningfully construct knowledge and train for civic life. We hope that our students are convinced that respect and commitment to the environment, people and society is the best way for everyone and that this should guide any business operations.  Visual perception, comprehension, reasoning and symbolic interpretation (hermeneutics) influence this construction. Students are guided, in turn, by people’s technical and scientific knowledge, by their previous experiences, by the way in which information is processed and by motivational aspects regarding the context in which they are constructed.  Therefore, learning is related to what the student understands, and the student understands only what interests or excites him.

In this construction process, the teacher -or we can call him a mentor- tries to make the student bring to light the knowledge he possesses with his help, which in Socratic thinking would be helping to “give birth” to ideas, but in our environment, this should favor the transformation of culture.

Our PVL platform also fosters personal training and socialization processes as, by its very definition, it is necessary to get to know the people who make up the work teams, as well as the people in the support teams (agents) who are there to help carry out the operations. The participants can engage in a variety of social interactions (such as games that we have not (yet) initiated). This somehow constructs our identity – the one we want to project to others – according to the contexts we encounter in conversations. These conversations allow us to reveal who we are, and that usually brings us satisfaction.

In the part related to cultural change, activities are structured according to certain binding rules regarding what we must do or not do, which will shape the ethical aspects of how we approach and prioritize operations, and what we expect from others.

How to act, how to proceed, and what to expect from others – all are central aspects of our courses. Finally we hope that this process and these activities will lead our students to Areté, to know how to do, and in the manner of the Greeks, to know how to do well (tékhne).

Education becomes a social activity that builds us personally and professionally, and in which practice and communication with others form a process of reciprocal action among participants.

The reality is that we lead students to work together, to get to know each other and to know how to work together. This is difficult to achieve in a normal classroom. We seek to change the space of coexistence traditionally linked to “out of class” activities to a relationship that will allow a collaborative and productive environment that can contribute to the bettering of our society, and therefore to a transformation of the reality that improves it.

In the process of building the platform we have had good teachers, or as Hernán Rodriguez would say, we have had ‘good’ teachers; that is to say, professionals who are not only technically prepared, but also ethically adequate. We therefore propose, as an educational task, the permanent search for excellence (Areté).

We are looking for a type of teacher “who has charisma (gift) and dedication in the art of the Socratic Method: to “illuminate” the best that the student has within himself; allowing the development of the capacities that each one has to transform his life and help transform the lives of others. Here lies the challenge for the teacher. And here is also the challenge for this constructionist proposal”[1].

The courses with pvl.one are a transformative experience for teachers and students, and this has made us fly in the field of education and in the field of intermodal transport.

Now we would like to be able to fly together with teachers, students, and training centers all over the world.

Because we fly!

Sincerely,

Eduard Rodés

Director

Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport

 

[1] Dr. Hernán Rodríguez Villamil – Del constructivismo al construccionismo: implicaciones educativas. Revista Educación y Desarrollo Social Bogotá, D.C., Colombia – Volumen II – No. 1 enero – junio de 2008 – ISSN 2011-5318

Commercial Container Ship

HydroPen: A solution to container fires?

Ever since man was able to transport goods by sea, hazards and dangers have existed to the cargo involved. Starting from the ancient Greeks, the design and size of ships continued to evolve to match the demand that was growing in an increasingly connected society. In the 20th century sea transport became more even extensive as our society became more globalised and technology more developed.

There is no doubt that cargo transport by sea has drastically evolved over the years. However, as with anything, with larger volumes and varieties of goods carried, more risk emerged. Container fires are unfortunately very common – today they happen on average every 66 days. It is up to industry experts to try to figure out a way to prevent or contain catastrophes – and it looks like the Danish company Viking has come up with a solution that will help shippers mitigate such risks with the HydroPen.

History of container fires

Whenever a large fire breaks out aboard a ship, the cargo on board is determined to be the cause. The contents of containers can shift around, burn, explode or even liquify if proper storage and handling is not carried out.

Following many disasters at sea that caused either massive losses in life or in cargo, the International Maritime Organization came up with regulations to try to prevent or minimise such disasters in 1958. Because of this, a lot of dangerous freight can be tracked. Freightwaves reports that today, 10% of 60 million of maritime containers moved globally are declared as dangerous goods under the IMO regulations. Unfortunately, 1/5th of those are either poorly packed or incorrectly identified – therewith increasing risk of container fires and potential maritime disasters.

Common causes of container fires

There have been quite a few large container fires in recent history. The first step to eliminating such disasters would be for the industry to identify the risks, follow the safety standards, and develop feasible fire prevention and containment technologies.

