Port Virtual Lab Transforms South African Students into Logistics Experts through a pilot course

Port Virtual Lab (PVL), in its ongoing mission to bridge theoretical knowledge with real-world applications, proudly announces the successful conclusion of another pilot course aimed at training future logistics experts, this time for 18 students from Global Maritime Legal Solutions (GMLS), South Africa, thanks to the generous economic support of the international company Savino del Bene. Throughout April, these young visionaries, aged between 18 to 30, delved into the complexities of international logistics through a comprehensive virtual programme spanning three weeks.

Structured around a diverse curriculum, the course zeroed in on critical aspects of logistics such as port-logistics communities, delivery contracts, and operations, with a particular focus on electronic documentation, market research, and strategic packaging planning. Students were also introduced to the critical legal frameworks of Incoterms and the SAD document, equipping them with the theoretical skills they needed to complete the second part of the training – through a simulated port community environment.

PVL takes teaching a step beyond traditional learning. The course’s hallmark was its dynamic, simulated port community where students were able to collaboratively work in teams to plan international door-to-door logistics operations. The PVL environment encompasses 23 simulated companies, allowing students to assume vital roles in the logistics chain, from freight forwarders to operations managers.

Thanks to ERP software developed by Click&Cargo, the course can offer hands-on experience in maritime and airfreight operations, tariff classification, and export management. Such interactive learning journey extends beyond simple logistics; it fosters a deep understanding of economic principles within the context of global trade. By navigating real-time scenarios, the GMLS students could hone their problem-solving skills and acquired the analytical acumen necessary for impactful decision-making.

‘What an amazing project this has been! I am deeply grateful to Escola and the entire team. My numerous questions were met with patience, grace, and honesty. The presentations had a profound impact, and I valued the opportunity to share a space with the system designers, lawmakers, and environmental leaders. I would gladly repeat this experience,’ said Cynthia Thandeka Magagula, a student from GMLS. The course earned an impressive average evaluation rating of 4.88 out of 5 from the participants, underscoring their high level of satisfaction.

Looking to the future, PVL remains committed to providing education that links academic theory with practical industry skills. The course’s success with the GMLS students demonstrates the effectiveness of PVL’s approach and its ability to establish valuable educational partnerships. GMLS now joins the ranks of the University of Barcelona, STC Netherlands, and the Saudi Logistics Academy in partnering with PVL to offer pilot courses that focus on virtual and experiential learning that are closely aligned with industry requirements.

PVL continues to welcome collaboration with industry professionals, educational institutions, and students. Each course aims to set new benchmarks for hands-on learning in the logistics and transportation sectors.

Port Virtual Lab continues to bridge knowledge and practical application in international logistics

PVL welcomes the Saudi Logistics Academy and ITS La Spezia among its collaborators

Port Virtual Lab (PVL), has launched comprehensive trainings designed to hone the skills of students in the intricate world of international logistics and transportation operations this past week, bridging the gap between knowledge and practical applications of the industries. The two separate pilot courses have been designed for students coming from ITS La Spezia in Italy and the Saudi Logistics Academy. The former will begin on the 25th of January and continue until the 15th of March, whereas the latter has launched this past Monday on the 22nd of January, and will continue until the 28th of February. The sessions will be held over eight weeks with half-day instruction, marking a significant step in the practical education of future logistics professionals. These courses aim to test and pilot the concept that came out of the Escola’s participation in the European YEP MED project, which finalised in December of 2023. By providing students with hands-on training in international logistics and transportation operations through a simulated environment offered by Port Virtual Lab (PVL), we aim to refine and enhance the practical applications of the innovative ideas developed during the European project.

Empowering the Next Generation of Logistics Experts

Over the next few weeks, participants will engage in an immersive learning environment that spans the full spectrum of the supply chain. Adopting roles within the platform’s extensive range of simulated companies, students will experience first-hand the operations of freight forwarders, whilst interacting with simulated shipping and airline companies, road transport, railways, and port terminals in a controlled and realistic environment within the platform. 

