Smart logistics concept

Back to basics: What is a Smart Port?

This year at the Escola we thought that we would go back to some basic (but modern) concepts connected to intermodal transport. With the series that we are calling #BackToBasics, we will begin explaining some concepts that are central to the transport sector today, but which can be confusing to some. We will kick-start our series with the concept of a “Smart Port.”

Daily Logistik: Asian Development Bank describes a smart port as a port that ensures “no waste of space, time, money and natural resources.”

What is a Smart Port?

 The inclusion of the word “smart” in the name implies the capabilities of the port and the integrated workflow (Marine Insight).  So what is it exactly? A smart port is a modern port that uses advanced technology and digital systems to improve the efficiency, sustainability, and competitiveness of its operations. Smart ports often use digital tools such as sensors, data analytics, augmented reality, big data, digital twins and automation to optimize the movement of cargo, reduce waste and emissions, and provide better services to stakeholders (which include shipping companies, customs authorities, and local communities). Smart ports may also include features such as renewable energy sources, electric charging stations (Onshore Power Supply), and smart infrastructure for logistics and transportation

“The goal of a smart port is to enable a more efficient, sustainable, and profitable port ecosystem that can support economic growth and regional development.”

What are Smart Port’s Digital Tools ?

Smart ports are classified as “smart” because they use a variety of digital tools to optimise their operations. These include:

  1. Sensors: Smart ports often use sensors to monitor various aspects of their operations, such as cargo movement, traffic flow, environmental conditions, and security. These sensors can provide real-time data that can be used to optimize operations and improve decision-making.
  2. Data analytics: Smart ports use data analytics to process and analyse the data collected from sensors and other sources, such as shipping manifests and customs declarations. This data can be used to identify trends, patterns, and opportunities for improvement.
  3. Automation: Smart ports may use automation technologies such as robots, drones, and self-driving vehicles to improve the efficiency and accuracy of certain tasks, such as cargo handling and inspection.
  4. Digital platforms: Smart ports may use digital platforms, such as cloud computing, blockchain, digital twins and internet of things (IoT) technologies, to connect various stakeholders and enable more efficient and transparent communication and collaboration.
  5. Clean technologies: Smart ports can incentivize the use of cleaner technologies, such as electric vehicles and renewable energy sources, to reduce the environmental impact of port operations.
  6. Energy efficiency measures: Smart ports can implement energy efficiency measures, such as LED lighting and energy-efficient systems, to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Why? For cleaner, greener ports

The use of digital tools helps smart ports reduce costs, improve service quality, and increase agility and responsiveness to market demands. There is no doubt about it. However, another characteristic of a smart port is its emphasis on sustainable operations and the creation of a greener port.

Below you can find some elements that help characterise a smart port that as “green”:

  1. Promoting recycling and waste reduction: Smart ports can implement recycling programs and encourage the use of reusable containers and packaging materials to reduce waste and improve resource efficiency.
  2. The use of renewable energy: Smart ports can use a variety of renewable energy sources to power their operations, including
    1. Solar power: Smart ports can install solar panels on rooftops, car parks, and other suitable areas to generate electricity from the sun.
    2. Wind power: Smart ports can install wind turbines on land or offshore to generate electricity from wind.
    3. Hydroelectric power: Smart ports located near rivers or oceans can use the flow of water to generate electricity through hydroelectric power plants.
    4. Geothermal power: Smart ports can use geothermal energy, which is generated from the Earth’s internal heat, to generate electricity and heat buildings.
    5. Biomass: Smart ports can use biomass, such as wood chips or agricultural waste, to generate electricity through combustion or anaerobic digestion.
  3. The use of electric vehicles: Many ports have begun to use electric vehicles, cranes and container stackers within their terminals to minimise emissions and ensure cleaner air around the port community area. By providing multiple charging points, smart ports make it easier for the port community companies to operate these clean energy vehicles.

Overall, reducing waste and emissions is an important aspect of sustainable port operations and helps smart ports contribute to global efforts to combat climate change and protect the environment.

Sources:

“Partnership is the new leadership”

Written by Lidia Slawinska

Written by Lidia Slawinska, Digital Communication Manager – Escola Europea Intermodal Transport

Recently, while I took a walk to wind down from a long workday, I came upon an episode of a podcast “The Bid”. Hosted by Mark Wiedman, this particular episode invited the CEO of the Volvo group Martin Lundstedt to talk about the future of transportation. As the conversation went on, a catchphrase voiced by Mr Lundstedt stuck out to me: “Partnership is the new leadership”. It sounded simple to me, and yet it resonated with a powerful message. The conversation focused on fully electric heavy-duty trucks of the Volvo group, but the sentiment can be extended to the larger transport sector when thinking about its future. And there is very little doubt that its future is green.

We need to make sure that we are working together to lower emissions, achieve better designs and ensure seamless transitions. This is what is expected of us to protect our beautiful green planet. This is what was in the mind of Martin Lundstedt in his conversation with Mark Wiedman, and what should be on all of our minds.

