Developing sustainable Intermodal Transport Networks: a challenge for logistics

As 2020 comes to an end, in this final issue of the Odiseo of 2019 I want to focus on networks and the elements that make them up. There are a few main protagonists: the people they serve and, in many cases, those who benefit from them.

The western Mediterranean is an area composed, in the South, of Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. In the North the Sea houses the countries of Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Malta. It is home to a total of about 290 million people. It has a young South, where 43% of the population is under 25 years old, compared to the 25% in the northern countries. In the North the situation is reversed, where 33% of the people are 55 years old or older. In the south, this number does not reach 15%. The North hosts about 190 million inhabitants facing close to a hundred million in the South.

The three networks that structure the development of our society

Why are we talking about networks? We live immersed in all kinds of networks, and often we are not very aware of them. Our society and economy are built around three major networks: energy, telecommunications and transport. In Europe, these first appeared in the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, and their function was primarily set to link all regions, contribute to the growth of the internal market and job creation, while simultaneously achieving environmental and sustainable development objectives.

These networks serve us efficiently on a daily basis. For transport to function smoothly, we need energy networks, comprising petrol stations, electricity charging points, natural gas supply points and, as well as the currently emerging, new, less polluting energy sources.

Telecommunications allow us to make digital payments by cards, financial transactions, give us access to the World Wide Web, e-commerce, e-mail, IoT and capture data for the use of intelligent transport management systems, among many others.

In transport services, we have two clear examples: the container, which is already widespread through the global network, and is generally accepted and not questioned by the industry members, and on the opposite side of the coin – the railways, which in today’s climate need to make progress to obtain better standardisation systems. This is particularly true in Spain.

Each network has to follow its own operating rules. For example, when we go to a gas station, we know what kind of fuel is there on offer. In the field of electronic communications, the Internet has taken control of the entire market. We have already mentioned the containers in which 20, 40 or 45 feet have become the norm. On the roads, more and more signalling systems and traffic rules are becoming unified. Finally, in road construction itself, international standards are used to classify the different categories.

Building a network

Networks facilitate progress. There are set architectural designs that have been developed to ensure such progress, and which almost always has positive consequences. A network is built with supporting infrastructures. In communication networks, we have service stations and, in some cases, gas pipelines for the transport of fuels or gas. In the field of transport, we have ports, logistics platforms, roads and road and rail infrastructures.

We can then turn to these infrastructures and provide services that support the network. It may involve the simultaneous incorporation of several networks that are necessary to be able to provide the services that the networks have as their main objectives. Finally, operational regulations and a form of governance needs to exist that will establish rules, standards, access and guidelines, among other things that would facilitates their use and growth.

Once an adequate operational structure is established, the network must develop to consolidate. This requires collaboration and information sharing. Best practices, training, and working with specialised groups are important for the take-off and growth of a network. Once a certain size is attained, the network will be able to contribute with more value before becoming a normality. For example, today, it would be very difficult and costly to replace the Internet or the widespread use of maritime containers.

With a consolidated network, new services, new functionalities, transaction optimizations, new challenges and new components emerge.

Transport Networks

Europe proposed a trans-European network in the same way as Ferrmed[1] proposed a rail network in the Mediterranean. Since then, networks of logistic towing of semi-trailers closely linked to short sea shipping have been proposed. These then help improve freight transport systems and reduce overall costs. When thinking of transport units, these would be our core networks for manufactured products, while for ro-ro transport, RO-RO vessels and ferries are heavily relied on.

The first element that emerges is the topology of the network. We start from the basic elements that make up networks: nodes and vectors, which in turn form different sets according to the product flows and the criteria with which they are constituted. Taking the airport model as a reference, a modern mode of transport that has evolved very quickly and efficiently, we can see that there are networks with point-to-point relationships that have evolved into networks with hub and spoke nodes that have allowed us to respond to the sizes of the aircrafts. And this, in turn, has evolved into hybrid systems. Thus it can be summed up that the network is configured according to the means of transport, structure and volume of traffic.

When looking at the port level in the Mediterranean region, there are clearly defined Hub ports, such as Algeciras and TangerMED. Ports that could be classified as hinterland or Gateways also exist. These include the likes of the Ports of Casablanca, Barcelona, Genoa or Civitavecchia.

Today, we have a network that is used to set priorities and let me say that I believe that it is above all a question of avoiding arbitrary decisions or decisions that can only be justified for reasons that have nothing to do with the efficiency of transport infrastructure and services.

A network seeks to develop a competitive and resource-efficient transport system, as indicated in the Commission’s 2011 White Paper on Transport. A network enables the internal market to function properly and strengthens economic, social and territorial cohesion. It facilitates the mobility of people and goods in a simple, safe and sustainable way. It facilitates accessibility and connectivity in all regions that contribute to economic development and competitiveness. And, instead of focusing only on the European region, it is interest to think about the Western Mediterranean per se and to have a good starting point with some of the important criteria for building the networks that are needed today.

TEN-T Network structure

The Trans-European Transport Network has a two-layers structure, comprising a core network and a comprehensive network covering all Member States.

It is a core network that exists without bottlenecks or discontinuities to facilitate interoperability between the different modes of transport.

