12 November 19

Joint Seminar organized by the European TEN-T Coordinators for Motorways of the Sea, the Mediterranean, and the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridors

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Joint Seminar organized by the European TEN-T Coordinators for Motorways of the Sea, the Mediterranean, and the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridors,

and hosted by the Spanish Ministry of Public Works & Transport and Puertos del Estado

Madrid, 30 October 2019  Ministerio de Fomento Headquarters


Session 1- The evolution of Maritime transport and its impacts on the TEN-T network

On October 30th , the Consortium composed by Circle S.p.A. (“Circle”), ADS Insight and ISL, as consultants of the European Commission (DG MOVE) and Motorways of the Sea Coordinator in the development of the MoS Implementation Plan 2019, supported the organization of  the seminar co-organised by three European TEN-T Coordinators: Prof Kurt Bodewig for Motorways of the Sea, Iveta Radičová for the Mediterranean Corridor, and Pat Cox for the Scan-Med Corridor, and hosted by the Spanish Ministry of Public Works & Transport and ‘Puertos del Estado’

The seminar attracted more than 100 participants from the Member States, institutions, and industry stakeholders and was an insightful event

Maria Jose Rallo del Olmo (State Secretary, Spanish Secretary-General for Transport) opened the seminar outlining topics to be discussed: connectivity, integration, sustainability, and digitalisation in the context of hinterland and MoS. She commented that cooperation, coordination, and integration must be pillars for any transport policy and expressed her hope that discussions would help state administrations strengthen efforts nationally and internationally.

Kurt Bodewig (European Coordinator for Motorways of the Sea) welcomed all the participants and stressed that this event was important for connecting TEN-T corridors with sustainable MoS. He identified some of the present challenges in West Med, notably environmental, and hoped that events of this type would help to focus discussions on environmental protection and connectivity.

Iveta Radičová (European Coordinator of the Mediterranean Corridor) thanked the Spanish government for hosting this event. Her main message focused on connectivity and bottlenecks in the EU and she suggested that the Member States should realise that industry competes on speed and prices on the global arena. She stressed that there is a problem with too many regulations which result in lengthy procedures which ultimately increase the final price of products transported.

Pat Cox (European Coordinator of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor) reinforced Kurt Bodewig’s statement that there are growing concerns over environmental challenges in West Med. He mentioned the revision of TEN-T Regulation and importance of intermodality for connecting airports and seaports, and specifically extended thanks to the Italian and Maltese representatives for joining this event

Session 1 focused on the evolution of maritime transport and its impacts on the TEN T network.

At the beginning of this Session, Sönke Maatsch (ISL) presented data on market evolution in the West Med sea basin. This sea basin comes as the 2nd most important after the North Sea basin, accounting for ¼ of the EU’s container traffic. It also accommodates high volume traffic with neighboring countries such as North Africa.

Indra Vonck (Deloitte) presented his findings on the demographic change and the maritime industry. The main takeaway points were that the population is getting older, more numerous and has less money to spend. Trade flows will become more regional, knowledge and service-driven – giving the opportunity for the smaller ports in close proximity to natural resources. He discussed the role of technology to counter-balance decreasing productivity, and how an increasing population concentration leads to increased pressure on the prioritization of infrastructure developments.

Regina Asariotis (UN, UNCTAD, Division on Technology and logistics) talked about the impacts of climate change on international transport networks. She emphasized that maritime transport is a critical facilitator of global trade and development, as over 80% of trade volume is being transported by sea, and accounting for less than 2.2% of total CO2 emissions. Maritime transport is not only a culprit but also a victim in modern environmental challenges (ie rising temperatures and sea levels/flooding). In short, climate resilience should be a key priority in upgrading infrastructure. Ms Asariotis, highlighted also, referring to a port industry survey which led to a number of interesting results on why ports have been affected by extreme weather, how ports felt they lack data and information to prepare properly. Key messages from this survey is that better data and information are needed. Climate change, indeed, has to be integrated in the ordinary processes.

Ignacio Ballester (MSC) represented deep-sea shipping lines. He pointed out that the industry has to adapt fast to any upcoming changes. So far the maritime sector is not fully prepared to provide a seamless connection, thus every corridor has to be balanced. He emphasized that capacity has to be improved across all Europe to accommodate the vessel and trade growth.

Guillermo Belcastro (Hutchison Ports BEST – Port of Barcelona) raised a point about customs procedures, suggesting that changes in customs regulations must be made in order to have a more harmonised approach since procedures differ in the North and the South. Jordi Espin (ESC) also supported the idea of having a customs level playing field across all modes in Europe in order to ensure certainty in cargo flow. He also stated that to increase efficiency, we need a common lexicon and proposed that a new framework based on cooperation might be the answer for boosting efficiency… efficiency is the best alternative fuel, he said.

