During this session, we’ll have the pleasure to interview two of the protagonists of the wind propulsion renaissance, who will answer all your questions on this subject, which is more and more discussed among the maritime community.

 Wind assisted propulsion is going to be a reality earlier than we expect in the Med area.

Of course, there are a number of question marks around the topic, for example about:

  • Safety
  • Crew capability
  • Engineering
  • Economic model

Don’t miss the webinar to hear the answers!

Register here

ABOUT CONNECTING EU INSIGHTS | “Connecting EU insights” is a week-long event composed of virtual meetings designed to gain an accurate and deep understanding of pivotal topics for the development of the maritime industry and its green transition. 

Discover more here 

Integration of logistic chains between ports, new services to support people and goods mobility and improvement of environmental performances. 

BCLink European Project is developed by Ports of Barcelona and Civitavecchia for the establishment of the Euro-Mediterranean Corridor.

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–  Infrastructure upgrading in the Port of Civitavecchia: realized works and future developments

Francesco Maria di Majo, President of the Northern Tyrrhenian Sea Port Authority System

– The vision of the Port of Barcelona

Carles Rúa Costa, Responsible for strategic projects and innovation at Port of Barcelona

– The Civitavecchia-Barcelona MoS: prospects and challenges

Kyprianou Paul, External Relations Manager at Grimaldi Group

– BCLink: INEA’s expectations

Elena Jenaro, Project Manager at INEA

ABOUT CONNECTING EU INSIGHTS | “Connecting EU insights” is a week-long event composed of virtual meetings designed to gain an accurate and deep understanding of pivotal topics for the development of the maritime industry and its green transition. 

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by & filed under Port infrastructure, Sustainability.

Cleaner energy for the future of the maritime sector passes also through the construction of hydrogen-powered ships: with a roadmap that foresees an investment of 500 billion dollars by 2030, the European Union could become the strategic context for the construction of a hydrogen hub.

Register here


Chairman: Alexio Picco, EU Funding Expert and Circle Group Managing Director


  • Cosma Panzacchi, EVP BU Hydrogen – Snam
  • Stefano Socci, Executive Vice President Transport & Infrastructure Consulting & Design – RINA
  • Josep Sanz-Argent, R&D – Energy Transition – Fundación Valenciaport
  • Massimo Debenedetti, Vice President Research & Innovation – Fincantieri S.p.A.

ABOUT CONNECTING EU INSIGHTS | “Connecting EU insights” is a week-long event composed by virtual meetings designed to gain an accurate and deep understanding of pivotal topics for the development of the maritime industry and its green transition. 

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Artificial Intellingence to manage the traffic of trucks in the port of Ancona area and digitalisation of information flows for evolutive customs procedures: these are the main features of SMART–C, EU project within CEF framework, for the improvement of the quality of traffic related to ferry services – embarking and disembarking operations, security checks and customs clearing procedures – and the development of a suitable answer to the truck traffic growth, with a special care about the environmental sustainability.

This session aims at analysing the EU vision and strategies concerning Customs procedures digitalisation and the potential future developments of Artificial Intelligence applied to Transport and Logistics industry, focusing on SMART-C project use case.

Register here

Evolutive Customs Corridors: AI and digitalisation for sustainability, port efficiency and cargo security

Chairman: Alexio Picco, EU Funding Expert and Circle Group Managing Director

The role of digitalisation and evolutive Customs procedures: EU vision and strategies

  • Szymon Oscislowski, Responsible for the Digital Transport and Logistic Forum, DG MOVE
  • Frank Janssens, Consultant on Trade Facilitation, Customs Digitalisation and Single Window establishment

Evolutive Customs Corridor in the Port of Ancona | SMART-C project

  • Matteo Paroli, Managing Director – Central Adriatic Ports Authority
  • Danilo Bottone, Head of Organisation, Research and Digital Transition Office – Organisation and Digital Transition Directorate, Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency

The enabling technology: artificial intelligence in Transport and Logistics

  • Andrea Lagomarsini, CTO, Senior Software Architect and Developer – Hyperion

ABOUT CONNECTING EU INSIGHTS | “Connecting EU insights” is a week-long event composed by virtual meetings designed to gain an accurate and deep understanding of pivotal topics for the development of the maritime industry and its green transition. 

Discover more here 


According to The Guardian Report, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says end of US-led global system and Europe needs a robust strategy for Asia. The Asian century may have arrived marking the end of a US-led global system, the EU’s foreign affairs chief has said amid a growing discussion in Europe on how to weave a path between China and the US.

“Analysts have long talked about the end of an American-led system and the arrival of an Asian century. This is now happening in front of our eyes,” Josep Borrell told a group of German diplomats two months ago, adding that the coronavirus pandemic could be seen as a turning point and that the “pressure to choose sides is growing”.