The most common cause of container fire continues to be misdeclaration of container cargo. This could be assigned to either clerical errors or to nefarious activities, but in both cases can lead to huge destructions of property and a loss of life. Another cause could be improper container storage. In the past, dangerous seas have caused shifts in improperly secured containers aboard ships, which then resulted in fires or explosions. Finally, the third most common cause is improper fire containment, control equipment and staff training. Better fire-fighting equipment on board the ships, with crew that is fully trained in its usage, could help offset the fire risks at sea.

Other common causes of ship fires can be assigned to:

  • Engine malfunction
  • Improper electrical wiring
  • Improper handling of kitchen equipment on board of vessels
  • Mislabelled combustible cargo

Industry solutions

After each catastrophe, industry partners and insurance companies have tried to carry out analyses to determine what the causes were, and thus help prevent similar fiascos in the future. Many insurance companies have already stressed the need to promote better ship designs and fire-fighting equipment to help the crew manage any potential misfortunes (Allianz Global).

New technologies seem to be the answer. Recently, the Nordic company Viking has come up with a new tool – the HydroPen – which has promising potential. This tool is an “innovative, water-based drilling machine that enables crew to effectively and efficiently fight container fires high up in the stack.” It consists of two components – a lift to raise a drill or spray unit to the location of a fire and the unit itself.

How does it work?

In the event of a fire inside a container on board of a ship, the HydroPen can drill through a standard container door or wall. It then can use a special hose, which is connected to the vessel’s fire main. Using pressurised water, it can spray the insides of the container and put out the fire before it can spread beyond the container (causing more damage to other cargo and potentially the vessel itself. With proper training, this tool could potentially prevent large maritime disasters.

For more videos on how the HydroPen works, you can also head to the Viking YouTube channel.
 

Final thoughts

There is no doubt that the shipping industry continues to evolve – with larger distances, larger shipments, and a larger variety of cargo. For the shipping industry to remain safe and efficient, it needs highly trained staff that know how to protect the cargo during the vessel trajectories, employees that know how to properly label cargo, and innovative technological solutions that can help mitigate any potential risks that may arise from circumstances out of our control.

Vessel operations are highly complex. At the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport we offer an array of courses that can help you expand your knowledge of the industry from the perspective of the shipper, the freight forwarder, the port authority and the end client. If you are interested in knowing more, you can check out our available courses or contact us directly for more information.

Sources:

Why are shortsea shipping routes on trend?

In 2021 Shortsea Shipping recorded an 11.7% increase over 2020, and managed to surpass 2019’s figures, when 269 million tons were moved, according to Shortsea data.

The so called ‘Butterfly effect’ that has is origin from the Chinese proverb: “The flapping of a butterfly’s wings can be felt on the other side of the world.” It can be used to illustrate the causes and changes that led to the increase of short sea shipping traffic and routes in the Mediterranean. This led to the need for specialized talent capable of managing intermodal transport logistics chains.

Several factors have influenced this upward trend in short sea shipping, mainly the shortage of truck drivers and the relocation of production from Asia to Africa or even Europe and thus changing the maritime trade routes.

Why this?

Shortage of truck drivers

One of the factors responsible relies on the global shortage of truck drivers, specifically, 2.6 million jobs were left unfilled worldwide in 2021, according to the Driver Shortage Global Report 2022: Summary.

Some of the reasons why truck driver positions are disappearing are: the difficulty finding operational workforce, since the average age for truck drivers is 55 years, in addition to being a profession that requires long periods away from home, which is a hindrance for the younger generations, who are more aware of the need for work-life balance. These reasons are compounded by the lack of female drivers and the lack of training and, therefore, of qualified drivers.

In addition to this, restrictions and problems for supply chain worldwide led to a shift in lower risk production locations, increasing local production.

Supply chain shifts and energetic dependency

China’s zero covid policy have aggravated problems in supply chains worldwide, especially in the Mediterranean, and have had a direct or indirect impact on European industries, which have opted on the recovery of production in Europe and America to the detriment of Asia.

Moreover, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has made clear that the only way to be energy independent is through renewable energies, therefore decarbonizing the transport sector.

Beyond being on trend, the shortsea shipping routes have proven to be the most effective solution to these disruptions, being not only strategic for industries but more sustainable in the short and long term. Facing global supply chain adaptations, energy dependency issues and the urgent need to decarbonize the sector, as well as the need for qualified workforce for intermodal transport, see highway in the Mediterranean are becoming great commercial routes.

