The Escola Europea to promote intermodal and sustainable transport

The Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport will once again participate in the International Logistics Salon of Barcelona – the annual logistics fair in Spain.

Sharing a stand with one of its main shareholders –the Port of Barcelona­, the Escola will present its training offer for the second semester of 2018 and promote some of its projects; highlighting the growing influence and success of TransLogMED and Forma’t al Port.

In the summer months the Escola will hold the second edition of its technical training for professionals, focussed on Groupage operations and Consolidation Centres (18-20 of June). This course will be followed by an edition of Escola’s SURCO Operations I, focusing on rail- maritime intermodality, which will take place in Barcelona between the 2nd and 4th of July. In mid-July it will be the time of the Escola’s first ever Summer School on Port Operations (9-13 of July), a course designed for all kinds of profiles, professional, academic or vocational.

In autumn three editions of the Escola’s unique Motorways of the Sea Training (MOST) course will take place. The first of these, MOST Italy, will take place in September and will focus on the intermodal routes with short sea shipping maritime links in Italy. The second course MOST Iberia will take a closer look at the intermodal transport situation across the Iberian peninsula.

The Escola has been complementing its intermodal training package with the local Forma’t al Port project, whose goal is to bring young student closer to the professional ambience of the port communities. For the past three years the Escola has worked with Catalan training centres on professional work experience programmes. The courses have been hugely successful and will now be extended to Italian centres through a sister project Formati al Porto.

The other project to be promoted at SIL is TransLogMED. Through the promotion of international cooperation in transport transactions and by providing training in intermodal transport that knows no borders, the project aims to enhance the competencies and capabilities of transport and logistics operators from the Northern and Southern shores of the Mediterranean basin.

To find out more, come meet us at SIL at the stand D448 – E557. Alternatively you can write to

IMO Begins Validating Autonomous Ship Operations

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the global regulatory body for international shipping, has started exploring how autonomous ships could operate safely, securely and in an environmentally friendly way.

As part of its investigation the IMO, which has provided the term Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) to autonomous vessels, will look into how the ship operations may be addressed in IMO instruments.

The organization’s senior technical body, the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), has endorsed a framework for a regulatory scoping exercise as work in progress.

Its framework includes preliminary definitions of MASS and degrees of autonomy, as well as a methodology for conducting the exercise and a plan of work.

For the purpose of the regulatory scoping exercise, MASS is defined as a ship which, to a varying degree, can operate independently of human interaction.

However, MASS could be operating at one or more degrees of autonomy for the duration of a single voyage.

IMO categories for autonomy:

  • Ship with automated processes and decision support: Seafarers are on board to operate and control shipboard systems and functions. Some operations may be automated.

  • Remotely controlled ship with seafarers on board: The ship is controlled and operated from another location, but seafarers are on board.

  • Remotely controlled ship without seafarers on board: The ship is controlled and operated from another location. There are no seafarers on board.

  • Fully autonomous ship: The operating system of the ship is able to make decisions and determine actions by itself.

As a first step, the IMO’s scoping exercise will identify current provisions in an agreed list of IMO instruments and assess how they may or may not be applicable to ships with varying degrees of autonomy and whether they may preclude MASS operations.

As a second step, an analysis will be conducted to determine the most appropriate way of addressing MASS operations, taking into account, inter alia, the human element, technology and operational factors.

The MSC, which met for its 99th session on May 16-25, 2018, established a correspondence group on MASS to test the framework of the regulatory scoping exercise agreed at the session and, in particular, the methodology, and report back to its next session, MSC 100 on December 3-7, 2018.

Speaking at the opening of the MSC meeting, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim highlighted the importance of remaining flexible to accommodate new technologies, and so improve the efficiency of shipping — “while at the same time keeping in mind the role of the human element and the need to maintain safe navigation, further reducing the number of marine casualties and incidents”.

Source: Port Technology

Demand for SSS increases in the Atlantic and Mediterranean façades in 2017

The capacity offered in the Motorways of the Sea of the Atlantic facade has grown by 160%, while in the Mediterranean basin, the increase has been of 6%.

The Shortsea Promotion Centre of Spain has held a meeting of its Board of Directors in which the report of the Statistical Observatory of the Short Sea Shipping (SSS) in Spain for the year 2017 was presented.

The document demonstrated the growth of this type of transport along the Atlantic routes, with significant increases in terms of demand, and highlighted its recovery in the Mediterranean following the decrease of 2016. Specifically, the capacity offered for transport of road cargo in 2017 has grown by 32% in the Atlantic, and 8% in the Mediterranean.

