#DidYouKnow – Rail transport and the development of the Iberian Peninsula as a Hub – Atlantic Corridor

Should Spain and Portugal jointly boost investment in infrastructure of rail transport? This is a question that is currently on the minds of the operators and actors active in the rail transport sector on the Iberian peninsula. To coincide with the European Union’s goals on sustainable development, the sector still has a long way to go to garner a portion of the market share currently occupied by maritime and road transport.

“The Portuguese and Spanish governments should increase their budgets for rail and port infrastructure” is the European Commission’s recommendation. Portuguese ports are considered as potential European import hubs because of their geographical location on the Atlantic coast. In this context, investment in port and rail infrastructure should be encouraged. The European rail system transports around 1.6 billion tonnes of goods each year. Rail transport is fundamental to the European Union’s strategy for a more sustainable transport sector, for economic and social cohesion and for connecting European countries within and between Member States.

Some of the main European modal corridors link Portugal and Spain, thus contributing to the improvement of connections between the centre of the EU and its peripheral regions, whilst strengthening the position of the Iberian Peninsula as a portal to Western Europe.

There are two main European corridors entering the Iberian Peninsula: the Atlantic Corridor and the Mediterranean Corridor. Looking at the Spanish rail network, we have the Atlantic corridor, which connects the French border of Irun/Hendaye with Portugal via Vitoria, Burgos and Valladolid, with a branch that goes south via Madrid, Lisbon and the port of Algeciras. The Mediterranean Corridor runs from the French border at Portbou/Cerbère to the port of Algeciras and Seville along the Mediterranean coast, through Barcelona and Valencia. In  Portugal, the Atlantic Corridor begins in Lisbon and the port of Sines, then moves eastwards through Spain (through Badajoz-Elvas). Another branch goes to Aveiro and Porto, and then moves eastwards to Spain through Vilar Formoso-Salamanca.

“The mission of the Atlantic Corridor principally covers the management of existing infrastructures, without additional investments, through centralized management of capacity allocation, traffic management and costumer relationship.” This project arose with the common objective of the governments of Portugal, Spain, France and Germany to increase the competitiveness and modal share of international rail freight transport and to jointly overcome technical and operational barriers. The Atlantic Corridor is integrated into the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and is connected to the Mediterranean Corridor and the North Sea-Mediterranean Corridor. The extension of the Atlantic Corridor to Germany will allow direct connections with two other corridors, namely the Rhine-Alps and the future Rhine-Danube.

With a total length of more than 6,200 km, the main heterogeneous technical characteristics in terms of infrastructure that need to be improved stand out: the presence of the European gauge (1435 mm) in France and Germany and the larger Iberian gauge (1668 mm) in Portugal and Spain; electrified sections with differing voltages; and different signaling systems. The aim of the Atlantic Corridor is to coordinate investment in order to homogenize the technical characteristics of the infrastructures throughout the participating countries in this project.

EU railways continue to grow. Rail markets are gradually opening up and safety levels remain high. This sector is increasingly demanding more innovation and responsiveness to customer needs. Rail transport’s fight to increase its modal share continues to center around interoperability and cross-border coordination issues. Corridors are essential elements of the Commission’s policy to boost rail freight transport. If the sector can convince haulers to opt for rail motorways to reduce costs, and exporters and importers to transport their freight to ports by rail, it is very likely to grow in the coming years and thus continue to align itself with the EU’s mission towards the sustainable development of transport on the continent.

Intrigued? The Escola will delve into these and other railway related subjects in great depth during the upcoming Port2Rail course, set to take place in October 2019. Check out the course programme here.

Written by:

  • Raquel Nunes, Training Programmes & External Relations Manager (Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport)

The Ormeggiatori and Barcaioli Group collaborates with the Escola in “Formati al Porto

The director of the Ormeggiatori e Barcaioli di Civitavecchia group, Angelo Bonomo, together with the director of the Escola Europea Eduard Rodés have signed a tri-annual collaboration agreement for the Formati al Porto project, guaranteeing the availability of guided maritime tours of the Port of Civitavecchia.

