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.