The course’s strategic objectives are threefold: to provide a simulated environment for participants to sharpen their logistics and transportation skills, to foster autonomous development in solving real-world problems, and to deepen understanding of economic principles within the context of international trade.

A Deep Dive into Real-World Simulations

Port Virtual Lab (PVL), a cutting-edge educational resource, serves as the backdrop for this advanced training programme. PVL encompasses a platform that holds 23 simulated companies within a digital port community system. The course includes a pioneering freight forwarder module developed with Click&Cargo, which offers participants near-real-life operation simulations of import and export operations.

The benefits of such simulation in training are profound. They offer real-time practice, diverse scenarios for robust problem-solving, and opportunities to test different transport combinations. These simulations allow participants to balance sustainability with the need for speed, a crucial skill in today’s fast-paced, eco-conscious market.

Through PVL’s immersive simulations, students can translate theoretical knowledge into practical expertise. They get challenged to navigate unforeseen circumstances, incidents, and conflicts that arise from the dynamics of a company’s interactions with customers and suppliers. This experience is invaluable in developing a responsible and proactive approach to decision-making.

The training also emphasizes the application of economic analysis to international trade, a critical aspect of the global market. Students will learn to identify the benefits and constraints of how global markets operate, equipping them with the analytical skills necessary for strategic decision-making in international logistics.

Looking Ahead

Port Virtual Lab courses are more than just a training programme; they serve as a bridge to the future of logistics education. By merging real-world scenarios with state-of-the-art simulation technology, PVL is setting a new standard for experiential learning. The course is not only equipping participants with the necessary tools to excel in the logistics and transportation sectors but also aims to instil a keen understanding of the global trade mechanisms and the versatility required to adapt to its ever-changing landscape.

PVL invites industry professionals, educational institutions, and students to continue this journey of discovery and professional development. The success of this course is a testament to the collaborative effort between PVL, ITS La Spezia, and the Saudi Logistics Academy, and serves as a call to action for other organisations to join in shaping the future of logistics training.

The lab is constantly evolving, with new simulations and modules being developed to mirror the latest industry trends and technologies. Those interested in being at the forefront of logistics innovation are encouraged to get involved. Whether it’s to prepare for the challenges of tomorrow, to engage with a network of like-minded professionals, or to contribute to the evolution of the logistics sector, PVL remains your premier partner in professional growth.

Visionary Leadership: Eduard Rodés Awarded Mediterranean Medal for Advancing Mediterranean Prosperity

This Wednesday our director Eduard Rodés was honoured with the Mediterranean Medal by the Advisors Committee of the Association of Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME). This prestigious award recognized Mr. Rodés’ invaluable contributions to the economic development of the Mediterranean region through his leadership at the Escola Europea.

Eduard Rodés - Recipient of the ACASME Mediterranean Award 2023

Eduard Rodés – Recipient of the ACASME Mediterranean Award 2023

The Mediterranean Medal is bestowed annually upon distinguished individuals, companies, or institutions whose exceptional contributions have played a pivotal role in transforming the Mediterranean into a hub for unity, tolerance, camaraderie, and prosperity. This honour is reserved for those who have made significant strides in economically empowering women and youth, those who have championed job creation, as well as those who have tirelessly worked to advance cooperation and spur economic growth in the Mediterranean region. The award also recognizes Mediterranean-based companies and institutions that have embarked on a global expansion journey, thereby contributing to the promotion of the Mediterranean economy on a global scale. This year, the award ceremony took place at the Gala Dinner of MedaWeek Barcelona, held on the 15th of November at 20:30h at Casa Llotja de Mar, Barcelona.