The new project Formati al Porto, strongly supported by the Ports of Rome (dall’AdSP del Mar Tirreno Centro Settentrionale) and the Escola, aims to bring today’s students and future professionals, closer to the knowledge of the professions of the logistics sector, with a particular focus on maritime and intermodal transport.

Today the logistical positioning of the port of Civitavecchia, both in terms of territorial and socio-economic aspects, must take infrastructural measures, offer competitive services and, above all, invest in the human factor: as a well-prepared logistical community, capable of facing future challenges and strategically placing Civitavecchia at the forefront of the logistical activity of the Mediterranean, is paramount.

The main goal of Formati al Porto is to get in touch with the community, discover port activities and to learn about the characteristics of port-related professions directlty from the individuals immersed in the sector. Students will explore the infrastructures, facilities and operations directly. In addition, the project will improve the alignment between the qualifications required by the companies and the skills offered by the local education system.

The Ormeggiatori Group (specialising in mooring activities) has always worked to safeguard the safety of navigation, port facilities, the environment and human lives, ensuring the smooth running of traffic within the port area. The cooperation agreement signed with the Escola cements the Group’s commitment to ensure the smooth conduct of guided maritime tours within the port area of Civitavecchia.

The Escola Europea has previous experience with this type of programme. A pre-cursor – the Forma’t al Port project – was launched in 2014 in Barcelona. The initiative was a success and after the first three years the agreements with sponsors and partners were renewed at the beginning of 2018 for another three years with more educational centers willing to participate.

The courses is taught by experts and professionals from the Italian and Spanish sectors, ensuring that the participants receive high quality educational contents. The teaching team for Formati al Porto is yet to be confirmed, but it will be composed of representatives of companies and institutions directly involved in the management of short sea shipping activiites in Italy.

The course, in addition to being able to count on the support of the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, has the support of important associations in the sector, including: Assoporti, Confitarma, Assassatori.

The pilot Formati al Porto course is scheduled to take place in the autumn 2019.

A full list of the Escola’s courses and their programmes can be found here: https://escolaeuropea.eu/training/.

The Escola Europea completes the first semester of course with the Summer School in Port Operations

With the arrival of summer, the Escola ended its activities in the first semester of 2019. The past few months have been very busy for the training centre, providing specialised training to both students and professionals in the sector.

During these 6 months, more than 1100 students from Europe, Latin America and North Africa have attended 28 courses to receive training in maritime and rail intermodality, temperature-controlled supply chains and port operations.

During the first two weeks of July, the Escola has welcomed professionals and students of different nationalities to the Summer School in Port Operations. The course consisted of two weeks, each with a specific focus: the first on services to vessels and the second on freight operations in ports.

The training, in addition to including practical workshops to different places in the port of Barcelona, such as visits to the control tower, the border inspection point, the tugboat facilities, as well as terminals for each type of merchandise, has allowed participants to uncover the theories that underpin the dynamics of the port community and its operations from the perspective of terminals, cargo and agents.

The participants became familiar with the services offered to ships, port security protocols, customs procedures, and risk management of dangerous products and emergencies. They have also been introduced to the environmental aspects of port area management so that they can begin to consider the qualities of the port of the future.

The faculty comprised experts from the port community of Barcelona, including members of private companies, such as port terminals, and representatives of public institutions, such as the port authority or customs.

Fore more information you can check out the course page https://escolaeuropea.eu/courses/port-operations/.

The Escola prepares a new edition of the course MOST Italy dedicated to Italian professionals

MOST Italy is a training course for professionals that the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport offers exclusively to the members of Italian logistics and transport sector.

This year’s edition, the fifth in a row, will last four days and will be held on board of a Grimaldi Lines Ro-Pax vessel, a leading company specialising in short sea shipping services that connect the Italian peninsula to the port of Barcelona.

The course is aimed exclusively at professionals of varying profiles: logistics operators, shipping agencies, port authorities and relevant institutions in the sector. The objective of the training is to introduce the participants to the key elements needed to build efficient supply chains, which can incorporate the motorways of the sea as a sustainable alternative to land transport, and as a crucial element of the intermodal turn. In addition to lectures offering theoretical knowledge, the course offers workshops and visits that allow participants to experience and directly observe intermodal operations.

