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Barcelona Remains Europe’s Fastest Growing Port

The Port of Barcelona achieved record results in 2018 across all main traffic indicators, solidifying its position as a key facilitator of export activity.

During the financial year 2018, Barcelona handled 67.7 million tonnes of cargo, representing a 10% increase on the port’s total volume for 2017.

According to a statement, the record-breaking volumes were largely driven by a 15% year-on-year increase in container traffic, Barcelona moving 3.4 million TEU during 2018.

Read a Port Technology technical paper by Olaf Merk, International Transport Forum, to understand demand-driven port development.

This rise in container volume underlines Barcelona’s status as the fastest growing port in Europe, as it comes on top of a 32.5% increase already achieved during 2017.

The results also confirm an increase in intermodality, with the significant growth marked in rail transport helping to boost sustainability of the logistics chains passing through the Port of Barcelona.

China has consolidated its role as Barcelona’s main trading partner, with 25% of the containers passing through the port either beginning or ending their journey in the Far East.

“Motorways of the Sea”, regular lines connecting Barcelona with various destinations in Italy and North Africa, progressed in 2018 as well, diverting approximately 150,000 trucks from the road to the “maritime mode”, a more sustainable option.

In economic terms, the port achieved a net turnover of nearly US$198 million, up 4% from the previous year.

Grimaldi begins the remodeling of the ferries that operate between Barcelona and Civitavecchia

Grimaldi has started the process of lengthening and remodelling the Cruise Roma and Cruise Barcelona ferries, which usually cover the route between Barcelona and Civitavecchia, in Italy.

The changes will ensure that the vessels will have a greater capacity for freight and passengers, and they will incorporate new improvements to reduce their emissions and eliminate them completely during the stay in the Catalan port.

At the Fincantieri shipyard in Palermo, new gas cleaning systems will be installed to reduce the emissions of their engines during navigation. They will also have a new lithium battery system to store the electricity produced during navigation and supply it to the ship when it is moored in the port, replacing the auxiliary generators.

The Consortium of the Zona Franca launches its collaboration with the Escola in Forma’t al Port

On the 26th of November, Pere Navarro, the State Representative of the Consortium of the Zona Franca (Free Trade Zone); Eduard Rodés, the Director of the Escola Europea and Joaquim Cabané, the President of the Work Group of Training and Employment of the Executive Committee for the Promotion of the Port of Barcelona, signed a collaboration agreement in which the Consortium became incorporated as a sponsor of the Forma’t al Port programme.

The programme, promoted by the Port of Barcelona and sponsored by the Barcelona Provincial Council, the City Hall of Barcelona, the Escola Europea, associations and organisations from the sector, has recently completed the first year of its second triennium (2017-2020).

The meeting also brought together Blanca Sorigué, the general director, Victor Francos, the Director of the Cabinet of the Special Delegate of the State and Marta Miquel, Chief Business Officer of the Escola Europea and Programme Manager of Forma’t al Port.

Forma’t al Port is the programme which helps the port community open its doors to students of Transport and Logistics, and International Commerce. In 2018 it has seen an exceptionally high participation rate: 415 young students could discover the Port of Barcelona and its business community.

The courses promote the incorporation of students in dual training schemes offered by companies in the sector, with the objective of helping create a logistic community that is able and well prepared to handle the strategic challenges of the Catalan region. The Consotrium of the Free Trade Zone will actively participate in the Training and Occupation working group of the Governing Council for the Promotion of the Port Community of Barcelona, contributing in particular to discussions on the professions of the sector.

Forma’t al Port has completed the month of November with two Management courses with Genoa as their destination. It will return in January with Introduction courses scheduled already for students coming from Catalan secondary schools.

Thanks to the good results achieved this year, the programme continues wiht the objective of helping position Barcelona and Catalonia in the front lines of logistic activities in Europe and in the World.

For more information you can visit the Programmes website www.escolaeuropea.eu/format or write to info@escolaeuropea.eu

Artificial intelligence: Ports are beginning to take up positions

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an affordable technology, although it is only slowly being introduced into the business sector. Thus far, it has primarily been used to improve sales prediction techniques, but its potential applications are infinite and include lowering maintenance costs, improving product quality, planning manufacturing and increasing service level. In the sphere of transport, AI opens up a host of possibilities. Will the ports take advantage of them?