It exists with urban nodes, logistics platforms, freight terminals, ports, rail terminals, airports, and with a maritime dimension with the motorways of the sea. The TEN-T is a network that uses innovative technological solutions, which have a vital role to play in transforming transport to make it accessible to all citizens and to create a safer, more sustainable, low-carbon and energy-efficient system.

The core network corridors cover the most important long-distance flows of the core network and aim, in particular, to improve cross-border links within the Union.

These corridors are multimodal and are open to the inclusion of all modes of transport. They shall cross at least two borders and, if possible, include at least three modes of transport, including the motorways of the sea, where appropriate.

In addition, special attention is paid to the measures necessary to ensure the safety of fuels through increased energy efficiency and promote the use of alternative energy sources and propulsion systems, in particular low-carbon or carbon-free; to reduce the exposure of urban areas to the negative effects of transit transport by rail and road; and to help the removal of administrative and technical barriers, in particular to the interoperability of the trans-European transport network and to competition.

WestMED corridors

When thinking about the Western Mediterranean, or the WestMED area, the corridors of particular interest to the Escola are:

  • The Baltic-Adriatic Corridor (Poland-Slovakia-Austria-Italy)
  • The Atlantic Corridor (Portugal-Spain-France)
  • The North Sea – Baltic Sea corridor (Finland – Estonia – Latvia – Lithuania – Poland – Germany – Netherlands – Belgium)
  • The North-Mediterranean Sea Corridor (Ireland-United Kingdom- -Bass-Netherlands-Belgium-Luxembourg-South France, because Brexit became Ireland-Belgium-Netherlands and France).
  • The Mediterranean corridor (Spain-France- North Italy-Slovenia-Croatia-Hungary)
  • Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor (Finland-Sweden-Denmark-Germany-Austria-Italy)

The corridor approach can be used as an instrument to coordinate different projects on a transnational basis and synchronise its development, thus maximising the benefits of the network. These projects should contribute to cohesion through better territorial cooperation. In order to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the corridors, each corridor is supported by a European coordinator.

Ports have come to play a fundamental role in structuring the network because they are the main modal exchange points. If we focus on the WestMed area which includes the Atlantic area, the Alboran Sea, the Balearic Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea, we have 20  main ports in the network. In Portugal Porto, Aveiro, Lisboa and Sines; in Spain Seville, Algeciras, Cartagena, Valencia, Tarragona and Barcelona ; In France Perpignan and Marseille. In Italy, Genoa, La Spezia, Livorno, Civitavecchia – Rome, Naples, Gioia Tauro and Palermo; and in Malta Valetta.

Seaports Infrastructure on the Network

Seaports are the entry and exit points into the land infrastructure of the core network.

Equipment associated with maritime transport infrastructure may include equipment for traffic management and freight transport, for the reduction of negative effects, including negative environmental effects, and for the use of alternative fuels, as well as for dredging, maintenance and security of the port and port access.

Maritime transport infrastructure includes in particular: maritime space, sea lanes, sea ports, including infrastructure necessary for transport operations in the port area, port connections with other modes of the TEN-T network, docks, locks and quays, aids to navigation, port access and canals, jetties, motorways of the sea, related equipment and telematic applications, including electronic maritime services.

Motorways of the Sea

TEN-T policy also focuses on the development of the “Motorways of the Sea” (MoS), for which a European coordinator is responsible for leading the process of its harmonised implementation.

A European maritime space without barriers, which I hope will soon become a Mediterranean space without barriers, includes short sea shipping lanes, ports, associated marine infrastructure, equipment and facilities. It aims to simplify administrative procedures allowing the operation of short sea shipping services between at least two ports, including their hinterland connections.

MoS include seaports on the core network or between a port on the core network and a port in a third country. This means that today, the port of the third country cannot receive direct funding, but it can benefit from the funding received by the whole operation. It also includes port facilities, freight terminals, logistics platforms and freight platforms located outside the port area, but associated with port operations, information and communication technologies (ICT), security and safety, and administrative and customs procedures in at least one State.

Today, MoS operations also include activities aimed to improve environmental performances of the vessels, ports and hinterland operators, which includes shore-based electricity supply that helps ships reduce their emissions, airworthiness activities throughout the year (dredging), alternative re-fuelling facilities, the optimization of processes and procedures, the human element that would include training, and finally the ICT platforms and information systems, including traffic management systems and electronic reporting systems.

Shipping Lines

Shipping lines are the networks’ champions. Existing or new maritime services that form part of a door-to-door logistics chain, help group freight flows into viable, regular, frequent and high quality short sea shipping links.

The MoS network can replace a significant part of the expected increase in road transport.

The Lines are now an essential part of the network configuration. They are the real protagonists of the operations. Almost all of them private, and as such they bet their money.

The evolution of the sector will depend to a large extent on this. Infrastructures are indispensable, but they are far from sufficient. The services and quality offered will determine the future. Opportunities for improving exports depend to a large extent on traders and customs. We hope that together we can help them to develop properly.