Eduard Rodés, through his visionary leadership at Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport, has made a significant contribution to the sustainable development and economic growth of the Mediterranean region. Since its inception in 2006, the Escola has played a pivotal role in advancing the development of the Mediterranean’s motorways of the sea and promoting intermodality. This commitment is evident through the successful completion of exemplary projects under the Marco Polo Programme of the European Union, the INEA – Executive Agency, and the ENI CBC MED Programme, among others. Furthermore, his recent leadership in initiatives like the YEP MED Project has significantly contributed to job creation within participating Mediterranean countries beyond the EU while also advancing the adoption of technology and simulation in educational programmes within the industry.

The establishment of the Port Virtual Lab has played a pivotal role in the Escola’s ability to expand its experiential programmes not only across the Mediterranean but also beyond. At an award ceremony, the true depth of Mr. Rodés’ dedication and unwavering efforts came to light, leaving a lasting impact on the transportation and logistics sector. His contributions have significantly enhanced the region’s connectivity and global competitiveness. This achievement is further exemplified by the Escola’s status as a PPP (Public Private Partnership) Project, consistently recognized as an international model for best practices in vocational and occupational education, as well as project management.

Upon receiving this remarkable recognition, Mr. Rodés expressed his gratitude, stating “I am deeply honored to receive the Mediterranean Medal of Honor from ASCAME. This distinction is a testament to the collective efforts of all Mediterranean port communities and the dedicated individuals working within them. Many ports have already paved the way for making sustainability, both environmental and social, a strategic element for their future, setting an example and driving change in their surroundings. This achievement is the result of the unwavering commitment and hard work of the entire Escola team, who have dedicated their talent and effort to turning many dreams, both our own and those of others, into reality. I extend my heartfelt thanks to Escola’s partners, including ports and shipping companies, as well as the European Commission and the ENI CBCMED programme, for giving us the opportunity and freedom to make this vision a reality.”

The Gala Dinner of MedaWeek Barcelona 2023 was attended by numerous prominent companies and individuals from various sectors. Their presence added tremendous significance to this momentous occasion.

For media inquiries, please contact Lidia Slawinska at Lidia.slawinska@escolaeuropea.eu.

For event-related questions and attendance details, kindly reach out to us at secretariat@ascame.org.

Port Virtual Lab Expands Academic Alliances with the Fundació UAB

In a move that reinforces its commitment to promoting local and international educational collaborations, the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport is delighted to announce a significant partnership with the Foundation of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) Foundation (Fundació UAB). This collaboration marks the company’s second agreement with a prominent Barcelona-based university, underscoring its dedication to advancing educational and research initiatives both at home and abroad.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the two entities mirrors a successful agreement with STC Group Netherlands and with the University of Barcelona (Spain), setting the stage for an innovative approach to port logistics education.

This new educational initiative, set to commence in November 2023, offers a distinctive opportunity for participants to elevate their expertise in the field of port logistics. The backbone of this transformative endeavour is the Port Virtual Lab (PVL) training platform, which has garnered acclaim for revolutionizing education in the port logistics sector. The UAB Foundation’s esteemed reputation in academia and research further enriches this dynamic training solution.

Port Virtual Lab is an innovative and extensive platform that employs cutting-edge technology and educational resources. Functioning as an online logistics lab, it offers international trade, logistics, and transport professionals and students the opportunity to immerse themselves in realistic simulations of port operations and access a wealth of tools to enhance their skills and knowledge.

The platform encompasses 23 simulated companies within a digital port community system. Notably, it includes a pilot freight forwarder module perfected with the support of Click&Cargo, enabling near-real-life operation simulations of import and export operations. The PVL training program, now spanning nine days, includes interactive training modules and hands-on operations. Participants will be presented with realistic contracts and up-to-date information, ensuring a dynamic and immersive learning experience.

The concept of Port Virtual Lab emerged in 2020 when Escola Europea initiated a search for a software company to develop an Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP) as the core of its virtual training model. This vision culminated in the creation of the platform that replicates a genuine port community, allowing course participants to engage in a controlled yet authentic environment and conduct simulated international trade operations.