Today, the ports of Hamburg, Rotterdam and Singapore have already started to develop AI tools to improve predictions of maritime and land transport operations. Specifically, Hamburg has created a decision-making support system based on a predictive model of the behaviour of land transport. The model takes historical data, and using deep learning techniques and neural networks, it offers detailed predictions of the times when lorries should reach terminals. Based on this, the system notifies the lorry drivers of the terminal entrance times, and it gives the terminals a dynamic forecast of the workload they will have according to the changes in the surrounding conditions (road and access route saturation, real ship arrival time, degree of terminal saturation, etc.).

HOW DOES DEEP LEARNING WORK?

Deep learning and neural networks are two of the machine-learning methods which have come to the fore the most in recent years. They are inspired by the way neural networks work in the brain. They transform the entry values, layer by layer, until the value of the variables that they are trying to predict is found. Even though the results of neural networks are quite satisfactory, they need vast amounts of data to learn, and learning times are long (days or even weeks). Natural language processing, image pattern recognition and voice processing are the main success stories of deep learning. Thus, the evolution of data collection and management has to include the following levels: recording, analysing, simulating, predicting and finally recommending. Based on that, new-generation ports are expected to apply predictive and prescriptive analysis techniques as tools to support decision-making when planning the transport of the actors in the port-logistics chain. And this does not only include lorries, since the same transport logistics that it applied on motorways can also be applied to any means of transport (railway, maritime or river).

New-generation ports are expected to apply predictive and prescriptive analysis techniques as tools to support decision-making when planning the transport of the actors in the port-logistics chain.
The digital transformation in the port and the logistics chain entails huge amounts of data, many of them in real time. The competitiveness of future ports will largely depend on their ability to make use of this information. With AI tools that enable them to take advantage of the potentiality of this vast trove of data, the decisions taken by the managers will be higher quality, shared and generated more quickly, so they will likely optimise the time, cost and reliability of the operations in port-logistics environments. In a complementary fashion, all of this will end up leading to more flexible, real-time operations management. AI has reached the world of transport, and it is here to stay. The ports which realised its benefits and potentiality to change the sector first will unquestionably see operational efficiency gains compared to their competitors. Ports that already have advanced systems that allow them to gather a significant amount of data (Port Community Systems, Port Management Systems and Terminal Operating Systems, among other systems) will be the best poised to successfully incorporate the tools offered by artificial intelligence.

Ports that already have advanced systems that allow them to gather a significant amount of data will be the best poised to successfully incorporate the tools offered by artificial intelligence

THE ORIGINS OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Even though it seems like a recent concept, the origins of artificial intelligence date back to the Greeks. Aristotle (384-322 BC) was the first to determine a set of rules that partly describes the way the mind works to reach rational conclusions, and Ctesibius of Alexandria (285-222 BC) built the first self-controlled machine, a water-flow regulator (rational, but without the ability to reason). John McCarthy, Marvin Minsky and Claude Shannon coined the term artificial intelligence at the Dartmouth Workshop (USA) in 1956 to refer to the “science and inventiveness of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent calculation programmes”. Where these three scientists missed the mark was in their prediction of when the first smart machines would arrive. They trusted that by the 1970s we would be surrounded by artificial intelligence. However, the majority of tech companies did not decide to make significant investments in this field until the 1990s and 2000s, in a bid to improve the processing and analytical capacity of the vast amounts of data which were being generated in the new digital world. In fact, AI was definitively enshrined in 1997, when IBM demonstrated that an IT system was capable of beating a human at chess. And it wasn’t just any human; it was the world champion, Garry Kasparov. The supercomputer was called Deep Blue, and it marked the turning point when industrial technology and society at large became aware of the real importance and possibilities of artificial intelligence.

Source: PierNext 

Generating value for society

I would like to take this first opportunity offered to me as the President of the Escola Europea to address all of the alumni and readers of the ODISEO newsletter.

I took up the post of President of the Port of Barcelona a few weeks ago, and in this time I have been experiencing this multifaceted reality of the Port – or ports, because there are more than one – its different activities and projects and the people that comprise its community.

From strategy to infrastructures

In the development of the duties that have been entrusted to me, I keep in mind the mission of the institution that I represent: the Port itself. In its most traditional version, it is the body responsible for the development, construction and management of new infrastructures. It is also responsible for guaranteeing services that facilitate the competitiveness of its customers, and for creating value for society: infrastructures and services of the society to which we are indebted.

The final goal is clear and we have many ways to work towards its achievement. The strategic axes that will guide our development in the coming years are sustainability and innovation.

At the same time, the Port needs to strengthen connectivity with its terrestrial and maritime hinterland in order to increase the agility of the logistics chains that pass through the port area.