However, although the number of lines offered has increased, the number of vessels used has been reduced. In the SSS alternative to road transport, the annual capacity offered in the ro-ro services has rebounded 42% in the Atlantic side, with 1.81 million linear meters, and 25% in the Mediterranean, with 4.13 million of linear meters.

With regard to the Motorways of the Sea, the capacity offered on the Atlantic side grew by 160% along the two motorways, while in the Mediterranean the increase has been of 6% along its three routes.

248 million tons

In total, short sea shipping transport in Spain has risen to 248 million tons in 2017, an increase of 6% over 2016, of which 19% correspond to domestic cabotage traffic and 81% to international traffic.

SSS of ro-ro cargo has risen by 8.1% to 21.1 million tons. It is important to note that on the Atlantic side the volume has been much lower, with 2.25 million tons representing an increase of 13.9%, than on the Mediterranean side which processed 15.25 million tons of cargo, 9.3% more.

In overall terms, in 2017 the average employment of the offer was 73.1%, a figure below the 80.1% registered in 2016. In the Atlantic side, it has been reduced by 53.3% due to a much higher growth of supply with respect to demand, while in the Mediterranean, employment has gone from 81.8% to 85.5%, for the same reason.

Source: Cadena de Suministro

Next Generation RoRo Freight and Passenger Ships Produce Zero Emissions in Port

Latest Battery Technology, Solar Power and Unique Hull Features Halve Fuel Consumption. 

ITALY – DENMARK – CHINA – The name Grimaldi has been associated with shipping since 1348 and today the Grimaldi group operates several services under a variety of titles, but maintains at its heart RoRo ferry services throughout the Mediterranean. Last month the announcement was made that the company has ordered six new such freight and passenger vessels from the Nanjing Jinling Shipyard, China and once again a contract between the yard and Danish marine engineering and design group Knud E Hansen means further development to the already established Grimaldi/ Knud E Hansen design.

The design of the newbuilds was developed by the Technical and Energy Saving Department of the Grimaldi Group together with Knud E Hansen in close cooperation with the shipyard. The RoRo’s are known as the ‘Grimaldi Green 5th Generation’ (GG5G) and will have a length of 238 metres, a beam of 34 metres and a gross tonnage of 64,000 tonnes. They will be able to transport over 7,800 lane meters of rolling units, equivalent to approximately 500 trailers.

The ships, the first of which is expected to be delivered in 2020, will use electricity in port, courtesy of large lithium batteries, thus guaranteeing zero emissions whilst at berth. These batteries will be recharged during navigation, through shaft generators adding the so-called peak shaving system, and with the aid of 600 m2 of solar panels, well suited to the three Grimaldi Lines vessels working in the Mediterranean environment, but still effective in the Baltic where the balance will be deployed on behalf of Finn Lines.

Grimaldi has invested a total of over $400 million and the new vessels are capable of carrying more than twice the quantity of vehicles than the largest of the incumbent ships operated by the company. As fuel consumption is the same as the previous craft, the energy saving when fully loaded will equate to 100%. There are several patented features in the design already together with more environmentally friendly features. The dreaded sulphur produced by the propulsive cylinders is combined with salt extracted from brine which converts it to gypsum in a chemical reaction.

The hulls are coated with silicon as opposed to traditional toxic anti fouling chemicals and the keel is designed to produce low level turbulence, with the consequent bubble streams reducing friction on an already slick surface, thereby aiding fuel consumption, an avowed aim of President Gianluca Grimaldi and his fellow directors. Knud E Hansen Managing Director Finn Wollesen said:

“It’s been a pleasure to cooperate with Grimaldi on the design of these vessels. The collaboration has been very fruitful and enabled us to develop a new generation of vessels that represents real advancement in terms of sustainability and efficiency by using various new technologies.”

Source: Handy Shipping Guide

The Escola Europea signs collaboration agreement with Spediporto-Genoa

On the 13th of May 2018 the director of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport Eduard Rodés travelled to Genoa to sign an agreement of collaboration with the president Dott. Alessandro Pitto of Spediporto-Genoa. The meeting took place alongside the association’s annual general assembly which followed the theme “Meeting our goals: connect, perform, excel”.

The agreement was signed in the framework of the Escola’s new Formati al Porto project. It specifies the incorporation of its proven intermodal training modules in the courses offered by Spediporto over a period of three years.

The educational focus of the Escola is based on research: students attend lectures and practical workshops and work on a case study in groups, which encourages collaborative work and group cohesion as a means to optimize the development of logistics chains.