Participants in Port Virtual Lab courses adopt various roles within the platform’s extensive range of companies, encompassing the entire supply chain. These roles span freight forwarding, shipping, airlines, road transport, railway companies, and port terminals. Plans are underway to further enrich the simulation by introducing additional supply chain actors to enhance the users’ experiences.

The significance of simulation in training endeavours cannot be overstated. Virtual simulators offer multiple advantages, including real-time practice, diverse scenarios for effective problem-solving, and the ability to test different transport combinations, prioritizing sustainability or speed as needed.

Educational offerings play a pivotal role in preparing future professionals for evolving industries. Simulators and virtual realities are key in providing hands-on experience and confidence to young jobseekers. Port Virtual Lab has been a significant leap in the development of such training tools in the Mediterranean region, and this collaboration with the Autonomous University of Barcelona Foundation marks its expansion across Europe and beyond. Notably, in a recent course, participants rated the platform with an impressive score of 4.94 out of a maximum of 5, highlighting the effectiveness of Port Virtual Lab in enhancing participants’ logistics skills.

The impact of this platform is expected to reverberate across various regions worldwide, leaving a lasting legacy long after the project’s scheduled completion in 2023.

Escola Europea Promotes Training and Digitization in India

Mumbai (October 15th 2023) The Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport signed a memorandum of understanding with the Federation of Freight Forwarders in India (FFIA) yesterday.

Both organizations agreed that it is essential to build better-trained, qualified, and digitized port communities to enhance trade relations between Spain and India, making transactions more efficient and fruitful.

In the photo back row (left to right): Lluís Salvadó – president of the Port of Barcelona; Ester Capella – Minister of Territories and Transport of Catalunya; and Fernando Heredia Noguer – Consul General of Spain in Mumbai. Front row: Mr. Dushyant Mulanin from the Federation of Freight Forwarders in India (FFIA) and Eduard Rodés – director of the Escola Europea

The proposed agreement involves promoting joint activities in the fields of initial, continuous, and occupational training related to logistics, ports, and international trade. This will foster collaboration between associations, educational institutions, and universities in India and Spain.

Additionally, they will jointly develop a pilot training program focused on international business operations involving transactions between India, Europe, and Mediterranean countries. This training will encompass both maritime and aerial transport operations. Initial training will be conducted by personnel from cargo transportation companies and secondary and university-level educators, serving as a training course for future trainers.

Based on the outcomes of this pilot program and the mutual interest of the parties in further developing their relationship, a stable framework for joint courses will be established under the umbrella of the Port Virtual Lab project.

Through the connections formed from these collaborative activities, at both the corporate and educational levels, student exchanges between institutions will be promoted within the context of international projects.

For more information you can head to the news on the Diario del Puerto website.

Sustainable Logistics Takes the Stage: Escola Europea to participate at SeaFocus ESG Summit

The SeaFocus ESG Summit in Finland is about to host a remarkable moment as the Escola Europea for Intermodal Transport marks its inaugural presence at this esteemed event. Scheduled for October 4th in Naantali, Finland, the Summit serves as a gathering of industry luminaries, experts, and professionals deeply committed to the principles of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) within the maritime and logistics sectors. This year, the SeaFocus Institute, the event’s organiser, has extended a special invitation to the Escola Europea to showcase its innovative training offerings.

A focus on training

The Escola Europea, along with its dedicated staff and collaborators, is set to lead a comprehensive 2.5-hour training session during the summit. The highlight of this session will be the introduction of Port Virtual Lab (PVL), a ground-breaking platform that blends technology and education to create a dynamic learning environment in the field of port logistics.

Participants in this session will be encouraged to bring their laptops or iPads to fully engage with and experience the power of PVL.one. Through it, attendees will gain valuable insights into the logistics world, enabling them to explore cargo handling, customs procedures, and port operations as they navigate the complexities of international trade and transport through a safe and simulated environment.