On the terrestrial side it is necessary to finish road and rail infrastructures that grant access to the port, to increase its current capacity and improve connections, both with the rest of the peninsula and with France and the rest of Europe.

In the maritime dimension of the hinterland, the Motorways of the Sea must play a fundamental role. Our connections with Italy and with the Maghreb have to be developed to allow for a greater agility of the passage of goods and improved door-to-door services. The Maghreb is today a key region in Europe’s construction project. Its development is a necessary element to achieve the stabilisation of the region.

It should be noted here that in both rail and maritime services, an acceptable solution must include both of the nodal infrastructures and transport corridors that connect them. The final solution depends on everyone involved, so doing it right at the port is no longer enough. It must be done well from beginning to end. The port can make the investments within its territories, but it becomes necessary to have equivalent infrastructures present in the destination nodes. This requires a different action that depends on third parties, which in itself poses difficulties and uncertainties.

A part of the solution must come from the development of transport networks that arise from the design and implementation of the Trans-European Transport Network, so that they can be extended and integrated with those of the rest of the Mediterranean countries. This Trans-Mediterranean network must be the engine of change in the region.

From infrastructures to logistics communities

Once we have the infrastructures, it is necessary to develop high quality and competitive maritime and railway services. Customer-oriented logistics communities, in which competitiveness, quality and proactivity in the management of services and efficiency are the main axes of the action.

We need ports that work and are built as a team, especially in terms of collaboration between public administrations and private operators. Two worlds that seek to establish a dialogue and cooperation to harmonise their interests and activities. Customs, inspection services, police … Each one with its obligations and responsibilities is looking for a way to respond to customers, while continuing to innovate and find better and more effective ways to preserve the environment as a source of wealth and development of the societies to which they must provide services to.

From logistics communities to the people

Complex infrastructures that provide complicated services, are innovative and sustainable, and contain competitive logistics chains in an uncertain and changing environment are not easy to maintain. Finding the people capable of doing it isn’t either.

The ports, in their current state, with the collaboration of the training centres, can be the organisations that facilitate the development of people in the sector, provide quality training and the develop the competencies that allow effective management of operations and ultimately lead to customer satisfaction. Generating value today goes through the recruitment of talent, which in turn happens to employ and retain the people capable of providing it.

Talent can be bought or built. For the first, money is needed. For the second, it takes vision, conviction, determination, patience and perseverance. And the results at the end are not the same. The first solution is ephemeral. The second is consistent and durable. We need to train the best professionals to help build the best port in the world in the broadest sense of the term.

We can buy creativity and innovation, but it is better to have creative people with the capacity and desire to innovate. We can apply environmental measures to improve sustainability, but it is better to have people convinced of and dedicated to sustainability.

The Escola can and must help advance on this path that tries to maximise the immediate and universal value for the society. I hope I can help achieve these goals that will allow us to build a better world for all.

 

Mercè Conesa
President
Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport

Port Single Window: study visit for an Algerian delegation organised by the Escola Europea

After a few weeks of summer break, this week the Escola Europea reopens its doors to training. An Algerian delegation, made up of representatives of various public institutions as well as private companies, met in Barcelona for a study visit entirely dedicated to the Port Single Window, thanks to the initiative of the World Bank and the Port of Barcelona. The course is organised by the Escola Europea, which has designed a programme of theoretical lectures and practical visits to some facilities of the port community of Barcelona.

The course, which started yesterday, August 28th, lasts 3 days (18 hours). The starting session was chaired by the new President of the Port of Barcelona, Mercè Conesa, accompanied by Nora Berdja, Consul General of Algeria in Barcelona.

The theoretical sessions of the visit will cover all the operations involved in the procedures related to the Port Single Window, and will be complemented by a maritime visit to the Port of Barcelona and two land visits to the ro-ro Grimaldi terminal and the semi-automatic container terminal BEST.

The teachers on this visit, designed to suit the Algerian delegation, are professional experts in international trade. For the Port of Barcelona: Carles Rúa, head of strategic projects and innovation; Rafael Gomis, director of organisation and business consultancy; Lluis Paris, commercial manager; and Jaume Bagot, business process improvement manager. They are joined by Josep Carles Llagostera, Barcelona Maritime Customs Administrator; Beatriz Cruz, head of the BIP (Border Inspection Post) area; Javier Gallardo and Vicente González, respectively director and project manager from PortIC Barcelona.

The Escola Europea thanks the support and collaboration of the Grimaldi terminal, of the BEST Hutchison Group terminal, for the practical visits.

