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 https://www.escolaeuropea.eu/projects/translogmed/ or write to info@escolaeuropea.eu.

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.

Marrakesh: North African transport professionals introduced to TransLogMED by the Escola Europea

The Escola’s efforts to continue to promote the ambitious TransLogMED project across the Mediterranean waters go further next week as its staff travels to Marrakesh to participate in the 7th edition of the International Logistics and Transport Tradeshow LOGISMED, from 9th to 11th May.

Being the largest landmark logistics trade show in Morocco, and having ascertained itself over the last 7 years as the largest gathering of transport and logistics professionals in Africa and the Mediterranean, LOGISMED proves the perfect venue to introduce the objectives and goals of the TransLogMED project to the visitors. The Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport will promote the project in its own booth, positioned next to one of its partners and stakeholders, Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV) (section D, booths D1 and D2).

The project office is also holding the TransLogMED project’s Action Committee in Marrakesh on the second day of the show, bringing together the project’s stakeholders and reviewing the past year’s accomplishments. During the meeting an overview of the goals for the current year will be listed, separated by the different participating countries (Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan, and Egypt).

From the 7th to the 9th May, Eduard Rodés, the director of the Escola, will introduce the project at the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Conference on Maritime Transport and Logistics which will take place in Ismailia, Egypt.

Among the project’s to-date achievements, the director of the Escola highlighted the huge success of the MOST (Motorways of the Sea Training) Tunis edition, which took place in April 2018. The course was organised jointly with the Institut Méditerranéen de Formation aux Métiers Maritimes, with the help of the Escola’s usual collaborators (Port of Barcelona, Ports of Genoa, Ports of Rome, Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV) and Grimaldi Lines) and the Office of the Merchant Navy (l’Office de la Marine Marchande), Cotunav, Stam and Transglory. The training was carried out on board of two vessels, one from GNV and the other from Cotunav, and took place on the short sea shipping crossing between La Goulette and Genoa.

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. The project focuses in particular on: Increasing efficiency in logistics and transport, particularly in door to door and platform to platform multimodal solutions; Enhancing the competencies and capabilities of the transport and logistics operators; and creating a knowledge network as the activities become regular, together with a best practices exchange platform that brings together experts from both Northern and Southern Mediterranean countries. The project took off in 2017 and will finish in 2021.

For more information you can consult the project page https://www.escolaeuropea.eu/projects/translogmed/ and the Escola’s website https://escolaeuropea.eu or write to info@escolaeuropea.eu.

Natural gas consolidates itself as the future of energy

Natural gas seems to have become strong in some segments of transport due to its own merits and, in view of how the associated technology is evolving.

In the opinion of many experts, natural gas is to play an important role in the short and medium term in the decarbonisation of the world economy, as a mere energy of transition towards a future dominated by electric power.

However, in view of the current technological and industrial development, the panorama of a transport powered by electricity as the main energy source, while waiting for the batteries to gain autonomy and lighten their weight, only seems realistic in the very long term, while the option of having an energy mix that can serve as an effective alternative to oil derivatives is gaining strength.

In contrast, in recent years the applications of natural gas, both in land and maritime transport, have not stopped growing and, in view of the investments committed in different areas for the coming years, it does not seem that this energy will go to decay.

Moreover, it seems, as some experts indicate, that natural gas will witness an important takeoff in the decade of 2020.

Truck manufacturers have multiplied their supply of gas vehicles in recent years, while they have been bringing the performance of engines powered by this energy to those of other comparable units that use diesel as fuel, just in a segment of activity in which electric batteries cannot compete due to their lower autonomy and their weight, which comes at the cost of load capacity.

On the other hand, in maritime transport, natural gas seems to be truly established as an alternative technology for the future, just when the sector is facing a radical change in its levels of polluting emissions. This is evidenced by both the acquisition of new ships propelled by natural gas that have made different shipping companies, as well as investments in facilities to supply gas vessels and carry out bunkering operations in ports in different areas of the world.

In maritime transport, investments tend to move large sums of money over long periods of time, so the sector is looking for proven and reliable technologies that can be profitable in the medium and long term, something that they seem to have found in natural gas.