In remarks that appear to confirm that the European Union will speed up a shift to a more independent and aggressive posture towards Beijing, he said the 27-nation bloc “should follow our own interests and values and avoid being instrumentalised by one or the other”.

“We need a more robust strategy for China, which also requires better relations with the rest of democratic Asia,” he added.

The EU has been reluctant to side with Donald Trump’s confrontational stance towards China, but Beijing’s assault on the independence of Hong Kong, its growing willingness to side with Europe’s populists and its refusal to open its markets has led to a change of heart, according to analysts. Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition commissioner and a key figure in how Europe will handle China in the future, has recently noted what she describes as a lack of reciprocity. “In the part of west Denmark in which I grew up, we were taught that if you invite a guest to dinner and they do not invite you back, you stop inviting them,” she explained. She said Europe needed “to be more assertive and confident about who we are”.

Borrell has previously admitted the EU has been naive about aspects of China but said this was now coming to an end. In an article published this month in many European newspapers, he urged more collective discipline towards China. Already a raft of senior politicians in France and Germany are becoming more vocal in their criticism of China, seeing echoes of Russian efforts to divide the bloc through a mixture of disinformation or pandering to rightwing populists who ideologically should be anathema to Chinese communists.

No one knows yet how far this “new realism” will take the EU in altering its economic relationship to China. Daily EU imports from China amount to €1bn (£895m), but economists say there are already signs that some trade is not returning.

In 2019, Italy became the first European country to sign a “belt and road” investment memorandum with China. Many European countries individually gave Huawei the go-ahead to run their 5G networks.


The crossroad of two international corridors to connect Europe to the Asian powers of China and India-

Iran at the crossroad of both corridors


1- The International East-West (China-Europe) Transport Corridor (Belt and Road Initiative)

Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a Chinese multi-layered economic, and geopolitical agenda that by which the two ends of Eurasia, as well as Africa and Oceania, are being more closely connected along two routes–one overland and one maritime. The Chinese President Xi Jinping initially proposed it in 2013. Later in 2015, the People Republic of China issued an action plan for realizing the initiative.

Formally, One Belt One Road focuses on five main areas of cooperation between involved countries:

1-coordinating development policies,
2-forging infrastructure and facilities networks,
3-strengthening investment and trade relations,
4-enhancing financial cooperation, and
5-deepening social and cultural exchanges.

However, infrastructure such as highways and roads, railways, seaports, energy systems and pipelines has been at the centre of attention within this initiative. The BRI brings a view of a US$1.3 trillion investment program, mostly by China, to create a network of infrastructure. It aimed to boost economic inter-connectivity and assists development across Eurasia, East Africa among more than 60 partner countries.

The new Silk Way imagines the establishment of six key economic cooperation corridors and some crucial maritime pivot points across Eurasia. In short, on land, the Initiative planned to build a new Eurasian land bridge and develop five economic corridors of China-Central Asia-West Asia; China-Mongolia-Russia; the China-Indochina peninsula; China-Pakistan; and Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar. On the seas, the BRI will enhance jointly built, secure, smooth, and energy efficient transport routes connecting major seaports along the belt and road. Very recently, Polar Silk Road also introduced as a route, in addition to the Maritime Silk Road. Altogether, they form the “belt” and “road”.

The Silk Road Economic Belt’s overland infrastructure covers the Eurasia Land via the above-mentioned five corridors, empowered with high-speed railways and hydrocarbon pipeline networks. The ‘Belt’ corridor extends from the west of China through Central Asia to Europe. It targeted the integration of the Eurasian landmass into an interrelated economic area.

The Maritime Silk Road is concentrated on developing some ports. For the maritime ‘Road’, the seaports and hubs across the Indo-Pacific are crucial as they act to connect to land-based transportation routes. Development of port facilities across the Indian ocean in  Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka,  Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Oman and Djibouti are all according to the plan to provide maritime access for China. In the EU end, the route connects to Greek port of Piraeus which owned by COSCO the Chinese Shipping Group. It facilitates China’s  access to the European markets.

China claims that the initiative can further integrate China into the rest of the world while allowing poorer economic parts of the country to gain the benefits of its opening-up policy. In 2016, the China Daily reported that in line with the new BRI Initiative, China has established 75 overseas economic and trade cooperation zones in 35 countries as part. However, the new silk ways are still immature and strive for external endorsement and support.

2. The International South-North (India-Europe) Transport Corridor

At a meeting of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) coordination council in Tehran, it was announced that capacity on the corridor would be increased. Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development said that the increase would be achieved by expanding railway and port infrastructures. He added that member states had agreed to create a joint company, including government representatives, for the corridor to increase capacity, subject to the necessary political will to proceed with the plan.