Marco Muci, Italy Country Manager from the Escola Europea, emphasized the commitment to driving innovation in sustainable transport solutions. By offering transformative training programmes such as PVL, the Escola Europea empowers students to excel in the dynamic logistics industry by ensuring that what is taught aligns perfectly with real world professional realities. Also moderating the training session will be Jessica Cervini, a teacher and Ambassador of PVL at the Escola Europea, ensuring that the participants gain valuable insights into the future of logistics.

Ulla Keino, CEO of the SeaFocus Institute, underscores the importance of supporting sustainable supply chains and logistics education. SeaFocus aims to foster an active dialogue around teaching logistics and supply chain management with a sustainability angle in universities and universities of applied sciences. They also aim to brainstorm public-private partnerships for the development of educational programs in this field.

A Mediterranean approach in the Baltic

Adding to the excitement of the event, the Summit will also feature two distinguished guests: Jordi Torrent, representing the Port of Barcelona, and Pino Musolino, President of the MEDports Association. The Escola Europea holds a special place in the MEDports Association, as it is an official training center within the network of member ports. This recognition underscores Escola Europea’s commitment to excellence in logistics education and its pivotal role in shaping the future of the maritime and logistics industry.

Conclusion:

The Escola Europea’s participation in the SeaFocus ESG Summit in Finland signifies a momentous step towards the spread of its signature sustainable logistics education. With PVL.one at the forefront and the support of esteemed collaborators, the Escola Europea is poised to inspire a new generation of logistics professionals who are not only well-versed in industry practices but also deeply committed to environmental, social, and governance principles. This debut appearance is not just a milestone for Escola Europea; it is a testament to the organization’s dedication to the future of logistics and the pursuit of a more sustainable world.

Escola Forges Strategic Partnership with Saudi Logistics Academy in the Red Sea Region

Jeddah, [6th September 2023] – In a significant stride toward enhancing logistics excellence in the Middle East, the Escola Europea has formalized a collaboration with the prestigious Saudi Logistics Academy, based in Riyadh (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia). The announcement was made during the inaugural Sustainable Maritime Industry Conference (SMIC) held in Jeddah, a high-profile event orchestrated by the Transport General Authority (TGA) and the Government of Saudi Arabia. The conference, which served as a beacon for maritime industry leaders, focused on charting the course for the sector’s future in the region towards the Saudi strategic Vision 2030.

Eduard Rodés and Marco Muci, representing the Escola Europea, represented the Escola as they unveiled this promising partnership. The MoU that was announced sets the stage for a fruitful and dynamic relationship that promises to revolutionize logistics education and foster increased trade and networking between the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions. The collaboration agreement was sealed by Eduard Rodés on behalf of Escola Europea and by Abdullah Alabdulkarim on behalf of the Saudi Logistics Academy.

At the core of this collaboration lies a shared commitment to harness the innovative capabilities of the Escola’s platform, fostering the development of a new generation of logistics talent in the Middle East. By leveraging the Port Virtual Lab (PVL) platform and actively engaging the Escola’s Open Lab, both institutes aspire to provide a comprehensive and immersive learning experience tailored to the needs of emerging logistics professionals. Furthermore, this mutually beneficial collaboration serves as a safe haven for the exchange of knowledge and expertise between ports in these two distinct regions.

The introduction of PVL’s dynamic and real-life port community simulation to Saudi Arabia marks a pivotal moment in the development of the logistics sector in the region. This cutting-edge tool will immerse participants in the intricacies of international trade operations within a controlled yet authentic environment. The partnership between theoretical knowledge and practical application will equip logistics professionals with the skills necessary to excel in the rapidly evolving industry.

As the partnership between the two institutes gains momentum, the next crucial steps in this collaboration are already in the planning stages. The forthcoming milestones include the scheduling of a pilot Port Virtual Lab course, set to take place in early 2024. This innovative course promises to provide a first-hand experience of port operations within a simulated environment, further solidifying the practical skills of aspiring logistics professionals.