Answering to the question posed by Mr Bodewig, who asked for his opinion regarding the shift from road to sea from the shipper’s perspective, Mr Espin pointed out that transport and international trade flows are going to shift and this is going to bring some good and bad things. More pressure on the land but also innovation (e.g. maritime single window).

As stressed by Mr Espin “How to address all of this? We need to speak the same language. We need to discuss on standards”

What is utmost is a new framework based on cooperation and transparency. The cleanest energy source, indeed, is efficiency.

He also pointed out that, in terms of customs, “We need a customs common playing field for all modes in all Europe”.


Session 2- Tools and technologies to boost environmental protection


The seminar, co-organised by three European TEN-T Coordinators: Prof Kurt Bodewig for Motorways of the Sea, Iveta Radičová for the Mediterranean Corridor, and Pat Cox for the Scan-Med Corridor, and hosted by the Spanish Ministry of Public Works & Transport and ‘Puertos del Estado’. Overall, it was an insightful event with over 100 engaged participants from Member States, institutions, and industry stakeholders.

Session 2 of the seminar was about tools and technologies to boost environmental protection. Distinguished speakers animated this session:

Sergio Alda (EMSA) talked about impact of climate change and the decarbonisation agenda on the West Med region. In the future, decarbonisation will shape technological changes and business opportunities. Sustainable fuels and power systems will significantly impact ship design. A holistic approach to air emissions would also be needed. Automation, digitalisation, monitoring and artificial intelligence would all have a significant impact. Mr Alda provided also an intersting overview of the different environmental challenges shipping is facing. Shipping is essential for our economy but it also has significant impacts to our environment: e.g. air pollution. Shipping is one of the most efficient transport modes. As stressed by Alda, transporting 1 ton of cargo over sea, indeed, is a hundred times more efficient than transporting the same cargo by air. This is why the European commission supports short sea shipping

In total, we know that from IMO studies shipping accounts for 2.2 % of all global Co2 emissions and, without, any action these figures are going to increase (5 % by 2050). This is why CO2 emissions intensively regulated by the International Maritime organizations in particular convention Marpol, annex 6. Annex has been revised 3 times: in 2011, a new chapter requiring energy efficiency for new ships designed after 2013 was introduced, as well as a ship energy efficiency management plan. In 2016, a new requirement was introduced, the international data collection system, for fuel oil consumption of ships, adopted by resolution MEPC.278(70), entered into force on 1 March 2018. In 2018, the IMO greenhouse gas strategy, which identified a number of long-term measures, was introduced. 3 main levels of ambition were introduced:

  1. Carbon intensity of the ship to decline through implementation of further phases of the energy efficiency design index (EEDI) for new ships: to review with the aim to strengthen the energy efficiency design requirements for ships with the percentage improvement for each phase to be determined for each ship type, as appropriate;
  2. Carbon intensity of international shipping to decline: to reduce CO2 emissions per transport work, as an average across international shipping, by at least 40% by 2030, pursuing efforts towards 70% by 2050, compared to 2008; and
  3. GHG emissions from international shipping to peak and decline: to peak GHG emissions from international shipping as soon as possible and to reduce the total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 whilst pursuing efforts towards phasing them out as called for in the Vision as a point on a pathway of CO2 emissions reduction consistent with the Paris Agreement temperature goals.

Dario Bocchetti (Grimaldi) introduced Grimaldi’s efforts to protect the environment in short sea shipping by focusing on renewable energy. He showed a specific case study of Grimaldi having benefited from MOS funding to lengthen a vessel and install battery power to be used when the ship is at berth. The project concerns the largest battery installation on a ship. This ship is operating between Civitavecchia, Port of Rome and Barcellona. The aim is to produce  80 megawatt hours per year.

In its plan for the hybrid, Grimaldi has 12 ro-ro under new building and they are going to reach in a couple of years an installed capacity of 80-megawatt hours. They count to do 20 gigawatt of energy per year and zero emission when at berth.


Guillermo Alomar (Balearia) talked about Balearia’s initiative to use LNG on their ferries in order to reduce GHG emissions, improve air quality and stakeholder acceptance. His main message was that it is very important to change the way of thinking so that ports are not seen as pollution sources in cities, but rather as drivers of the development of cities in an environmentally respectful way.

Balearia mostly operates in short sea shipping and has now two new LNG ferries working and a new building in progress. The main reasons behind this choice can be found in the operational costs savings (i.e. lng costs are about 35 % less compared to marine gasoil costs) and the commitment to respect IMO rules.