To complement the study, networking activities will be organised to facilitate the development and exchange of contacts details between professionals and experts in the national sector. It is the relationships that are created during the course that make it a unique experience, as one of the participants of the 2018 edition explained: “The organization of the course is impeccable. I hope to be able to attend more courses in the coming years, to increase my network of knowledge, deepen my studies and find new incentives to improve and continue to grow”.

The training is given by experts and professionals from the Italian and Spanish sectors, ensuring that the participants receive high quality educational content. The teaching team will be composed of representatives of companies and institutions directly involved in the management of short sea shipping in Italy: port authorities, shipping companies and the Mediterranean Motorway Network.

The course, in addition to being able to count on the support of the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, has the support of important associations in the sector, including: Assoporti, Confitarma, Assarmatori and ALIS (Associazione Logistica dell’Intermodalità Sostenibile). One of the main objectives of ALIS, which has united more than 400 companies, is to promote intermodality as a logistical solution perfectly combining the philosophy that moves and inspires the Escola in its training activities.

A list of all the courses for professionals offered by the Escola  with the relevant programmes can be found here:

https://escolaeuropea.eu/training/professional-courses/.

Forma't al Port agreement signing

Port of Barcelona and the Escola continue to bet on local students and the Forma’t al Port programme

On the 19th of June, Núria Burguera, Director of Institutional Relations and Communication at the Port of Barcelona, and Eduard Rodés, Director of the Escola Europea, renewed their collaboration agreement wherein the Port of Barcelona reaffirmed its position as a strategic sponsor of the Forma’t al Port programme.

The programme, promoted by the Port of Barcelona itself and sponsored by the Diputació de Barcelona, the Ajuntament de Barcelona, the Escola Europea, and sector associations and companies, continues to be a reference point for local training for students in the transport and logistics and international trade training cycles and, more recently, for students of university degrees in logistics and maritime business, nautical and maritime transport, marine technologies and systems engineering and naval technologies.

Forma’t al Port, through which the port community is opened to students, has already witnessed record participation figures in 2019: 520 students have been able to get to know the Port of Barcelona and its business community through the courses.

The programme will continue in the months of October and November with three Management courses, with Genoa as their destination.

Forma’t al Port encourages the incorporation of students through dual training schemes in companies from the sector, with the ultimate goal of helping to prepare a future logistics community capable of overcoming the strategic challenges of the Catalan region.

For more information, you can visit the programmes dedicated website www.escolaeuropea.eu/format or by writing to: info@escolaeuropea.eu.

The Escola at the 2019 SIL Exhibition

This year the Escola Europea Intermodal Transport will once again participate in the International Logistics Exhibition (SIL Barcelona), the annual logistics fair held in Barcelona. This year the fair will take place from the 26th to the 28th of June in the Montjuïc Exhibition Centre of the Barcelona’s Exhibition Centre in Plaza España.

This year, the Escola will participate quite actively, by not only attending  the Exhibition itself, but also by contributing to the ALACAT Congress and to the MedaLogistics Summit.

Within the general framework of the fair, Marta Miquel, Chief Business Officer of the Escola, will present the institution’s new educational offer in the SIL Agora, by providing a brief explanation of the topics that the Escola currently covers in its courses, on the 26th of June at 13:30h.

That same day, members of the Escola will organise a dynamic and interactive game of FunTraders in the stand of the Port of Barcelona; a game of international trade will make it possible for the participants to discover the dynamis of the sector from a fun point of view. The game will take place on the 26th of July at 16:00h.

On the second day of the Fair, Eduard Rodés, the Director of the Escola, will serve as a moderator during the round-table discussion on “People First: Qualified Human Capital, Towards a Competitive & Resource Efficient Transport System”, with the aim of reinforcing the idea that human capital is necessary for an efficient and effective development of the logistics and port sectors. The round table will take place on the 27th of June at 12:00h.

During this same event, Raquel Nunes, responsible for training and promotion at the Escola, will present the SailNet programme dedicated to young shipping agents, to promote the exchange of knowledge and experience among members of the sector. This presentation will take place in the framework of EBSOMED, on the 27th of June at 16:00h.

Meanwhile, Marta Miquel will moderate a round-table discussion at the ALACAT Congress, which will bring together several international actors. The table called “Training in logistics in a 4.0 world” will be held on the 27th of June at 12:30h.