Following this, an immersive ‘Motorways of the Sea Training’ program will take place. This unique training initiative will offer Saudi students an exceptional opportunity to embark on a transformative journey to witness the workings of two Mediterranean Ports – Barcelona and Civitavecchia. This hands-on experience will not only broaden their horizons but also provide valuable insights into port operations on the Mediterranean side of the world. These upcoming actions underscore the commitment of both institutes to nurturing and advancing the next generation of logistics experts.

As the Escola Europea and the Saudi Logistics Academy embark on this transformative journey together, the future of the maritime industry in the region shines brighter than ever. Stay tuned for further developments as this partnership unfolds and sets new benchmarks for logistics education and industry advancement. 

For media inquiries, please contact: Lidia.slawinska@escolaeuropea.eu

Port Virtual Lab

Port Virtual Lab: Empowering Logistics Professionals Worldwide

The Escola Europea is thrilled to announce the resounding success and international expansion of its Port Virtual Lab (PVL) training platform. Since its inception, this innovative educational initiative has transformed the landscape of port logistics education and created waves of opportunity for students and professionals worldwide.

Port Virtual Lab

In November 2023, the Port Virtual Lab will embark on yet another exciting journey, uniting with the Autonomous University in Barcelona (UAB) – our newest partner. This collaboration represents a significant milestone, bringing the PVL’s immersive learning experience to an even broader audience. The UAB is the second Barcelona university to put their faith in the Escola’s turn, incorporating the platform into their programmes, and ensuring that what they teach truly prepares their students for on-the-job demands of the logistics world. This follows the strategic partnership forged with the STC Group in Rotterdam. This alliance not only bolstered the PVL’s reputation but also marked a pivotal moment in the internationalization of the course. STC Group, a distinguished training provider in the bustling port of Rotterdam, added its considerable expertise to the PVL, making it a force to be reckoned with in the logistics education sphere.

Expanding Horizons: The Saudi Logistics Academy Partnership

The Saudi Logistics Academy’s reputation as a hub of logistics excellence in the Middle East is well-established. This month, our team travelled to Saudi Arabia to participate in the first edition of the Sustainable Maritime Industry Conference (SMIC) in Jeddah, organized by the Transport General Authority (TGA) and the Saudi Arabia Government. It was an event dedicated to shaping the future of the maritime industry in the region. During the event, we have discussed ways that we could leverage our innovative platform’s capabilities to nurture a new generation of logistics talent in the region, whilst nurturing trade and networking capabilities between the Mediterranean and the Middle East through education – which resulted in our signing of collaboration agreements to work together in initiatives like PVL and PLIKA – the Port Logistics International Knowledge Academy.

Escola team with Mr. Kitack Lim from the IMO

From left to right: Eduard Rodés (director, Escola Europea), Kitack Lim (secretary general, IMO) and Marco Muci (country manager, Escola Europea)

This partnership will introduce PVL’s dynamic, real-life port community simulation to Saudi Arabia, allowing participants to delve into the intricacies of international trade operations in a controlled yet authentic environment. It will bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application, equipping logistics professionals with the skills they need to excel in a rapidly evolving industry.

A Global Impact in the Making

As discussions with the Saudi Logistics Training Centre progress, the Port Virtual Lab’s influence will extend far beyond the European borders where it first began. This expansion signifies not only the PVL’s global recognition but also its commitment to shaping the future of logistics education worldwide. With each new partnership, the Port Virtual Lab reinforces its mission to address critical skills gaps in the transport and logistics sector on a global scale. It’s a testament to the power of virtual simulators in preparing young professionals for the challenges of the industry, regardless of geographical boundaries.

Port Virtual Lab: Bridging Real-world Skills and Virtual Innovation

The Port Virtual Lab is more than just an educational platform; it’s a gateway to the future of logistics training. At its core, PVL offers a dynamic, real-life port community simulation, enabling participants to immerse themselves in a controlled yet authentic environment. It’s here that they can conduct simulated international trade operations, honing their skills in logistics, transport, and international trade. Over the past 3 years, the PVL has trained 3000 students, expanding its reach and impact.