The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) is a 7,200 km long multi-modal network of ship, rail, and road routes for the transport of freight between India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia, and Europe. The objective of the corridor is to increase trade connectivity between major cities such as Mumbai, Moscow, Baku, Astrakhan, Tehran, Bandar Abbas, and Bandar Anzali.

The aim of the corridor is not just to increase trade between member countries, but also to standardize tariffs and customs duties.

Baku port also serves as a link to transport corridors which target European markets.

The foreign ministers of Romania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkmenistan have this week signed a declaration for the promotion of a multimodal corridor for the transport of goods between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea (Caspian Sea – Black Sea International Transport Corridor project – ITC-CSBS). It will link the ports of Constanţa (Romania), Poti (Georgia), Baku (Azerbaijan) and Turkmenbashi (Turkmenistan).

The Sustainable Future Ports

Moving towards sustainability is also a social challenge that entails international and national law, urban planning and transport, local and individual lifestyles and ethical consumerism. The sustainable future port is a concept considering not only to the economical scope but also the environmental and social scopes. The concept of “Sustainability” for ports is the integration of the environmentally friendly methods of port activities, operations and management. In other words, in a sustainable way: Any development causes the minimum possible impacts, contributing to improving measures and controls for the quality of the air, water, noise and waste.

Future ports are committed to being green while building prosperity for current and future generations.  For this purpose, the port sustainability will be the core of development strategies and plans;  beyond ‘systems and policies’. It could be the most important step for ports towards becoming a more sustainable business, setting a foundation in which to evolve. Within the scope of sustainability, the future port approach can be achieved through sustainable planning with five crucial steps of smart port operations, preserve of the environment, the human element, planning a bright future, and port communities, (See below figure).

The sustainability plans should be dynamic, therefore to be reviewed each year to ensure that the ports remain abreast of emerging industry trends and new technologies. Ther are some measures for the establishment of future sustainable seaports, including but not limited to:

  • The application of policies and regulatory framework at ports for the reduction of the emissions of harmful substances,
  • A green design of the port-city landscape and integration of port to the urban area which includes trees that absorb noise and air pollution,
  •  Utilization of renewable energy sources inport operations and activities,
  • The transition of the ports from the linear economy to the Circular Economy in order to redefine products and services to design waste out, while minimizing negative impacts.
  • Establishment of the    Energy Management System (EnMS) and/or Environmental Management System to improve the port environmental profile and increase the energy efficiency.
  • Application of best practices from leading ports in environmental issues, such as ports with certificates labelled as EcoPorts initiative.
  • The inclusion of the term “green growth “in the further development of the port systems and the establishment of environmental planning within the mentioned areas.
  • Digitalization and automation of port operations and activities.

Sustainability in Seaports as Collaborative Entities

Sustainability in Seaports as Collaborative Entities

Ports provide an essential service for the movement of goods and passengers around the globe as a link between the sea and the land. They provide direct and indirect jobs globally in areas including transport, port-based activities, and shipping services, and are vital to the economy of the cities and regions within which they are located.

Ports face threats from climate change, through sea-level rise or the increasing frequency of severe weather events, and also challenges from changes in shipping industry requirements, emissions reduction, stakeholder requirements and the need for improved collaboration between ports with local communities/government agencies. In order to achieve more sustainable and resilient ports now and in the future, development of solutions to meet these threats and challenges is vital. .

Areas where port-specific solutions are needed include: improving transport modes between ports and the hinterland; changes in energy use, emissions reduction and waste reduction measures within port boundaries and for for ships using a port; improving collaboration and cooperation between Port Authorities, stakeholders, policy-makers ,and governance bodies; and developing links with local academic institutions to undertake environmental and technical research and development.

By framing such solutions within the March 2019 World Port Sustainability Program (WSPS), this Special Collection welcomes papers that provide a better understanding of how ports can better contribute to sustainability, in five areas:

  • Future-proofing Infrastructure (SDGS 4-9 and 13-15);
  • Climate and Energy Issues (SDGs 7-9 and 11-13)
  • Safety and Security (SDGs 3, 8, 9, 11, 12 and 16);
  • Governance and Ethics (SDGs 1-5 and 8)
  • Societal Integration

Theoretical and practical manuscripts are welcomed from academic researchers, port practitioners, governance bodies, and other relevant bodies, or some combination of these.

We look forward to your submissions!