Partnering towards lower emissions

One of the main goals today of our industry is to combat greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 is an extremely ambitious goal, and without collaboration perhaps it is impossible. Companies need to set aside their competitive differences and work together to come up with common standards and solutions that target traditional polluters and uplift renewable and clean alternatives.

A great example of collaboration in this field is the Blue Visby solution. The main idea behind this innovation is the eradication of an old principle of “Sail Fast, then Wait.” Through a multilateral platform, companies can use a “queuing system” for ships with a common port of destination. By sailing slower, vessels emit less polluters into the atmosphere and have a fast and efficient turn-around time whilst in-port (as the algorithm sets the optimal arrival time). For companies that collaborate and ascribe to this solution, competitiveness is not at the forefront – rather it is environmental sustainability (as well as efficient supply chain management).

Partnering towards better vessels

Another great field of opportunity for partnerships is vessel design. There is a huge demand for greener next generation vessels that integrate both smart technologies and rely on green and renewable fuels.

The processes to create and troubleshoot such designs are long, complicated and time consuming. Working together with other companies involved in similar initiatives not only brings together more minds to create the most efficient designs possible, but also speeds up the processes. Naval engineers, ship owners, classification societies and other actors need to be able to collaborate effectively and communicate easily.

Using new technologies, 3D models and online simulators, data can be shared across the band of shareholders. By using protected web-based information sharing platforms, agents can rest assured that their intellectual property rights are not infringed upon, whilst nourishing a pool of new ideas. A great example of this is the virtual reality tool used by Knud E. Hausen – Ship Space – which allows up to 64 users to work on a similar design using VR instead of relying on the traditional CAD software.

These solutions don’t need to be limited to vessel design. Different port authorities can work together to compare and integrate different technological solutions in different environments, therewith building on new ideas and sharing the innovative alternatives – making transport journeys consistent and easy for shippers calling at different ports.

Partnering towards seamless transitions

No innovation will be effective if the industry does not accept it. Agents across the board need to embrace innovative solutions and let the traditional processes gradually fade away. The transition towards new technologies and new fuels needs to be seamless and, above all else, secure. Any new modifications to a vessel (new batteries, carbon capture, etc.) can affect its stability profile, and therefore constant monitoring is needed to ensure the success of the change.

Innovative partnerships between vessel operators and onshore agents make this possible through the use of digital platforms. The Cloud can provide vast amounts of storage and up-to-date data to actors at sea and on land, ensuring that variables are regularly updated.

“Given the speed and breadth of the technology transition, this more proactive and collaborative approach is essential to maintain the trust of a key partner: seafarers” (Splash 247).

An example of such a partnership can be found in the Port of Barcelona, where 5G technology and a comprehensive 5G network will soon be tested for the first time in Spain. The platform will make it possible for agents within the port community and operators on land and at sea to communicate with each other and exchange information quickly and securely.

Final thoughts

We are taught as children that we need to share. We are told that teamwork is the path forward. At school we are frequently placed in small groups to work on presentations across all subject areas – underscoring the value that educators put on teamwork in a formative environment

As adults, we need to embrace that mindset as well. The climate emergency that we are facing today is very real – and to face it we need to reinforce whatever partnerships exist and create others, putting aside our competitive factors. We need to share ideas and solutions and work together to put them into action. We need to be partners with our direct and indirect competitors to make sure that our industry moves forward. With new technologies and ever-expanding research base, we have everything at our disposal to lead us through partnerships, and therewith help our companies, industries and even our planet thrive.

 Sources:

·     https://splash247.com/a-digital-framework-to-collaborate-on-decarbonisation/

·     https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-bid/id1441032838?i=1000585054887

·     https://www.knudehansen.com/news/ship-design-review-collaboration-virtual-reality-tools/

·     https://piernext.portdebarcelona.cat/en/technology/this-is-how-the-port-of-barcelona-will-deploy-the-future-5g-network/

The War for Talent

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

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

The fight for talent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

Bon Nadal I Pròsper Any Nou

 

Written by Eduard Rodés, Director of the Escola EuropeaEduard Rodés

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

The Escola and In-Move collaborate to promote railways

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The European TECHLOG project presents its ‘Living Labs’

This month, the EU-funded TECHLOG project gathers steam in events across the Mediterranean. In Spain, representatives of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport presented the project to participants of the international Smart Ports conference, which took place in the framework of the Smart City Expo World Congress 2022. At the same time in Tunis, TECHLOG will launch the 2nd Mediterranean Living Lab to support the transfer of innovative solutions for advanced (trans)port training.

On the morning of the 17th of November, Orlando Reveco from the Escola Europea took the stand to introduce the TECHLOG project to conference attendees. Having provided a summary of the project objectives and goals, Mr. Reveco then delve into the specifics of Port Virtual Lab – a virtual port community that hosts an array of online simulators used in the training of port community professionals and young people seeking to enter the industry.

Across the Mediterranean Sea, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Sfax, Tunis, partner of the project, is organising and hosting the launch event of the West Living Lab which will enable technology transfers for logistics innovation in the Mediterranean area. The event will take place on the 23rd of November 2022 in Sfax, Tunisia.