 

 

 

Railway connections

The rail part is now one of the main elements of port development. In Barcelona the company VIIA offers rail motorway services. These are new and very powerful concepts. Trucks can now travel on the motorways of the sea to connect with the railways motorways that connect Northern and Central Europe with very short transit time and high-quality services. This represents a new way of understanding intermodality, which is currently undergoing spectacular development. Today, we have significant volumes in the transport of semi-trailers, cars, containers, and refrigerated containers, and in most parts of the continent the rail market in ports continues to grow. This, sadly is not the case in the Spanish rail freight transport market.

Digitization of transport operations

Finally, one of the elements that is of vital importance at this time is the digitization of transport operations. This technological aspect of the networks enables traffic management and information exchanges within and between modes of transport for multimodal transport operations and transport related value-added services, improves safety, environmental performance and simplifies administrative procedures.

The digital services should facilitate a seamless connection between the core network infrastructures and regional and local transport infrastructure. An important player is the Port Community System.  In Barcelona we have Portic and in Morocco we have PortNET. They will play a fundamental role in the digitization of operations in their respective areas.

The digitization of transport operations is linked to a topical subject in Europe (but one that is increasingly catching on in Morocco, Tunis and Algeria on the other side of the Mediterranean): one of the National Single Windows.  I believe that they represent an unique opportunity as customs can take advantage of all the information they receive. If a framework of trust between the public administration of all this countries is possible, then the increase in the speed of operations will be inevitable. I hope they can give us joy in the near future.

The money factor

And I’ll finish with the money. Everything that has been proposed must be funded. Europe has embarked on a path where it relies heavily on sophisticated financing models. These include PPP, participation with bonds, bank financing, subsidies, etc.

One of the sources that provides clarity on this subject in Europe is the information from the European Parliament, which is working on the “Multiannual Financial Framework – LEGISLATIVE TRAIN 11.2019” programme, set to cover the period between 2021 to 2027.

This programme will replace the CEF and aims to develop transport, energy and digital infrastructure within the framework of the trans-European networks. With very significant investment figures, since it is 42.3 billion euros, compared to 23.2 billion for the 2014-2020 period of the EFC. It sets out certain priorities that will have to be analysed: decarbonization, digitization, transition to clean energy and improve digital connectivity.

Conclusions

Finally, we circle back to the beginning, to the transport networks: Trans-European, Trans-Maghreb, Trans-African or international. They will all fight to compete and, in some cases, to cooperate and develop.

Today, we know that the China Belt and the Silk Road initiative could complete a logistics chain from Japan to Russia to Central and Northern Europe. This reconfigures the world again, with transit times of 19 days between Japan and Europe. We are live in exciting times.

I would like to leave you a message, summarizing what was said before:

Networks are a fundamental element for the development of advanced societies; A network is solid if it is easy to use.

Logistics is a networking factor which can help us improve the countries in which we live in.

Let’s do it!

Eduard Rodés

Director

Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport

 

[1] http://www.ferrmed.com/sites/default/files/2019-04/FERRMED%20GLOBAL%20STUDY%20BOOK.pdf

2020

If you work in shipping and after seeing this number the first thing that comes to your mind is EMISSIONS, then you are on the right track!

In the previous Blue Innovation post we talked about the OPS as the means to control emissions in ports. However, seafarers have a saying that says “A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for,” which reminds us that a ship spends most of its life time in navigation. Even though emissions in port directly influence the communities nearby, the emissions from ships affect the environment in general.

It is not a new development for the IMO to work towards environmental responsibility. Since 1997 it has officially had the MARPOL Convention. In terms of emissions, by 2005 chapter VI of the convention has entered into force which aimed to control SOx, NOx, and other particle emissions that affect the earth’s ozone layer. Each year there is more responsibility and pressure coming from the IMO, encompassing the complex discussion of measures in favour of the environment within the complex understanding of the great changes and challenges involved in the issue. The complexity is there as it is a decision that calls for the necessary initiatives and technologies to be able to improve (decrease) emissions, considering the responsibility implied by the potential incidents that would affect the means of transport that mobilises 80% of the world’s goods.

The IMO has been known to set emission guidelines for decades, however quite a bit of controversy has surrounded the 2020 expectations. For instance, currently the global limit of sulphur contents of ships’ fuel oil is 3.5% and with the entry into force of the new limitations on the 1st of January 2020, emissions will need to be reduced to 0.5% SOx. The ECA zones will not be affected with this limitation, as these emissions have already been limited in 2015 from 1.0% to 0.1%.

What do all these changes mean and how to they relate to our Blue Innovation section? In this issue many of the alternative solutions to the challenges set by the IMO 2020 regulation will be listed, which will then be provided with source links for anyone wishing to delve deeper into the subjects.

In a way, as a consequence of the global concerns and pressures to tackle climate change, technological developments are the ones that are going to be able to face all these changes with the smallest possible impact on the global economy. This signifies the need to not only change the fuel type used by commercial vessels, but the logistics of bunker supply, adaptation of machinery and installations and procedures that take a lot of time as well, especially when thinking about more than 95,000 merchant ships worldwide.

ALTERNATIVE FUELS

In order to meet the new IMO regulations, ships have several options, including fuel quality (low sulphur fuel oil) and alternative fuels (methanol, biofuels, LNG, H2, etc.), which require major adaptations to the engine systems.