Founded by 13 entrepreneurs, the Spediporto Association of couriers and carriers of Genoa has established itself as a reality of excellence able to provide qualified and highly professional services. It focuses its activities on the telematic development for the computerization of operational processes; the internationalization of associated members; providing training for the staff of associated companies; and fostering the partnership with the Port of Genoa and other local actors in the transport sector.

For more information on the Escola you can write to For more information about Spediporto – Genoa, you can visit the association’s website:

Union for the Mediterranean launches the TransLogMED project in Egypt

The TransLogMED project was launched in Ismailia (Egypt) during the conference organised by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) on Maritime Transport in Logistics, held between the 8th and 9th of May. The project presentation was delivered in the presence of the conference attendees, which included the prime minister of Egypt Sherif Ismail and Vice-Admiral Mohab Mamish, the president of the Suez Canal Authority.

The long-term objective of TransLogMED is to foster the development of the motorways of the Sea between the Mediterranean countries, which will in turn help promote inclusive growth and youth employability, as well as sustainable development in the region. Through the promotion of international cooperation in transport transactions and by providing training in intermodal transport that knows no borders, the project aims enhance the competencies and capabilities of transport and logistics operators from the Northern and Southern shores of the Mediterranean basin, whilst trying to create a knowledge network with a best practices exchange platform.

During the annual conference the project was promoted by the UfM, ACASME (Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce) represented by its president Ahmed M. El Wakil and the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport, represented by its director Eduard Rodés.

The Escola Europea is the leader of TransLogMED. Throughout the conference the initiative was endorsed by members of the Escola’s Steering and Executive Committees: Paolo Signorini, the president of the ports of Genoa; Pedro Arellano, Deputy Director of the Port of Barcelona; Luca Lupi, Deputy President of the Ports of Rome and Lazio; as well as by Eduard Rodés, who is its president.

The conference brought together transport professionals from across the Mediterranean sea including representatives from centres which will collaborate with the Escola in the TransLogMED. These included Imed Zammit CEO, of the Institut Méditerranéen de Formation Aux Métiers Maritimes (IMFMM) from Tunis, Pr. BENABID Tahar Director of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Technologie from Argelia, Taoufik el Khadmi, director of the Institut de Formation Portuaire of Morocco and Alaa Morsy, vice-dean of the Port Training Institute of the Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport in Egypt.

For more information on the project and its planned activities you can consult the project page or write to

Europe redoubles efforts to boost natural gas

The EU promotes the use of LNG in transport, through support for projects that promote the development of gas infrastructure or studies that pursue a greater implementation of gas in the transport sector.

Numerous European projects promote research on natural gas as fuel, with the aim of developing new infrastructures that allow its use to be enhanced. The longed de-carbonisation of transport promoted by national and community authorities has led Member States to pay more and more attention to the advantages it offers.

The European Union declared that by 2020, 5% of transport vehicles use CNG or LNG in their journeys, which calls for continued investments in this area. One of the latest initiatives in this regard has been the HDGAS, which focused on the integration of gas engines in heavy vehicles, the conclusions of which will be published in April.

Its objective has been the optimization of the kinematic chains for dual-fuel and pure gas engines, their integration in trucks and the confirmation that they comply with the Euro 6 emission regulations in real driving conditions, as well as with the limits of CO2 or greenhouse gases emissions.

BESTway project

For its part, the BESTway project aims to implement new re-fueling solutions for Natural Gas along the Atlantic Corridor, for which it has a budget of 7.7 million euros, of which 50% is financed by the European Union.

Currently, nine service stations are being built for the refueling of LNG between Algeciras and the north of Paris that will be linked to other European mobility corridors. Five of them are located in Spain, in the provinces of Cádiz, Jaén, Toledo, Madrid and Burgos, and four others in France, in the towns of Castets, Bordeaux, Poitiers and Paris.

Started in September 2014, the project, in which Gas Natural Servicios, Gas Natural Europe and GTD Information System participate, is expected to end in December 2018.

BESTway aims to strengthen the infrastructures available for natural gas and to save entry barriers for this fuel in order to increase its consumption. In this sense, investment and energy efficiency studies are being carried out, alongside the promotion of training of workers and drivers.

An app has been developed to facilitate payment and refueling by drivers. Through this, the quality of service and safety in loading operations is expected to improve.

CEF project Eco Gate

Along the same theme the CEF project Eco Gate has been launched, which has 9.86 million euros for the construction of 39 gas stations in Spain, Portugal, France and Germany, which represents a total cost of 47 million euros.