History has shown that the most realistic technologies have been imposed on more avant-garde and risky proposals, precisely because of their greater capacity to adapt to the real needs of markets, companies and people.

Natural gas seems to have become strong in some segments of transport due to its own merits and, in view of how the state of the art is evolving in the past, it seems that it is here to stay.

Source: Cadena de Suministro

Grimaldi receives the ‘Naval Award of the Year’ for its services of vehicle transport

The Grimaldi Group has received the ‘Naval Award of the Year’ at the fourth edition of the North American Automotive Awards, which have been held in the US city of Detroit, Michigan.

The Italian shipping company has become one of the main providers of integrated maritime transport logistics services for vehicle manufacturers.

This award, given annually by the Three6Zero Group, aims to recognize global excellence in the supply chain of the automotive sector. In total, 21 companies and professionals have been awarded for their achievements in the sector or for the development of new ways of thinking and working.

With 70 years of experience, the Italian shipping company, based in Naples, has become one of the main providers of integrated maritime transport logistics services for vehicle manufacturers.

Currently, it offers various maritime services both for ro-ro cargo and for the transport of containers to North American destinations. Its Grimaldi Lines brand operates regular connections from the eastern and western Mediterranean, and also from the coasts of West Africa, while its brand Atlantic Container Line, ACL, covers a weekly route that passes through several ports of northern Europe before reaching the American continent.

Source: Cadena de Suministro

More than 40 European associations come together to claim more investment for transport

These associations consider that “a larger EU budget for investment for transport is the best plan for Europe”.

More than 40 European associations representing the transport sector and sectors linked to this activity have signed the so-called Ljubljana Declaration, a document in which they demand more investment in transport within the EU budget after 2020. This took place during the celebration of the European TEN-T Days, the most important annual meeting of European Transport Corridors held from Wednesday to Friday in the capital of Slovenia, the place of origin of the European Transport Commissioner, Violeta Bulc.

The document, which was published on Thursday, calls on European policy makers to increase the EU budget for the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) in order to facilitate the completion of the main network, which will require 500,000 million euros between 2021 and 2030. The associations consider that the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) “establishes the right priorities in terms of sustainability and cohesion and can contribute to solving the current transport challenges”. “Investing in TEN-T projects has a particularly high European added value,” says the document.

They also request that the investment be focused on ” better and more innovative transport”. To achieve this, it proposes to accelerate “investments in digital, innovative and sustainable transport projects” to move towards a “more ecological, truly integrated, modern, accessible to all, more secure and efficient” transport system.

The associations propose that the EU “continue to provide subsidies” to finance transport projects at the core of the TEN-T network. “The subsidies are essential to complete the network,” explains the document, which states that “most transport projects with high socioeconomic value do not generate enough income to cover the total investment costs.”

The Ljubljana Declaration concludes with a plea in favour of CEF funds, which are “essential to complete the TEN-T network and attain ecological transport, which will benefit all Europeans”. “An insufficient budget for transport will jeopardise the completion of the TEN-T basic network. A larger EU budget for transport is the best investment plan for Europe, ” states the document.

Source: El Vigia

 

The Escola Europea inaugurates its Classroom of the Stars

On Thursday the 5th of April the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport held the inauguration ceremony for its new Classroom of the Stars (Aula dels Estels) in Barcelona.

The Escola has, since its founding, strived to offer formative excellence based on original and innovative formats through unique and practical courses. The inauguration of the new classroom has cemented the centre’s strategy and emphasized that the institution will continue this line of innovation and excellence. The partners of the Escola were clear that “training is a tool for advancement and progress”, as stressed by its president Sixte Cambra, of the Port of Barcelona. The Aula dels Estels will give the Escola an additional tool to continue its mission of providing excellent training to students and professionals alike.

The ceremony of the new classroom, located in the maritime terminal of Drassanes of the Port of Barcelona, with fantastic views of the area, was complemented by an interesting conference in which professional experts in conflict resolution, team cohesion, leadership and neuroeducation shared their knowledge with the attendees.

 

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 optimise the development of logistics chains.