M/V AIDA Nova on LNG bunker operation at the Port of Barcelona. Source: http://www.spanishports.es/texto-diario/mostrar/1401337/puerto-barcelona-recibe-primer-crucero-propulsado-gas-natural-licuado

 

HYBRID AND ELECTRIC PROPULSION SYSTEMS

On the other hand, some proposals include the use of hybrid systems combining of diesel-electric, gas-electric or even ones relying solely on electricity. The first are systems that combine the operation of a fuel for the generation of energy that is stored in batteries and used according to operational needs, thus distributing and optimizing emissions. It is also true that since 2015 fully electric ships have been a reality in the market, but due to their short autonomy, they have not spread out.

WIND SYSTEMS

Wind propulsion has also been a part of the proposals. It contemplates (depending on the type of vessels) the possibility of implementing systems that help propulsion through the use of wind force. Some examples of such systems are DynaRig, Flettner-Rotors and even research projects such as Wind & Solar Power for Sustainable Shipping or the Kite propulsion system. These systems are not intended to replace the engines but can compensate an operational process of slow steaming without resulting in significant changes in the journey.

Maersk Pelican with Rotor Sails, project done by Norsepower confirmed savings of 8.2 % fuel and associated CO2.
http://wind-ship.org/norsepower//

AFTER-TREATMENT EMISSION CONTROL

Alongside the previously mentioned alternatives, there are after-treatment emission control systems such as Integrating SOx and NOx Abatement, Selective Catalytic Reduction or scrubbers which, despite their investment, have come to be seen as viable options for shipping companies in which open (sea water) or closed (fresh water) systems function as filters to reduce PM by 80% and SOx by up to 98%.

Exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) https://www.dnvgl.com/expert-story/maritime-impact/Scrubbers-at-a-glance.html

The availability of so many alternatives does not mean that following the IMO rules will be easy. Many of the proposed solutions require a lot of investment, result in large operating costs, require major changes in systems and equipment or massive supply capacities for fleets. Each shipping company will have to adapt according to their routes, facilities and structures, and choose a system that complies with emissions regulations.

All of this is accompanied by other alternative technologies that, while not necessarily reduce emissions, help in the performance of the ship and therewith improve its overall environmental footprint. The improvements could be new aerodynamics, low resistance paints, trim optimization, optimization of aerodynamics of propellers and rudders, optimized pumping in cooling systems, and even the use of big data to improve the sensors in equipment and prevent excessive consumption by optimizing the maintenance or the use of data to predict optimal routes according to environmental conditions.

There is no doubt that the Blue Economy will be affected by the 2020 regulations. The world’s waking up to the threats and dangers posed by climate change, and all of the world’s industries are adapting. The maritime world will perhaps be the one most affected by the new rules as, being responsible for 80% of all trade in an increasingly globalised society, it is one of the more significant polluters. As in any case though, challenges bring new and innovative solutions, and we are very excited to see what the industry will bring in the coming years to continue to innovate and protect our Blue Economy.

Written by:

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

Useful links:

Innovative perspectives for training of the new generation in the Blue Economy

In 2019 the Escola’s team has decided to take it upon themselves to carry out a research study on the current state of experiential training offers in the areas in which the Escola is active. This study was borne out of the recognised need to understand the exponential changes that are happening in the world of transport in light of the fourth industrial revolution. This is particularly true when dealing with professions in the Blue Economy, which hosts the majority of the global international trade. The Escola’s team hoped to conclude that there is a rapidly growing need to adapt training programmes of professionals hoping to enter the maritime world, to help counter this reality and thus better prepare the individuals for the industries.

The resulting study showed that when synergies are created in a network of training centres and companies in the sector within a country or between different countries, the result is rapid learning and the creation of innovative training programmes, which better prepare the professionals for the jobs of the future. Using data data collected from training centres and companies that frequently collaborate in the Escola’s courses, the team concluded that the courses offered by the Escola have a format that is both innovative and experiential in nature, and thus by internationalising and mixing the groups, the training is more successful and current to the needs of the market. It is important to develop tools and course models for training centres and companies to follow, and to ensure that more students have access to them. The final paper can be downloaded from the Escola’s website.

At the end of November, the Escola’s team then travelled to Portugal to present the findings at the first annual World of Shipping International Conference on Maritime Affairs, which took place in Carcavelos between the 21st and the 22nd of November. During the conference topics such as improved waterborne transport concepts, energy efficiency and emission control in waterborne transport concepts, optimisation of transport infrastructure including terminal, the port of the future, the autonomous and unmanned vessels, complex and value – added specialised vessels, and digitalisation were covered in other studies presented by scientists, researchers and industry professionals from around the world. The conference, which had its pilot event this year, aims to establish itself as a meeting point of reference bringing together the industry, leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of maritime transport to promote a better future for the industry.

Check out the Escola’s paper here: https://escolaeuropea.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/WofS_061_Full_Paper_FINAL.pdf.

Interested to know more? You can contact the article authors to enquire about the study itself or any future research planned.

Blue Innovation – Digital Twins

How can ports innovate with the Internet of Things?