The aim of the “Living Lab” is to stimulate innovation by transferring research from laboratories to real-life settings where users are invited to cooperate with researchers and developers to contribute to the overall innovation process. The event will mark the signing of collaboration agreements on innovation and training between the partners.

TECHLOG (Technological Transfer for Logistics Innovation in Mediterranean area) is aimed at strengthening the links between research and industry in the trans(port) sector by creating a permanent EU-MED cross-border space where research organisations and (trans)port industry can co-develop, test and share new Technology Transfer Initiatives based on advanced simulation technologies.

TECHLOG is a 30-month EU co-funded project with a total budget of EUR 3.4 million, of which EUR 3.1 million (90%) is provided under the ENI CBC Med Programme.

The project partners are the University of Cagliari in Italy (main beneficiary), the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Crafts and Agriculture of Maremma and Tirino (Italy), the Arab Academy of Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (Egypt), the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport (Spain), and the Federation of Egyptian European Business Associations (Egypt), the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon (Lebanon), the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Sfax (Tunisia), and the University of Sfax (Tunisia).

The consortium consists of members from Italy, Spain, Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon who will participate in the TECHLOG project meetings together with the EU Delegation in Tunisia, the Ministry of Transport and important Tunisian stakeholders from ports, land transport and logistics, research and innovation laboratories and training institutions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trade mission in Thailand 2022

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

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

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

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

Escola Europea heads to Beirut to support the transfer of innovative solutions for advanced (trans)port training

In the framework of the 3rd TECHLOG Steering Committee meeting that took place in Beirut, Lebanon on 18 & 19 October 2022, the Chamber of Beirut and Mount Lebanon, partner in the project, organized the launch event of the Eastern Living Lab pertaining to the technological transfer for logistics innovation in Mediterranean area for (trans)port training. The launch event and Steering Committee meetings took place in Beirut, with TECHLOG consortium partners from Italy, Spain, Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon as well as Lebanese stakeholders from port, logistics, innovation labs and academic institutions in attendance. The project works towards the modernisation and optimisation of trans(port) for supply chains through the development of innovative tools for the technology transfers within port industries.

Mr. Rabih Sabra, Director General of Beirut Chamber welcomed the partners and participants form Italy, Spain, Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon and shed lights on the Chamber’s leading role in ENI CBC MED projects for y(tranears. He emphasized the relevance of TECHLOG since it will not only enhance the partnership between Northern and Southern shores of the Mediterranean Basin but will also give Lebanon and the port and transport community of Beirut an opportunity to upscale its workforce skills and to benefit from the technology transfer through the new living labs network. Speakers included Mrs. Alessia Squarcella, Deputy Head of Cooperation from the EU Delegation in Lebanon, Dr. Kassem Rahhal, Advisor to the Minister of Public Works and Transport, Professors, Gianfranco Fancello & Patrizia Serra,  from University of Cagliari , the Lead Beneficiary of the TECHLOG project, and Dr. Sandra Haddad, Vice Dean at Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport  (AASTMT).

Mrs. Hana Nehme, Head of Development projects at Beirut Chamber opened the axes of discussions between the Lebanese stakeholders and the project partners on innovation challenges and needs, alignment of academic approach, and opportunities offered by the TECHLOG project.  The Lebanese stakeholders who attended the event, namely, Compagnie Maritime d’Affrètement (CMA) and Compagnie Générale Maritime (CGM), International Navigation Chamber, the American University of Beirut, ESA business School, and American University of Technology.

“It is amazing to be able to see the hard work that our partners have done over the past year in person” stated Concha Palacios – Chief Project Officer at the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport. “The innovative Living Labs and simulators now under development will be indispensable in the growth of supply chains across the Mediterranean, and central in the creation of training offers available to professionals and students alike. Moreover, through such collaborative team work with partners from all shores of the Mediterranean, we can develop real-life, virtual and simulation tools that can be used for training in all markets of the region.”

Members of the Escola Europea met with fellow partners from CEEBA – lead partner in the ENI CBC Med financed TechLog project

The Escola Europea is in the process of launching its own Living Lab – the Port Virtual Lab (PVL) – which is a comprehensive technological and educational development tool set up as a virtual port community. Within it, international transport and logistics students, and professionals can simulate real-life operations and have access to a variety of innovative tools that will help them develop and perfect their knowledge. Certain modules and simulators of the PVL are developed in the framework of the TechLog project.

For more information, you can contact the Escola at international@escolaeuropea.eu.

TECHLOG (Technological Transfer for Logistics Innovation in Mediterranean area) duration is and EU co-financed project of 30 months with a total budget of €3.4 million, of which €3.1 million (90%) is funded by the European Union. The project partners are the University of Cagliari of  Italy (Lead beneficiary), the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Crafts and Agriculture of Maremma and Tirino (Italy), the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (Egypt), the European School of Short Shipping, EEIG (Spain), and the Federation of Egyptian European Business Associations (Egypt) ), the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon (Lebanon), the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Sfax (Tunisia), and Sfax University (Tunisia).