Therefore, more and more specialized talent capable of managing intermodal transport logistics chains might be needed because of this changing scenario.

Shortsea Shipping Transport Talent

In a short future scenario companies form the logistics and transportation sector might need more qualified talent capable of managing intermodal transportation logistics chains, as this is the most cost-effective and environmentally sustainable option.  Trainings like Most Iberia are top gear and economical options for professionals or companies seeking to specialize its personnel with the latest trends and topics in the sector.

Source: El renacer comercial de las autopistas del mar | Actualidad Económica (elmundo.es)

The Steering Committee demonstrates the solid advances of the YEP MED project

The YEP MED project is moving towards the expected results at a great pace: more than 25 training courses developed and more than 1300 participants

The YEP MED Project (Youth Employment in the Ports of the MEDiterranean) has brought together the members of the Steering Committee on 7th, 8th and 9th of June in a hybrid way, physically at the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport, in Barcelona, and online.

Throughout the presentations of the different activities to be developed within the framework of the project, which aims to motivate employment in the logistics-port sector through specialised training focused on young people and women, they confirmed that the project is progressing in accordance with the objectives set and has become a key element of cooperation in the field of training and collaboration between logistics-port communities in the Mediterranean.

The Project officers, Dua’a Qurie and Alessandro Zedda, together with Vincent Ernoux, member of the ENI Branch office in Valencia, participated actively in the meetings on behalf of the ENI CBC MED programme, as well as the members of the different logistic-port communities and their institutions: Aqaba Development Corporation (Jordan), Autorità di Sistema Portuale del Mar Tirreno Centro-Settentrionale (Italy), Office de la Marine Marchande et des Ports and Institut Miéditerraneen de Formation Aux Métiers Maritimes (Tunis), Fundación ValenciaPort (Spain), Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport and Port de Barcelona (Spain), Chamber of Commerce of Beirut Mount-Lebanon (Lebanon), Damietta Port Authority and Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport (Egypt).

 

The steering commitee approved the extension of the project from 30 to 36 months, bringing the project to an end in September 2023. To date, it has been agreed that there will be two more meetings between the project partners: the next steering committee meeting to be held in Civitavecchia at the end of this year and the final project event to be held in Damietta in June 2023.

So far, the partners of the project have developed more than 25 training courses with the participation of more than 1300 participants in all the countries involved in the project. As a whole and analysing the results obtained at this stage of the project, YEP MED has proved to be of great added value for the different port communities, aligning the needs of the sector with training, providing an innovative methodology for training future workers and inviting cooperation between people, communities and countries in the Mediterranean.

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.

The Escola Europea is committed to sustainability and digitisation

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

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

#DidYouKnow – The increasing threat of cyber attacks on ports

Living in an increasingly digitised world has decreased distances between countries. The world doesn’t seem to be vast anymore – countries in the northern hemisphere can get tropical fruits from the southern hemisphere (and vice versa) at a few days’ notice. Communication between different countries has become instantaneous. The increasing innovations have made our planet seem a lot smaller.

The port sector has also been riding this innovation wave. In the final years of the twentieth century, and in the first decades of the twenty first century, ports have been going through a digital transformation to keep up with any new challenges, optimising their operations and creating new strategies (including automation, RFID tagging, etc). All of this has been centred on the ability to interconnect information technologies and operation technologies, cloud computing, the internet of things, big data, among others.

All this modernisation has come at a price – and digital innovation has given rise to cyber threats and cyber-attacks. This has not left any industries unaffected. Ports, as vital infrastructure points to nation-states – have become frequent targets to both national, international and clandestine attacks. During their own digitalisation efforts, ports need to ensure that cybersecurity stays at the forefront, whilst being considered a facilitator of automation and future developments. The transition into the digital sphere has thus morphed into cybersecurity challenges that ports need to address before realising the complete potential of innovative technologies. This is why we decided to deal with cybersecurity in ports for this month’s #DidYouKnow article.

What kinds of cyber threats exist for ports?

Making sure that ports are safe from cyber threats is critical towards ensuring safe and secure operations of ships both at sea and onshore. This is not a new issue – the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has already adopted various resolutions that aim to minimize (if not eliminate) cyber risks in the maritime industry. For example, under the IMO’s resolution MSC.428(98), port administrations need to ensure that the systems that are in place in their communities appropriately address any risks or security concerns for vessels that may exist in cyberspace. This is because port operations are vital in international and national maritime trade. It is within their boundaries that vessels arrive, load, and unload their cargoes, top up fuel, and carry out other vital information towards the proper functioning of the global supply chain.