In recent years, the shipping industry has been playing catch-up with many innovative trends that other industries have embraced. One of those trends has been the concept of digital twins – the idea to use the Internet of Things and Big Data to create a virtual entity that essentially operates in the same was as the physical one. So what are digital twins, and how can they be applied in the Blue Economy?

A digital twin is “a digital replica of a living or non-living physical entity. By combining the physical and the virtual world, data is provided enabling the virtual entity to exist at the same time with the physical entity”. Within the digital system, replicas of physical characteristics can be used and tested, both to streamline efficiency and to troubleshoot potential problems. If set up and programmed correctly, digital twins can even ensure that physical tests are not necessary to implement any changes.  Today there are estimates that predict that in the next decade, these innovations will account for 10% of improvements and effectiveness of more than half of companies across all industries.

How does it work?

The technologies used to create the virtual representations of real objects are unquestioningly complex. Put simply, the twins use “digital tools and real-time data to virtually create, test, build and monitor a product or process – closing the feedback loop between design and operations.” As previously stated, the goal of these is to improve and test new designs and processes without disturbing ongoing operations – a factor that could be critical when it comes to transport operations in a globalised port. Imagine testing out new, more sustainable bunkering operations in a port at absolutely no risk or delay in transit time for the vessels – any port authority’s dream! The systems can achieve this by using artificial intelligence algorithms to analyse the data put in, and thus come up with accurate predictions for operations, designs, processes, etc. For example, using this approach within a port it would be possible to accurately “predict what the best time is to moor and depart”, therewith significantly reducing wait times and financial losses. An article by Port Technology on the subject exemplified this very accurately: “With a digital twin of the port, it’s possible to calculate exactly how much cargo needs to be unloaded there. This allows the vessel to sail sooner and with more cargo to its final destination”.

The technologies have already been applied to all industries – from Formula 1 races to Space exploration missions to actual humans. Perhaps the most impressive of all digital twins is the one that exists of an actual city – namely of Singapore. In 2018, Dassault Systèmes completed the virtual simulation, called 3DEXPERIENCit, which helps city planners analyse and improve energy consumption of its citizens, alongside other aspects of their everyday lives. Talk about Smart Cities!

What about Smart Ports?

Within the Blue Economy, digital twins have already begun to emerge. Virtual copies of vessels, simulations of transport operations, among other things have already helped improve operations. Ports are not lagging far behind in this revolution either – the Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port, has enthusiastically invested in the endeavour, which is being developed with the help of the Rotterdam Port Authority, Axians, Cisco, IBM® and many others.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2019/04/23/7-amazing-examples-of-digital-twin-technology-in-practice/#332afba76443

The project, aptly named Port Vision 2030, “establishes where action is needed to ensure that companies can operate optimally within the Global Hub and within Europe’s Industrial Cluster.” Using IBM Internet of Things technology, the Port strives to become the first fully digital port by 2030, and simultaneously the model Smart Port for others to follow.

During this year’s Smart Cities World Expo Congress, which will take place in Barcelona between the 19th and the 21st of November 2019, innovative new technologies will be showcased and presented to all attendees. The event will also play host to a SmartPorts Summit, which will bring together the world’s top 10 smart ports, and give them the opportunity to showcase their most innovative projects in sustainability, digitisation, innovation and mobility. There is still time to register – check out the passes and join the Escola’s team on the Expo floor.

Written by:

  • Lidia Slawinska, Consultant – Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport

Sources:

The College of Customs Agents of Barcelona and the Escola Europea pay tribute to Josep Maria Costa

On the 31st of October, Josep María Costa was recognised by the College of Customs Agents, Customs Representatives of Barcelona and the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport for his work as a teacher in the Forma’t al Port programme and for his lifetime work on the occasion of his retirement.

Costa’s work was recognised in the form of a sculpture that was representative of the programme, one made of a paper boat made of bronze.

The event brought together the President of the College of Customs Agents, Antonio Llobet; José Miguel Masiques, as a new member of the faculty of the programme; Pedro Arellano, the deputy director of the Port of Barcelona; Joaquim Cabané, the president of the training and occupation work group of the Governing Council for the promotion of the Port Community of Barcelona; Eduard Rodés, director of the Escola Europea and Marta Miquel, from the Escola Europea responsible for the Forma’t al Port programme.

Josep Maria Costa has participated as a teacher representing the College of Customs Agents since 2014.  In these years he has presented and analysed the agent profession to about 1240 students from 18 different schools that have participated in the programme during its 5 years. Both entities appreciate and are grateful for his work, which has helped to improve the development of the port community of Barcelona.

For more information, you can contact us at info@escolaeuropea.eu.

The Escola Europea celebrates another year of the MOST Iberia course for professionals

The Escola Europea has welcomed about twenty Spanish and Portuguese speaking professionals for the third edition of the MOST Iberia course.

On this occasion, the group comprising professionals from the Spanish and Portuguese logistics-port sectors met in Barcelona to embark on a 4-day course on intermodal logistics and motorways of the sea, and expand their professional and human networks. During a crossing of Grimaldi Lines’ Ro-Pax ferry that connects Barcelona with Civitavecchia, the professionals shared between themselves knowledge, idiosyncrasies and previous experiences from each one of their countries.