Carlos A. Cascos (SBC) introduced the handbook on the external cost of transport. The main benefits of this handbook can be summarised in having a common EU reference, continuous updates over time, a clear market signal to the industry and a consistent cost benefit analysis of projects.

Capt. David Bugeja (Transport Malta’s Ports & Yachting Directorate) highlighted that for island states such as Malta, resilience and weather resistance is of key importance, adding to the fact that these states face natural erosion. Social dimensions that are close to the ports are often underestimated, particularly if they are also heritage sites. The difficulty he underlined with investments in resilience was that these investments often show little or no visibility, and thus they are not priorities for funding and state priorities at the political level.

Luca Marangoni (DG MARE) shared information that there is going to be a project-driven initiative launched to increase trade capacity with neighboring countries – Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. He also highlighted that DG MARE would like to work together with MOS and support it and not to overlap with the initiatives.  He invited stakeholders to consider the EMFF Med Blue Economy call for which there will be an Info Day on November 25, 2019.


Session 3: Improved connectivity within and outside EU borders


Session 3 of the seminar was about Improved connectivity within and outside EU borders.

Session 3 and its speakers was introduced and chaired by Iveta Radicova, European Coordinator of the Mediterranean Corridor.

Josep Vicent Boira (Spanish Coordinator for Mediterranean Corridor) talked about ongoing and planned investment on the Spanish network and cross-border constraints, focusing in particular on the ES-FR border point between Figures-Perpignan. He shared three priority actions – improving services for passengers and freight, developing a strategy for the logistical structure (connection of industrial hubs to the core network) and connecting the Mediterranean corridor with sea ports. He briefly touched upon the ongoing problems that still remained on the MED cross-border section between Spain and France (lack of interoperability). The Spanish government is also thinking about building a corridor with North Africa.

Gerardo Landaluce (Port of Algeciras) introduced the port as the cross road between East-West and North-South trade flows. The port of Algeciras is the maritime bridge between Africa and Europe and the fourth port in Europe in terms of total cargo volume Both Morocco and Senegal have a significant trade flow. Spain has signed a high-level agreement with Morocco, establishing a framework for further development of Algeciras Port/Tanger Med cluster and maritime connectivity.

Javier Garcia Fortea (ADIF) shared that Spain is in the process of elaborating tender requirements for a federative network system of data sharing in logistics European chains under CEF project, which would provide harmonisation of data. For the development of this platform, collaboration of all stakeholders is needed – customs, safety and security.

Philippe Guillaumet (Med Ports Association, Port of Marseille) proposed to establish a new initiative around the Trans-Med Network of transport, which should focus on linking EU countries to Mediterranean neighbouring countries. The newly created Med Ports Association would serve to facilitate this.

Tarik Maaouni (Agence Nationale de Ports marocains) talked about cooperation needs between EU and non-EU countries and he appreciated MOS as a great initiative. Morocco is implementing ambitious multimodal transport projects. Furthermore, the country is leading a working group on digitalisation to streamline trade and logistics process with the EU – the fast Trade Lane Corridor concept. He stated that international innovative initiatives are essential and suggested to organise a Smart Ports challenge in which all the EU ports and third countries could participate.

Javier Fernandez (ECORYS) introduced West Med Maritime assistance mechanism – national hubs in different countries with 28 experts available to support funding proposals and help projects get to the next level.

In conclusion of the seminar, Kurt Bodewig thanked the participants and informed them that the new MoS DIP, with updated data and objectives, would be shared with Member States at the end of this year. The next big step will be the TEN-T revision with a EC proposal expected to be issued in 2021. He highlighted that this was thus an important time to have concrete debates, great impulses and remarks from all the stakeholders. He stressed that we have very ambitious goals until 2050 and it is important to avoid overlapping efforts but rather find new synergies. As stressed by Mr Bodwig, we also have new changes to shift transport to sustainable modes like short-sea shipping, rail and inland waterways, therefore we have new discussion in the next years. In this respect, the new detailed implementation plan with new data could help on how move on.


Iveta Radičová shared that she met with the Spanish Transport Minister and discussion centrered on the way of how to improve railway connection between Spain and France. She supported also the idea that cooperation with neighbouring non-EU countries would be needed for the EU industry to become real players on the international arena.

Pat Cox concluded the seminar with the strong message that stakeholder activism driven by conviction and not by regulation was much needed. Pat Cox praised the idea of a unified approach of the handbook on external costs and suggested that unification should be transposed in other areas as well. He endorsed the notion that climate adaptation and resilience challenges could have high impact but low visibility and thus would require more dedicated political traction.