To finish the three days of the fair, Eduard Rodés will participate as a speaker in the delivery of training diplomas to students who have completed the advanced degree in Logistics and Transport in Catalonia this year.

Throughout the three days of the fair, the Escola will be present at the stand of the Port of Barcelona, located at D406. Come and visit us!

The Escola Europea trains professionals in port-railway operations

After the successes obtained in the past editions of the SURCO series, the Escola has once again held the SURCO Operations I course for Spanish professionals, which offers introductory training in matters of rail-port and intermodal railway logistics.

The course took place from the 10th to the 12th of June in Barcelona. Designed for professionals from freight transport companies, freight forwarders and import and export companies, the course offers an analysis of the different elements necessary to carry out efficient intermodal transport solutions (rail and sea). This month companies such as Inditex, Repsol, Inovyn, the ports of Huelva and Bilbao, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, Marcotran and Ocidenave sent participants to partake in the training.

During the three days, the course participants had the opportunity to see the infrastructures and equipment used in the rail-port connections and to have contact with operators that currently manage these types of operations. The theoretical classes covered maritime-rail transport and logistics, railway services necessary for the transport of goods and railway terminals in ports. The training also offered a detailed analysis of the current situation of Spanish ports in terms of infrastructures, characteristics of the railway networks and service areas.

To complement the theoretical classes, the course offered practical visits to the Port of Barcelona (Hutchison BEST semi-automatic container terminal, AUTOTERMINAL vehicle terminal and ICL solid bulk terminal); a visit to the CAN TUNIS complex, and in particular to the sorting terminal and logistic operator LOGISTAINER; and a visit to ADIF’s integrated traffic control centre.

SURCO Operations I was carried out with the collaboration of the Port of Barcelona, Puertos del Estado, Adif, Autoterminal, FGC Ferrocarrils, ICL, the Hutchison BEST terminal, Transportes Portuarios, Go Transport and Transportes Tomàs.

Blue Innovation – Autonomous shipping – the maritime industry of the future?

Blue Innovation – Autonomous shipping – the maritime industry of the future?

One of the more controversial topics in shipping is the emergence of autonomous vessels. The feasibility of these new arrivals to the maritime field is today still quite controversial among the majority of industry experts. Nevertheless, what is certain is that, despite the uncertainty and the many sceptics, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) does not disregard these new technological alternative initiatives and continues the debate and establish a methodology for conducting trials and develop a road map to consider the projects and investments of several leading companies of the sector.

The legal framework

The viability of applying these technologies is subject to legal limitations of the sector. Since 2018 the IMO has taken the first steps to address the issue of autonomous vessels, taking into account the interests of the industry in MASS (Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships). Initially the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) approved a framework for a regulatory scope exercise, in which a work plan and preliminary steps of autonomy have been established to create a methodology that can regulate the insertion of the operability of this activity.

Alongside the discussion of the feasibility of these operations, which can be very extensive, in this blog of Blue Innovation we want to comment on the technological advances that are currently under way and consider the initiatives of different companies that are beginning to develop these technologies.

Technological framework

When thinking about autonomous shipping operations, companies and governments alike need to take in account various considerations before implementing the technologies. Land based control centres, satellites capable of tracking the positions and progress of these vessels, sensor systems, collision prevention technologies, security concerns and environmental protections are only some that would need to be addressed before maritime autonomy becomes viable. It would also be unwise not to take into consideration the “twin” of MASS – autonomous mooring systems which require sensors and automated systems not only for vessel operations but also for shorter operations in the ports of call.

What follows is a brief summary of some of the leading projects currently in development that aim to tackle these and other issues, and thus pave the way towards shipping of the future:

  • 2016: the creation of One Sea, a global conglomerate of maritime partners that joined together to lead research co-creation of high-profile ecosystems with a primary aim to create an operating autonomous maritime ecosystem by 2025. Partners as Wärtsilä, ABB, Inmarsat, Ericson, Monohakobi T.I., Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA), Shipbroakers Finland and others are working together to combine top research to “create an environment suitable for autonomous ships by 2025”.

https://www.oneseaecosystem.net/about/

 