Companies and administrations such as Bytemaster, the Santander Port Authority, Casintra, OIA Global, CETEG, the BEST terminal and Grimaldi Lines itself have sent their representatives to take advantage of the training. As for the Portuguese delegation, members of public entities such as the Instituto da Mobilidade e dos Transportes, the Aveiro Port Authority and the Escola Náutica Infante Don Henrique participated.

The group was accompanied by a panel of expert professors that included Francisco Javier Valencia, the Maritime Captain of the Port of Barcelona, Antonio Vargas, an advisor of Grimaldi Logística España, Eduardo Bandeira, the director of Intermodal Portugal, Eduard Rodés, the director of the Escola and Vanessa Bexiga, Operations Manager of the Escola.

At the end of the course, the participants tackled a case study that presented a real-life scenario of short sea shipping viability, applying direct and external cost calculations to evaluate the alternatives from not only an economic point of view but taking account of environmental and social characteristics as well. “It has been a pleasant experience in which it was possible to know the points of view of the different actors in the logistics chain. The teachers are very well prepared, it is a pleasure to listen to things told with a passion for what they do”, commented a participant from Bytemaster.

The Port of Barcelona to present 4 sustainability projects in Smart Ports

The Port of Barcelona will present four environmental sustainability projects during the upcoming Smart Ports conference, which will take place on 19, 20 and 21 November within the framework of the SmartCity Expo. This was announced by Emma Cobos, the Business Development Director of the Port of Barcelona, during a meeting of the members of the Propeller Club Barcelona, held in Barcelona at the beginning of October.

One of the projects that the Barcelona port will present at the Congress will be the traceability of container goods, “which has a very open mobile application for users,” said Cobos.

Another one of the initiatives that the Port Authority of Barcelona will present to the public at the fair is the electrification of docks, “which responds to social and institutional pressures in the face of the environmental emergency,” said Emma Cobos.

The Port of Barcelona will also explain the project of traceability of the entry and exit of vehicles and trucks in the terminals, “where situations are generated that we hope to solve through a digital reservation system,” explained Cobos.

Finally, Emma Cobos advanced that the work of the Catalan port to “make navigation at sea smarter” will also be presented at the Smart Ports Congress. The goal of this fourth project in terms of environmental sustainability, is that “our customers can have greater visibility of when you can dock at the port and can know when there is free space to do so,” added Cobos.

Thus, representatives of the Port Authority of Barcelona will participate in the event with the aim of bringing the Smart Ports concept closer to that of an intelligent city. “The port is a very important part of the city and we want to highlight to those intelligent cities that in many cases they need intelligent ports”, explained Emma Cobos.

Other ports

The Port of Barcelona will share the floor space with the Ports of Antwerp, Hamburg, Montreal, Rotterdam and Los Angeles, all of whom will also participate in the Smart City Expo. Each port may submit four projects that present environmentally, economically and socially sustainable solutions. In this way, “we will present initiatives that each port has implemented in the industrial field, based on technological innovations”. To date, the programme has more than 60 speakers.

For more information on the port of Barcelona, or on the SmartCity Expo World Congress, you can go to the event website. For registration, you can click here for a 25% discount.

Source: Diario del Puerto

The Escola Europea and the AdSP promote Fomarti al Porto

Civitavecchia, 27 September 2019 – The President of the North Central Tyrrhenian Sea Port Authority (AdSP according to its Italian initials), Francesco Maria di Majo, and the Director of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport, Eduard Rodés, presented the project “Formati al Porto”, whose aim is to offer training in the maritime and logistics sectors to students of secondary schools and universities.

The main objective of the initiative, already piloted with great success in the Port of Barcelona, is to address and bridge the gap between the specific skill needs of companies offered by the territory in the professional spheres.

“The Escola Europea, together with the AdSP, has worked very hard over the last two years to bring this wonderful project to the fore, which today becomes a reality”, declared Eduard Rodés. “One of the objectives of the course is to create a space for experimentation and discovery that can attract more and more people to this sector and, at the same time, guarantee professional development”, he continued. “The port and its operators, the port community, put their knowledge, infrastructure and equipment at the service of training and, therefore, of the city itself. Training and the promotion of employment must therefore constitute the spirit that moves “Formati al Porto”, with the complicity and help of all.”

“There is no doubt that maritime transport today is one of the main axes on which global trade moves,” explained the president of the North Central Tyrrhenian Sea Port Authority, Francesco Maria di Majo. “The increasing use of the so-called “Motorways of the Sea”, much desired by the European Union, has brought important benefits in terms of decongestion of land networks, facilitation of the flow of logistics chains and reduction of environmental impact,” continued di Majo. “Today the port of Civitavecchia feels even more than yesterday the need to offer competitive services and, above all, to invest in the human factor by forming a logistics community capable of facing future challenges and strategically placing the port at the forefront of Mediterranean logistics. Hence the importance of specific training in intermodal transport and the motorways of the sea to design, build and manage door-to-door operations more efficiently and safely, offering the necessary tools to analyse direct costs and environmental impacts. These are all fundamental elements for companies that want to increase their competitiveness in the market”, concluded Molo Vespucci’s number one.