The study visit is part of the activities of the TransLogMED project, of which the Escola is the promoter. The visit will serve as a first step to organize training activities on Algerian territory and thus begin to strengthen collaborative ties with the Maghreb country. The next activity planned in the TransLogMED calendar is the conference on Motorways of the Sea to be held on 3 October in Casablanca.

Barcelona, the gate to Europe and the Mediterranean

The Port of Barcelona will lead, from 9th until 17th November, a trade mission to Viet Nam. The delegation, integrated of companies importing and exporting, logistics and port will visit two major cities: the capital, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Min, which concentrates the largest commercial activity in the country.

Viet Nam was chosen by the port community of Barcelona for being considered as a strategic market, in addition for being the country that presents the greatest growth of Southeast Asia, and the second of all far East. It is seen by these companies as a stable country that is developing an ambitious reform plan to promote the internationalization of its economy.

Strategic location, productivity, quality and connectivity

Barcelona is presented to Vietnamese companies as the South Gate to access the European market and the platform of distribution for the Mediterranean and North Africa. It is the capital of Catalunya, the most dynamic region of Spain and one of the four industrial engines of Europe. Its economy, which presents a high degree of openness, represents 20% of the whole of the State, while exports exceeded 30% of the Spanish total.

El Port de Barcelona, which currently offers 5 regular maritime lines that connect it with 18 Vietnamese ports, offers a complete range of logistics solutions and reliable transport of importers and exporters highly competitive. It is of one of the ports with the highest productivity in Europe, technologically advanced and with an excellent quality of service. Likewise, has an excellent maritime connectivity, interoceanic lines of high capacity with America and Asia, and daily services of short sea shipping to Italy and North Africa. The Port – located just 160 kilometers from the French border- also has regular rail services to the Iberian Peninsula and Europe and offers customers complete logistic services prepared for serve any kind of merchandise and transport.

This commitment to quality and efficiency has led to position itself as the European port with a higher growth of traffic in the year 2017, with 61 million tons (+ 26%) and 3 million TEU (+ 32.3%). Traffic between the Port of Barcelona and Vietnamese ports also has had an excellent evolution: On year 2017, the container traffic of Catalan infrastructure with origin or destination in Viet Nam outpointed the 27,300 TEU, which is an increase of 19% over the previous year. With regard to the volume of tons, trade amounted last year to 362.412 tons, an increase of 18.5%. This positive trend is being maintained in early 2018 and, between January and June, container traffic between the Port of Barcelona and Viet Nam has increased 34%.

Catalan Viet Nam exports increased in 2017 for the third consecutive year to exceed 121 million euros, 27.3% more than the previous year. Coffee, machinery, textiles, food and furniture are among the main goods exchanged between Barcelona and Viet Nam.

Business mission of the Port of Barcelona: a model of success

Viet Nam welcomes the 20th mission business of the Port of Barcelona, which has been organized with the collaboration of the Generalitat de Catalunya, VOCI, Foment de Treball Nacional, PIMEC, Casa Asia, the Institute of foreign trade of Spain, the Embassy of Viet Nam in Spain and VISABA. In this edition, the Catalan delegation will be chaired by the Minister for territory and sustainability (Minister of infrastructures), Damià Calvet and the President of the Port of Barcelona, Mercè Conesa.

The missions aimed at strengthening business and institutional links between the port and logistics communities of Barcelona and of the receiving countries, generating new business opportunities and contributing to the internationalization of their economies.

In both cities Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, business meetings will be celebrated. In addition, a technical seminar of customs will be held in Ho Chi Minh, which has been particularly valued by participants in previous missions.

The technical seminar of customs, which will count with the participation of representatives of entities linked to the port-logistics sector and of responsible for the customs services of both countries, will deal with those innovations that can improve the customs management in the Port of Barcelona – the figure of the economic authorized operator, the expansion of the functions customs related, telematization of document processes, etc.- and the specificities of the customs system of Viet Nam.

Subsequently, the participants will benefit from an agenda of bilateral contacts aimed at the development of new business.

Nineteen previous editions, which have visited countries of America, Asia and Africa, have been particularly valued by participants since they have generated significant growth in traffic and they have been the starting point for various Professional and Institutional collaborations that have been consolidated over the following years.

Custom contacts agendas

The Organization of the mission offers Vietnamese companies the possibility of preparing a personalized agenda of contacts, in accordance with their interests and objectives, to facilitate the detection of counterparts and business development. These agendas are being prepared by the ICEX – Office for economic and commercial of the Embassy of Spain in Viet Nam.