Spain will receive funding to develop a total of 26 stations in Barcelona, Burgos, Madrid, Murcia, Salamanca, Irun, Tordesillas, La Junquera, Cordoba and Cartagena, among other cities, while in Portugal 10 will be built.

Integrated Logistics Chain

As Bestway’s predecessor, the GARneT project was the first of the TEN-T network to promote the large-scale use of LNG. The project was developed between 2012 and 2014 and resulted in the installation of seven CNG refueling stations for LNG in Spain, three of them mobile, with a budget of 7.6 million euros.

After this experience, the LNG Blue Corridors project was launched, which allowed a greater definition of European corridors by establishing 14 strategic replenishment points to guarantee the availability of fuel located in countries such as Italy, Germany, France or Spain.

To these great advances in the field of mobility through natural gas is added the Core LNGas hive, which promotes an integrated, safe and efficient logistics chain for the supply of Liquefied Natural Gas as fuel in the transport sector, in particular in the maritime field.

Promoted by Puertos del Estado and coordinated by Enagás, it has 42 partners in Spain and Portugal and includes 25 studies for the adaptation of infrastructures and logistics-commercial development for the provision of small-scale services and bunkering services .

Its budget amounts to 33 million euros, intended for the implementation of pilot projects for the development of distribution barges, the use of LNG in tugboats and port cranes, and the adaptation of regasification plants for the supply of the gas.

For its part, SamueLNG is an initiative to promote the sustainability of maritime transport through the use of Liquefied Natural Gas in the smaller vessels along the Atlantic Arc. The second part includes the installation of a mobile platform for the supply of this fuel in the port of Gijón and a barge in Vigo.

This same port facility has participated together with Puertos del Estado in the GPEC project for the development of the Off-Grid Shore Power system, OGSP, which uses LNG as fuel and allows the supply of electrical and thermal energy to the vessel while it is in port.

Source: Cadena de Suministro

European Commission proposes budget of €30.6 billion for transport sector

Proposed budgets have been made by the European Commission, demonstrating the distribution of funding for different sectors.

The European Commission’s 2021-2027 budget proposals, presented to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, have suggested €30.6 billion be allocated for investments into transport.

The proposals need to be finalised within the coming months and Jean-Claude Juncker, Commission President, wants to reach an agreement before the European Parliament elections in spring 2019.

Spending funds for transport is distributed through the Connecting Europe Facility, who has a budget of €42.2 billion to fund cross-border infrastructure investment in all transport, energy and digital sectors.

The segment allocated for transport totals €30.6 billion and incorporates a ‘general envelope’ of €12.8 billion and €11.3 billion from the cohesion fund. To enhance strategic transport infrastructure for improved military mobility, another €6.5 billion will be provided.

During the 2018 TEN-T Days in Ljubljana, more than 40 associations and stakeholders together revealed a declaration calling for ‘more investment in clean and modern transport’. The participants included transport operators, local authorities, logistics service providers and users across rail, maritime, inland waterways, aviation and intermodal sectors.

The Ljubljana Declaration asked European policymakers to provide further grants for transport projects and to increase the CEF budget for 2021-27 ‘to facilitate the completion of the TEN-T core network’, which would require an estimated €500 billion between 2021 and 2030.

CER Executive Director, Libor Lochman, explained: “The Connecting Europe Facility offers the best guarantee to deliver high EU added-value in the transport sector and provides an opportunity to finance the actual deployment of sustainable transport projects.”

The Commission’s seven-year budget plan, for a variety of sectors, totals €1,135 billion, which is loosely equivalent to the spending in 2014-2020.

Source: Intelligent Transport.

ESPO publishes its position paper on the port reception facilities for ship waste

For European ports, ship waste has been one of the main environmental priorities, as indicated in the ESPO 2017 Sustainability Report.

In its position paper on the revision of the Port Reception Facilities Directive, ESPO welcomes the Commission proposal and its objective to build upon the substantial progress achieved under the existing Directive. The existing Directive 2000/59 has contributed to decreasing significantly waste discharges at sea. The minimum fixed fee, which has to be paid by all ships calling at EU ports, regardless of whether they use the waste facilities or of the quantities they deliver, has delivered. As a result, only 2.5% of oily waste is not delivered at waste facilities in ports.

European ports support, in particular, the proposal’s objectives to increase efficiency and reduce administrative burden. The new Directive should, however, also make sure that efficient but responsible regime for managing ship waste is encouraged, in line with the ‘polluter pays’ principle.