In the modern digital world, port cybersecurity must be seen as a top priority for any transport operation

There are many types of cyber risks that can affect ports and their operations. These can be grouped the following 7 categories (which are by no means finite as the digital sphere is a constantly evolving creature).

  • Eavesdropping, interception, hijacking -This group of risks includes, but is not limited to, incidents such as the interception of emissions, sensitive information, network reconnaissance, network traffic manipulation, etc.
  • Nefarious activity & abuse – This group of risks includes, but is not limited to, incidents such as the denial of service, malware, brute force, identity theft, phishing, targeted attacks, abuse and theft of data, manipulation of information, etc.
  • Disaster – These risks can emerge as a result of environmental disasters, natural disasters, etc.
  • Unintentional damage – These can include the use of unreliable sources, erroneous administration of IT/OT systems, information leakage, among others.
  • Failures and Malfunctions – Any information system always has the potential to fail or malfunction. This group of risks includes failures to systems, devices, navigation and communication systems, main supply systems, failure or disruption of service providers, etc.
  • Outages – As information and digital systems depend on the energy grids, these risks include any possible main supply outages, network outages, absence of personnel, loss of support, etc.
  • Physical attacks – perhaps the group most associated with the general term of “cyberattacks”. This category includes fraud, sabotage, vandalism, theft, unauthorised access, terrorism, hacktivism, piracy, coercion, extortion, or corruption

What are the legal frameworks?

IMO Resolutions

Providing worldwide cybersecurity guidance for ports is the International Maritime Organization. Various resolutions have already been passed by the organisation to try to create standards for ports and shipping lines to follow to ensure maximum cyber security and cyber regulatory frameworks that minimise the risks for all parties, including ISO/IEC 27001 and the Guidelines on Cyber Security on Board Ships.

SOLAS

SOLAS – or the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea – is a treaty that has established the minimum safety standards for shipping. It covers requirements for equipment, construction, and the general operation of vessels. It has been adopted by over 150 nation-states. In terms of cyber security, its Chapter IX — Management for the Safe Operation of Ships — requires every shipping line and any person or company that is responsible for a vessel to comply with the International Safety Management Code (ISM). This code has been adapted to include sections on cybersecurity concerns.

ENISA

ENISA is the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity. In 2019 its position was strengthened with the EU Cybersecurity Act, which also defined a general framework for Information, Communication and Technology products, processes, and services. All EU member states need to comply with the ENISA requirements, though there are some that have also adopted their own national initiatives to further shield themselves from cyber risks. This includes the French CIIP law, the German “IT-Grundschutz” and the UL Cyber Security Code of Practices, among others.

 

Conclusions

This #DidYouKnow article is by no means an extensive deep-dive into the world of cyber security – as it is a very broad and complex topic that only specialised cyber professionals could explain. It does offer, nevertheless, a glimpse into the complexity of issues that arose with the digitalisation of our modern world.

Ports are not immune to the cyber risks, no matter how digitised and seemingly prepared they are. Most of such attacks involve people and fragmented system landscapes, and therefore every port community is potentially at risk. The digital divide shouldn’t be ignored – and the fact that the maritime world is central to keeping global supply chains moving and thus is crucial to information exchanges associated with them further highlights the shared nature of cybersecurity risks. Therefore, for the maritime world to function effectively, the management of cyber risks must be carried out properly and shared with all stakeholders, ranging from port authorities, shipping operators, port facilities and terminals, maritime agencies, customs agents and maritime law enforcement agencies. The cyberworld does not have physical borders, and therefore the mitigation of any threats there is trickier.

Cybersecurity in port operations is no easy (nor isolated) feat. It is essential for all partners involved in transport operations to be aware of the risks involved and to learn to take the necessary steps to prevent or stop any potential threats that may develop. This includes following good practices that certain port operators may establish to reach a baseline of cybersecurity. In 2020, the port industry has faced a fourfold increase in cyber attacks against OT systems (a fourfold increase from 2017). Cyber-attacks are unfortunately becoming common. Therefore it is important to note that, at the end of the day, port operations and cybersecurity in the twenty first century are two sides of the same coin.

Intrigued? The Escola Europea is organising a summer school in port operations – with a focus on vessels and goods that are processed through the Port of Barcelona in the month of July. In the course we go over all the aspects of port operations, including the new cyber threats and their mitigation procedures. Check out the programme on our website.

Sources:

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.