The Escola Europea, which has an excellent international training record in the maritime and logistics sector, will use a team of experts and professionals from the Italian and Spanish sectors, making sure that the participants get high quality educational content.

The course, in collaboration with the most important Italian associations within the maritime sector and numerous local partners such as the Municipality of Civitavecchia, the Customs Agency, the University of Tuscia, ITC Guido Baccelli, Automar, the Mooring Group, Port Mobility SpA and the Port Authority, is also supported by the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.

And this morning, as a corollary of the synergy between AdSP and the Escola Europea, the Italian branch of the Escola was inaugurated. It will be located in the AdSP headquarters, where the pilot courses of “Formati al porto” will soon begin.

For more information about the course you can contact Marco Muci: italy@escolaeuropea.eu.

 

Blue Innovation – Container 42

Following a nice and (hopefully for all of you) relaxing summer, we have begun thinking again about innovation it the Blue Economy and any novelties that would be worth highlighting. For this issue of the Odiseo we have decided to revisit the container (following our article on the SmartBox), and decided to explore Container 42.

Digitisation and technology continue to make headlines with increasing frequency in a classic sector that seeks to optimize its performance, no longer focusing on gigantism but thinking about improved processes and relying on new technological proposals.

The newest challenge is to mesh data and processes together to obtain more efficient operations, sustainability and better services.

Under the initial joint venture of IBM, Cisco, Esri, Axians and the Port of Rotterdam, today there are 18 companies (see the full list at https://weare42.io/partners/) that have joined to create Container 42, a research and technologically innovative project that seeks to increase the safety, sustainability and efficiency of container movement. Under the premise of knowing what a cargo container experiences during intermodal journeys, Container 42 is a hyperintelligent tool that registers everything and is adapted with sensor technology that transmits, in real time, information pertaining to vibrations, pitch, noise, air pollution, humidity, internal and external temperature, internal movement of the cargo and the exact global position of the container. In addition, the container has been equipped with solar panels on its top cover to measure the amount of energy that can be produced, as well as with 42 cameras that record the movements of and surrounding the unit.

Source: https://weare42.io/data/

The premise is that all this data is to be collected, and will yield positive results to make sure that the different actors involved in the operation of the container can measure parameters, optimize processes, improve the quality of services and be more efficient with the environment.

Currently the plan is for Container 42 to do a 2 years long intermodal journey in order to do carry out accurate analyses within the routine of a regular container. The official launching was at Rotterdam on May 24, 2019, and it has left to Munich for the International Transport Logistic exhibition to begin the journey right after the event.

This system installed on the Container has the potential to outperform the authorities along its journeys, as it is programmed to set off alarms when the parameters of the container are changed or its doors are opened. It also helps to optimize logistic chains by constantly updating data, which would allow to diminish (or eliminate completely) uncertain predictions or to visually verify the cargo in real time.

With such thorough tracking and control, it leaves those involved with the container and the cargo with nearly absolute certainty and security. Moreover, beyond the container’s contribution to the logistics chain and the possibility of linking its operations with blockchain, in the event that any incident with the unit is recorded, thanks to a precision of information, it would be much easier to troubleshoot incidents and be aware of all of the risks or breakdowns. On the other hand, the container could also be part of an integral customs self-management system, as with all of the information digitalised, the cargo data can be transferred for faster customs management, and eliminate inspections of containers that are digitally guaranteed not to be opened.

Source: https://shippingandfreightresource.com/container-42-smartest-container-on-the-planet/

The first step in this initiative has been taken. Knowing what happens to a container during its voyage will soon cease to be an uncertainty (although some shipping companies already have limited monitoring and security services among others for the cargo they transport). However, it must be recognized that digitising each unit will take time due to the investment and motivation that the carriers would need to take the necessary steps to implement the technology. Even so, in a world where we know exactly the position of our food delivery biker, how strange is it that we do not know precisely the condition and position of goods valued in thousands of dollars?

Written by:

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

And Greta went to New York

Source: un.org

An ever-changing world

It is the time when autumn arrives at the northern hemisphere, and with it a new edition of our cherished Odiseo. The edition which will feature aspects of sustainability which arose spontaneously. When we reviewed the topics we wanted to deal with, we realised that almost all of them were facing the same direction.

It coincides with the timing of Greta Thunberg’s trip to New York, following an invitation from the United Nations to participate in a climate summit at the United Nations. On her arrival, a fleet of 17 UN boats (one for each of the Sustainable Development Goals) received her in New York waters to accompany her on the last leg of her journey.

Source: europa.eu

It seems incredible how this young Swede, at only 16 years of age, is succeeding in mobilising an enormous number of people among whom are many of the world’s most important politicians. For those of you who want to get to know her better, I recommend viewing her speech in the European Parliament last April. Her message touches the heart and moves to action.  She made an impassioned plea for the planet urging MEPs to “start panicking about climate change” rather than “waste time arguing about Brexit.”

The world’s great powerhouses are beginning to worry about much of what is happening. The United Nations is a frontrunner in particular, following its magnificent awareness campaign of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) published in 2000: halving extreme poverty rates, universal primary education, gender equality and empowerment of women, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and malaria, environmental sustainability and a global partnership for development, all by a 2015 deadline. Which, incredibly, was met!