  • May 2017: Yara company joined DNV, Shipyards Vard and Kongsberg to build MV Yara Birkeland, an 80 mts, 120 TEUs and max 10kns vessel that aims to cover a logistic need of the Yara Group and seeks to eliminate 40,000 annual truck trips by road by substituting them with maritime routes of this new vessel. In addition to being autonomous, the vessel also follows a zero-emission plan with azimuthal electric engines and a closed ballast system, equipped with sensor technology, control algorithms, communication data and connectivity that will be interlinked with the operations of its automated terminal. The idea is to start manned operations in 2020 and then, with the help of Kongsberg’s technology, gradually move to an unmanned vessel by 2022. An automated mooring system is under development by the MacGregor group and, to provide additional support to terminal operations, the Kalmar group is working on the incorporation of Automated Crane Technology (AutoRMG) that will complement the integration of zero-emission operations during the vessel’s operations in port.

https://www.yara.com/knowledge-grows/game-changer-for-the-environment/

 

 

Source: http://hugin.info/134793/R/2210941/860932.jpg

 

  • January 2018: Rolls-Royce opened the first Research & Development Centre for Autonomous Vessels. This materialized the digitization of the maritime sector with a focus on autonomous navigation and the use of artificial intelligence for the operations of unmanned ships.

https://www.rolls-royce.com/media/press-releases/2018/25-01-2018-rr-opens-autonomous-ship-research-and-development-centre-in-finland.aspx

 

  • April 2018: Wilhelmsen and Kongsberg joined forces to create the first company dedicated to the development of autonomous ship operations. The company Massterly seeks to establish infrastructures and design support services for the operations of autonomous vessels and lead the land-based control centres that will make monitoring of the operations of the vessels at sea and in ports possible. Massterly was created in Norway to support the Yara project and has Kongsberg’s experience in the technology sector and Wilhelmsen’s experience in maritime services and logistics behind it.

https://www.wilhelmsen.com/media-news-and-events/press-releases/2018/wilhelmsen-and-kongsberg-establish-worlds-first-autonomous-shipping-company/

 

  • August 2018: DNV published a Paper focused on Remote-Controlled and Autonomous Vessels in which it summarised the current situation, the operational changes in terms of navigation and other functions, regulations and motivations for implementation, and the ethical and social implications of such technologies.

https://www.dnvgl.com/maritime/publications/remote-controlled-autonomous-ships-paper-download.html

 

  • In December 2018: Finferries and Rolls-Royce publicly exposed the operational tests of the 53.8m Falco ro-ro ferry, which is adapted with sensors interconnected with artificial intelligence that contain anti-collision technologies and an autodocking system which is monitored from a ground control centre 50km from the city of Turku.

https://www.finferries.fi/en/news/press-releases/finferries-falco-worlds-first-fully-autonomous-ferry.html

 

Source: https://www.vesselfinder.com/news/14008-Rolls-Royce-and-Finferries-demonstrate-worlds-first-Fully-Autonomous-Ferry

  • December 2018: That same month, Samskip led an initiative called “Seashuttle” of an autonomous Short Sea Shipping vessel, propelled with hydrogen through the use of electrolysis, with the goal of creating more sustainable shipping alternatives. The operations route aims to cover the regular line between Poland and Norway and is supplied in maritime technologies by Kongsberg Maritime; by Hyon in the implementation of hydrogen technologies; and by Massterly in terms of operational MASS.

http://www.samskipmultimodal.com/news/press-release-1

 

The difficult steps in establishing legal precedents and frameworks to ensure the safe and efficient operations of MASS still lie ahead of us. Similarly, cyber security is still a broad field that requires detailed and extensive investigations before safe passage at sea for MASS vessels are possible. The road ahead is long and arduous, but the companies that have joined these projects have taken the first steps towards developing the technologies that will make suitable adaptations possible and thus make unmanned vessels a reality.

 

Written by:

  • Vanessa Bexiga, Operations Manager (Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport)

Useful Links

Port operations in a globalised society

In an era of a globalised supply chain, the role of the port has evolved from its traditional cargo handling and storage functions to being an integral part of the global supply chain. With the growing demand for integrated logistics services and the intensification of port competition, a port must collaborate and cooperate with its supply chain partners to provide value-added services to its customers and, by extension, to its entire regional area of influence.