Source: Port de Barcelona News

The port of Barcelona adapts 26 trucks for LNG to reduce emissions

This is done under the RePort project, which is financed with European funds for regional development.

The port of Barcelona has adapted a total of 26 vehicles for its propulsion through liquefied natural gas (LNG) in an initiative led by the Port Authority of Barcelona in collaboration with ATEC, the Generalitat and Gas Natural, among other partners. The RePort project aims to promote the use of natural gas as an alternative fuel for trucks within the port area, with the aim of reducing polluting emissions. Within the framework of the project, the engines of a total of 26 trucks have been transformed into the dual-fuel modality. This adaptation allows the engines to use diesel and natural gas simultaneously, contributing to improve the air quality of the port and its immediate surroundings.

The RePort project is integrated into the Ris3cat Movilitat Eco Community, coordinated by Ficosa and co-financed with funds from the European Regional Development Fund, and managed by the Department of Action of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In addition to Ficosa and the Generalitat, the rest of the partners of the initiative, led by the port of Barcelona, are the Container Business Owners Association (ATEC), Gas Natural Fenosa, Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), Idiada, the School of Engineering of East Barcelona (EEBE-UPC), Dimsport Spain, Renewable Technical Consulting (RTC) and the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport.

On Tuesday the 12th of June a presentation of the project detailed the tests planned for the coming months of the 26 trucks to evaluate the effectiveness of the modification. During the presentation, the president of the Port Authority Sixte Cambra, underlined that the RePort project is part of the Catalan Port’s Plan for the Improvement of Air Quality. He stressed that this plan is extremely ambitious and that there is a need to increase the use of natural gas to achieve its objectives.

The control of gas emissions in trucks falls under the responsibility of IDIADA, while the Barcelona Supercomputing Center is responsible for the modeling of the dispersion of pollutant emissions from port activities in both port and city environments of Barcelona. In addition, the RePort project also includes the installation of a real-time monitoring system from Renewable Technical Consulting (RTC) onto each truck, wiht the aim of calculating the percentage of gas replacement along with various other parameters of the engine and the route. Gas Natural Fenosa is responsible for designing the logistics of the supply of natural gas along the main routes that the trucks make either originating or terminating in the Port of Barcelona to establish the points where it will be necessary to install points of supply of this fuel, as well as the cost that this would entails. Finally, the Escola Europea-Intermodal Transport has carried out an efficient driving course for the drivers of the 26 tractors powered by vehicular natural gas (NGV), training them also in safety and handling of this fuel.

For more information about the RePort project you can consult the project page or the Port of Barcelona’s website.

The Port of Barcelona promotes the World Ports Sustainability Program through three projects

The purpose of the WPSP is to promote the sustainability of the port logistics chain.

The Port of Barcelona is one of the promoters of the World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP), a project whose objective is to promote sustainability in ports and in all logistics chains. The WPSP wants to gather, coordinate and promote the different sustainability initiatives that are being developed in ports around the world, helping them respond to the needs of the communities they serve and, at the same time, tackle the great global challenges, such as climate change, mobility, digitalization, migration and social integration.

The WPSP, which was presented at the conference of the same title held last week in the port of Antwerp, inaugurated by Queen Mathilde of Belgium – one of the 17 defenders of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – is a initiative of the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH), which presides over the port of Barcelona, and is a continuation of the World Ports Climate Declaration, signed by 55 of the world’s major ports ten years ago. The conference was attended by the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Kitack Lim, who has expressed the support of the world’s leading maritime organization to the WPSP.

In addition to the IAPH, the main international port and transport organizations have been added to the initiative, including the European Ports Association (ESPO), the Association of Port Authorities of America (AAPA), and the International Association of Cities and Ports (AIVP).

At the launch conference of the WPSP, the deputy general director of Strategy and Commerce of the port of Barcelona and president of IAPH, Santiago Garcia-Milà, has highlighted the ability of “the global port community to contribute to the objectives of the United Nations in important aspects such as energy and education “, and has defended that” the cooperation between the different actors of the international maritime business gives enormous potential to this initiative “.

The Catalan port participates in the WPSP with three of its own projects. The first, the Study of the Impact of Cruise Activity in Barcelona. The second, the Air Quality Improvement Plan of the Port of Barcelona, which aims to reduce polluting emissions through 25 actions developed in 53 activities. Many of these are already being developed and are based, to a large extent, on the promotion of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as an alternative fuel for ships, terminal machinery and trucks. Finally, Links Port, the web tool to build and compare online transport chains to import or export a container between any port in the world and Europe through Barcelona, which includes a model for calculating emissions.

Source: El Vigia