Today we are presented with the Sustainable Development Goals, a plan to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. These address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace and justice. The Goals are interlinked and, if we are not to leave anyone behind, it is important that we attain each Goal by 2030.

Some may consider it more of a marketing campaign than a Real Action Programme, but I sincerely believe that today we are what we know and what we need to be, so let us celebrate the use of marketing as a lever of change. I know that the world is better today than 15 years ago and even more so than 30 years ago. We must continue to set goals, even if they seem utopian, to keep us moving forward.  It is as Eduardo Galeano said: “Utopia is on the horizon. I walk two steps, she moves two steps away and the horizon runs ten steps further. So what is Utopia for? For that; it is good for walking.”

Today Utopia can simply stand for complying with the SDG’s. This includes everyone’s involvement, starting with each one at an individual level and moving through the projects we work on and the politicians and policies we vote on.

The implications for the port sector

Institutions such as the Port Authority of Barcelona are taking a new look at how to act in light of these objectives. In the port’s latest reports on Corporate Social Responsibility, and in other management reports, the SDG related to the activities carried out are highlighted. I can assure you that they are changing the way we look at the work to be done and that we are becoming increasingly more aware of the impact of our decisions and actions on the achievement of objectives. There is an important movement, which we will introduce in more detail later, that seeks to transform the ports into SMART PORTS. We will be able to see this better at the Smart City Expo Congress that will be held from 19 to 21 November in Barcelona and which for the first time will have a space dedicated to ports. The ports of Barcelona, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Los Angeles and Montreal will come together to lead a global movement for improvement in the port area.

The implication for operators

We can see that sustainability in the transport sector has become one of the fundamental elements on a daily basis. Companies highlight the social impact of their activities, both in terms of external costs and polluting emissions.

Grimaldi presents vessels that contaminate less during port stays, and has begun associating itself with the Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 (CSA 2020). CSA 2020 defines itself as a group of leading companies from the commercial shipping and cruise industries that have been leaders in emission control efforts and have made significant investments in research and analysis, funding and committing resources to comply with 2020 fuel requirements through the development and use of Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS).

Shipping companies, port terminals, and land transport operators (both rail and road) are changing the way they conduct their operations. It seems clear that the European Commission’s principle that the polluter pays and the user pays will eventually be imposed not only at a European but possibly at international level as well.

 

How can we implicate ourselves?

Aristotle considered that attaining the fullness of the expression of human capabilities is the meaning and end of every individual.

Therefore, let me raise this virtue, the SDGs, as a collective objective, as a new project. A project you can work on.

The eight objectives for human development in 2000 positioned people in the epicentre of development.  They focused on potential development, about increasing possibilities and enjoying the freedom to live life.

Human development is the acquisition of the capacity to participate effectively in the construction of a prosperous society in both a material and spiritual sense; it is an integral part of the individual attaining a deeper knowledge of himself – externally and (perhaps more so) internally, more intimately within him- or herself.

The objectives have to reorient the way in which we understand life and society.

I believe in a humanism in which the construction of collective solutions involves individual action. The construction of global solution passes through the construction of oneself, and the routine day-to-day work paves the way for the progress of humanity and a better world for all.

I would like to highlight a few of the objectives.

Quality education understood as a duty for life. Our education and that of those who at some point depend on us: children, employees, relatives. Let us value having been born into a society that has provided us with access to exceptional education.

 

 

 

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but the necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. A society, organization or person who does not understand that we all have the same rights and obligations is ill. If you have to hire, pay, distribute and organize the work always seek this equality.

 

 

Decent work and economic growth: I don’t like using the word growth when referring to the economy. In my opinion, the challenge is to create employment without growing. On the surface it may seem like a paradox, but it is a different way of looking at things.

To end let me go back to the classics. Firstly, the concept of virtue that Aristotle left in his books on ethics, dedicated to his son Nicomacheus:

“Since, then, the present inquiry does not aim at theoretical knowledge like the others (for we are inquiring not in order to know what arete, virtue, is, but in order to become good, since otherwise our inquiry would have been of no use), we must examine the nature of actions.” (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II, 2).

Vicenç Molina, a friend and mentor and what today would be called an influencer, brought it closer to our daily reality:

“Let us start, therefore, with the practice: working practically.

With the values raised, with the commitment achieved.

With constructive impetus. Poetically, without surprises or shrieks because, at its root, poetry is construction.

So, we do not have to be cut off… Or naive, but natural, real, feasible, civic…”

It is a wonderful reflection that should help us face our citizenry with love to the things that, in the end, will be important.

Each of us should be part of this project. All of us have values that we can bring to the surface, something which we can achieve by struggling to build ourselves. With creativity, with dialogue and cooperation, with self-determination, with work and effort, with commitment to people, and with knowledge and wisdom.

Let us all be accomplices in this great challenge, and may the road ahead present us with luck and happiness throughout the coming Millenia. I hope you will enjoy the articles in this Odiseo as much as I have.

Regards

 

Eduard Rodés

Director

Escola Europea