Today, instead of companies competing with each other, the logistics chains engage in more active competition. Greater efficiency of their operations gives them advantages over their rivals and positions them higher above other companies in the market. In order to identify all the items that make up the most efficient logistics chains, it is necessary to analyse and combine systems, processes, people, teams and strategies in order to find the most profitable and efficient solutions for all parties involved. Economies with efficient logistic solutions can easily connect companies in their territories with national and international markets through reliable supply chains, while countries with inefficient logistics face high costs, both in terms of time and money, in international trade and global supply chains, leaving their companies at great disadvantages.

On an international level, the position of the economies in the logistics sector can be evaluated through the World Bank’s Logistic Performance Index – a tool comprising different KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that reflect the perceptions of logistics of a country based on the efficiencies of processes of customs clearance, the quality of available commercial and transport infrastructures, the ease of arranging shipments at competitive prices, the quality of logistics services, the ability to track and trace shipments, and the frequency with which shipments arrive at the consignees on time. From this perspective, ports play an essential role, which can only be optimised when all actors and agents collaborate and interact efficiently. We are not only talking about the actions of port authorities; the direct and active participation of shipowners, exporters, importers, shippers, customs agencies, consignment agents, freight forwarders, stevedoring companies, land and multimodal carriers, port and terminal concessionaires, customs authorities, health services, among others is crucial.

Nowadays, the role of a port is not only limited to its port or technological infrastructures, but also to its role as a productive and efficient logistic platform thanks to the integration of all processes and the information capabilities of its actors. In this way, an efficient port becomes an engine for the economy.

This coordination is possible when all the agents of the port community, as well as the rest of the members of the logistics chain, are aware of the roles and responsibilities of each of their interlocutors. This allows the gear between all of them to be much more fluid and efficient. In this sense, the knowledge and training on “what happens in a port” help to generate synergies and process improvements among the participants of the operations, both maritime and terrestrial, and to pave the way for integration, presenting the client as a single entity: the port.

Specialised training in port operations will help increase the efficiency and safety of operations. Ensuring that all actors in the logistics chain are informed of and understand the working procedures will make it easier to find equilibrium between the different actors in order to provide better operation times and greatly reduce operational costs.

As such, the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport has brought together the main actors that make up and partake in port operations to offer specialised training, with the goal of contributing to the improvement of the efficiency of ports and logistics operations on a national scale. This course is part of the Summer School of the Escola, which will take place from 1 to 12 July, and is divided into two scenarios of port operations: vessel operations and goods operations. During the two weeks, participants will be able to get to know all the actors involved in port operations in order to get a panoramic and integrated view of what happens during the passage of goods through a port.

You can find out more about the upcoming course by exploring the course programmes (https://www.escolaeuropea.eu/calendar/port-operations-for-vessels/

 and https://www.escolaeuropea.eu/calendar/summer-school-port-operations-for-goods/

) , or by writing to the Escola (info@escolaeuropea.eu).

The ARETÉ AURUM awarded posthumously to Doctor Aldo Grimaldi

On the 25th of May the ARETÉ AURUM award ceremony was held, awarded posthumously to Doctor Aldo Grimaldi. The ceremony took place at the headquarters of the Port Authority of Barcelona. The award was presented by Mercè Conesa, the President of both the Escola Europea and the Port of Barcelona, and was collected by Isabella Grimaldi, the daughter of Doctor Grimaldi. Participating in the ceremony were Eduard Rodés, director of the Escola, Valerio Esposito, GNV representative in Spain, and other members of the Grimaldi family.

The Executive Committee of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport, held in Barcelona on the 4th of April, unanimously took the decision to grant the ARETÉ AURUM award posthumously to Aldo Grimaldi in appreciation for his decisive contribution to the successful development of short sea shipping and the motorways of the sea in the Trans-European Transport Network and, as a founding member on behalf of Grandi Navi Veloci, to the success of the Escola.

The Escola grants the ARETÉ AURUM to people whose attitude and actions have decisive contributions to the creation and growth of our institution. Joaquín Coello (2016), José Anselmo Laranjeira (2016) and Sixte Cambra (2018) have received this distinction in the past.