With 23 simulated companies within a digital port community system, PVL sets the stage for an unparalleled learning experience. The platform’s crown jewel, the pilot freight forwarder module developed with the support of Click&Cargo, allows participants to engage in near-real-life import and export operations. These simulations provide participants with real-life contracts and up-to-date information, ensuring that learning is not just theoretical but truly experiential.

Transforming Port Logistics Education with Port Virtual Lab: Escola Europea and STC Group Join Forces

[Barcelona, 05 September 2023] – The Escola Europea is proud to announce its strategic partnership with STC Group to further enhance and expand its Port Virtual Lab (PVL) training platform, revolutionizing education in the port logistics sector. STC Group, a renowned training provider in and around the port of Rotterdam, brings its wealth of recognition to the innovative training solution.

The upcoming course is set to begin in November 2023, offering participants a unique opportunity to enhance their logistics skills. This comprehensive training programme will span nine weeks, with sessions scheduled every Wednesday, providing a convenient and immersive learning experience for the international pool of participants.

Port Virtual Lab is an innovative and comprehensive platform that offers cutting-edge technological and educational tools. Serving as an online logistics lab, it provides international trade, logistics, and transport students and professionals with the opportunity to simulate real-life operations and access a wide range of tools to enhance their knowledge and skills.

The platform includes 23 simulated companies within a digital port community system. Notably, the pilot freight forwarder module has been perfected with the support of Click&Cargo, enabling near-real-life operation simulations of import and export operations. The PVL training programme spans over 9 days, offering interactive training modules and hands-on operations. The simulation is designed to provide participants with real-life contracts and up-to-date information, ensuring a dynamic and immersive learning experience.

What is Port Virtual Lab?

In 2020, Escola Europea initiated a tender to partner with a software company, aiming to develop an Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP) as the backbone of its virtual training model. This vision led to the birth of Port Virtual Lab, a platform that replicates a real-life port community, enabling course participants to immerse themselves in a controlled yet authentic environment and conduct simulated international trade operations.

Participants in Port Virtual Lab courses assume various roles within the extensive range of companies created for the platform, covering the entire supply chain. These roles include those in freight forwarding, shipping, airlines, road transport, railway companies, and port terminals. Plans are underway to further enrich the simulation by adding more supply chain actors, enhancing users’ experiences.

Benefits of Simulation in Training Endeavors

The initial phases of the YEP MED project identified critical skills gaps in the transport market, particularly in areas such as environmental sustainability, international relations, digitalization, and port logistics operations. To address these gaps, it was essential to ensure that graduates were well-prepared for the challenges of the industry.

Virtual simulators prove to be ideal for this purpose, offering several advantages:

  • Real-time Practice: Trainees can practice operations without market risks.
  • Scenario Diversity: Various real-life scenarios enable effective problem-solving.
  • Sustainable Logistics Chains: The platform allows for the testing of different transport combinations, prioritizing sustainability or speed as required.

Exceptional educational offerings are pivotal in preparing young jobseekers for rapidly changing industries. Simulators and virtual realities play a crucial role in helping young professionals gain experience and confidence. PVL has been a significant step in the development of such training tools in the Mediterranean region, and this collaboration marks the platform’s extension further in Europe and beyond. In the most recent course, participants rated the platform with an impressive score of 4.94 out of a maximum of 5 – highlighting the effectiveness of Port Virtual Lab in enhancing participants’ logistics skills.

Undoubtedly, the platform’s impact will extend to other regions worldwide and will continue to leave a lasting mark even after the project’s completion in 2023.

“I think that this has been a very useful activity, as it allowed us to put into practice the concepts taught throughout our Masters” – Anna Berenguer i Dasquens (University of Barcelona)

For more information about Port Virtual Lab and the partnership between Escola Europea and STC Group, please contact Orlando Reveco at the Escola Europea (international@escolaeuropea.eu).

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

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

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

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

Trade mission in Thailand 2022

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

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

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

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