European ports recognise that providing the right incentives is essential and port authorities are certainly willing to contribute. However, introducing a fee system whereby ships could deliver unreasonable amounts of garbage, including dangerous waste for 100% fixed fee, would be a severe and unacceptable divergence from the ‘polluter pays’ principle. It risks to discourage tackling waste at the source by reducing waste volumes onboard, which has been the cornerstone of the EU waste policy” says ESPO’s Secretary General, Isabelle Ryckbost.

ESPO therefore proposes to set a limit on waste covered by the 100% fixed fee. The fixed (flat) fee should cover normal quantities of waste delivered by a certain type and size of ship.  Ports should be allowed to charge on top of that if unreasonable quantities are delivered. Furthermore, dangerous waste, which usually needs special and costly treatment, should not be covered by the 100% indirect fee.

European ports believe, moreover, that any provisions leading to better enforcement of the obligation for ships to deliver waste at shore are welcome. The alignment of specific elements of the Directive with the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) is supported by ESPO. European ports also welcome that new types of waste, such as scrubber waste, have been addressed by the proposal.

The proposal is currently being discussed in the Council and the European Parliament. ESPO looks forward to working with the Parliament’s rapporteurs and the shadow rapporteurs, the Bulgarian Presidency, the Council and the Commission in view of achieving a new and efficient legislative framework that would further reduce ship generated waste discharged at sea and increase waste quantities delivered at ports.

The document can be downloaded from the ESPO website.

Source: ESPO Press Release

Railway connectivity is the key to boosting the Spanish port system

During the month of April the Spanish Ministry of Development (Fomento) requested the EU for funding to help support the transfer of goods from the road to the railway. The Port of Valencia will allocate this investment to the rail connection between Zaragoza and Sagunto, the new line between the ports of Seville and Sines, and the restructuring of SNCF in France.

Statistics published in the fourth month of the year showed that rail freight traffic in Spain has grown 6% in 2017, good news for the sector, although the figures of Renfe Mercancías for February 2018 are not as positive. In this regard, the operator has registered a 17% drop, to which all its traffic except intermodal have contributed.

This fact contrasts with the conclusions reached by the Corell Foundation, which argues that the differences in regulation and costs between the different modes of transport currently prevent a truly competitive and efficient intermodal transport system from being implemented in Spain.

In this regard, the Ministry of Development still awaits the approval of the European Commission to be able to include annual funding worth 25 million euros to facilitate the modal transfer of goods from the road to the railway in the budgets for 2018. Brussels has already given its approval to the subsidies proposed by Sweden, having considered them in accordance with the EU rules on state financing.

On the other hand, CETM Multimodal, Railgrup and Feteia-Oltra have signed an agreement in April to promote innovative projects in the field of multimodal transport.

Port and Railway Connections

Also in Spain, Adif will increase the carrying capacity on the line between Zaragoza, Teruel and Sagunto, a line in which the Port Authority of Valencia plans to invest around 100 million euros, of which one part will be allocated to rail access to Port of Sagunto.

Its objective is to attract more traffic from Aragon, which only uses its facilities to channel 16% of its maritime exports. Currently, the region finds its main outlet in the shores in Catalonia, and it is in the Port of Barcelona where 61% of the rail traffic has Aragón as its origin or destination.

In the south, MSC has already started the service between the ports of Seville and Sines, with a frequency of two round trips per week and a capacity of about 100 TEUs for each one. Meanwhile, in Cádiz, the City Council and the Port Authority have signed an agreement to connect the new container terminal of the port using the railroad.

In addition, in Vigo, the Port Authority and Adif will work on the definition of the project connecting the vehicle terminal with the railway. As for the future line that will link the city with Portugal, it was announced that it will admit the passage of trains of 750 meters.

Changes at the European level

Another neighboring country, France, has been in the news due to the restructuring of the SNCF public railway company, which has caused a wave of mobilizations among the unions for what they consider a privatization of the operator.

The plan involves the recapitalization of the 4,300 million euros debt accumulated by the merchandise subsidiary, to form an independent company, wholly owned by SNCF, but segregated from SNCF Logistics. To finance this whole process, the Gallic government plans to tax heavy vehicles, a measure that has been rejected by transport associations.

Both Spain and France continue to make progress in the implementation of railway motorways along the Atlantic and Mediterranean axes. In fact, the call for expressions of interest addressed to those interested in the exploitation of this type of service has already been officially published.

At the European level, it is worth mentioning the initiative of the Ferrmed Association, which has set up three multisectoral work groups to improve the infrastructure, operation and mobile material in the Trans-European Rail Network to reduce transport costs by more than 25% .

Source: Cadena de Suministro.