We look forward to your submissions!
For more information:


Angela Carpenter, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
Reza Karimpour, University of Genoa, Italy
Ernesto D.R. Santibanez Gonzalez, University of Talca, Chile
Maria Francesca Renzi, Rome Tre University, Italy
Rodrigo Lozano, University of Gävle, Sweden

The 3rd International Consultative Committee (ICC) meeting

Date: 29th July 2020, Time: 11 a.m. -12 p.m.

Place: Online meeting

   Agenda: EU Green Deal and the challenges and drivers for the European ports
Introduction  By Mr.Picco and Mr.Karimpour from Circle
ESPO presentationBy Ms.Isabelle Ryckbost – the Secretary General: ESPO Green Deal position paper Green Deal
Discussion  5 extinguished members of the ICC committee  and Project partners
ConclusionMr.Alexio Picco, Project Manager
Dissemination LevelThe feedbacks and the comments from all the attending experts of the meeting on Drivers and Challenges of the Roadmap to implement the European Green Deal objectives in ports. ICC meetings outputs will be:
–           posted on the website of the project, and its social media
–           Included in the relevant Deliverable of the project

The Third International Consultative Committee meeting of DocksTheFuture project took place on 29 July 2020 between 11.00-12.15. The Objective of the conf.call  was to discuss how to implement the European Green Deal objectives in European ports , the drivers and challenges. For this purpose, two officials from the ESPO were invited to present.

The participants of this meeting were from three below groups:

  • The ICC extinguished members:   Michele Acciaro, Paul Brewster, Angela Carpenter, Drik’t Hooft, Alessandro.Panaro
  • ESPO: Isabelle Ryckbost -Secretary General, & Valter Selén – Senior Policy Advisor Sustainable Development, Cruise and Ferry Network, EcoPorts Coordinator
  • Docks The Future (DTF) project’s partners: Circle s.p.a: Reza Karimpour, Alexio Picco, PortExpertise group: Joris Claeys, Peter Bresseleers, Magellan Association: Andrea Hrzic, ISL Group, and Circle Group.

Mr.Reza Karimpour from Circle s.p.a organised this  Docks The Future conf.call and welcomed the participants. Mr.Alexio Picco from Circle s.p.a that leads the project welcomed the participants of the meeting and explained about the project and its progress. He gave a brief introduction to the project. He mentioned that the project is coordinated by Circle S.p.A (Italy) as the leader of the project working group including ISL – Institut für Seeverkehrswirtschaft und Logistik  (Germany) ,Magellan (Portugal), PortExpertise (Belgium) , University of Genoa (Italy).

After welcoming, Mr. Alexio Picco left the floor to  Ms. Isabelle Ryckbost -Secretary General to present the “ESPO’s Roadmap to implement the European Green Deal objectives in ports”. She started with mentioning the overall view of the EU Green Deal with a focus on three elements of: More than lowering emissions = New Growth strategy, Transforming the economy, “transforming the way we produce and consume”, and Sustainable product policy “Will frame everything what is happening”.

In continuation, she added that Green deal goals are:

  • Net-zero by 2050
  • 50 to 55% by 2030
  • 90% CO2 emission reduction by 2050 for transport
  • New Climate Law: enshrining carbon neutrality by 2050 into law

It was stated that ESPO welcomes Europe’s ambition to be the world’s first net zero emission area by 2050. However, this ambition must be delivered in the most effective way while the competitiveness of Europe’s economy must be safeguarded. In addition, it should be noted that achieving this objective will require an unprecedented level of cooperation across all policy departments and stakeholders.

M.s Isabelle at this stage highlighted the importance of the EU Ports as key strategic partners at the crossroads of supply chains, clusters of energy, and clusters of industry clusters of blue economy. They can be a key strategic partner in making the European Green Deal happen.

She added that the greening of the shipping sector is a priority for European ports and ESPO support the IMO target 2018. However, the IMO Target might not be ambitious enough in light of EU Green Deal. The greening of the shipping sector is a priority for European ports. Responsibility lies primarily with the shipping sector.  Europe’s ports are committed to playing their part in helping the shipping sector to make this transition. Close cooperation between ports and shipping lines is required and this cooperation is also largely dependent on decisions of energy producers, energy providers and cargo owners. European Ports are committed to green their own fleet and operations under their own remit.

“European ports must develop a roadmap to prepare for the energy transition of shipping and it should be taken into consideration that European ports are diverse and there is no one approach which can be mandated for all ports. Each port should develop a detailed plan of pathways for facilitating the greening of the shipping sector, taking into account: the markets they serve, type of vessels, geographical location, tasks and responsibilities “. She continued that the EU Ports should assess the need for investments in clean fuel infrastructure on the basis of concrete criteria including:

  • The complete life cycle of the fuel including production and transportation up to the point of consumption;
  • Emissions of NOx, SOx , and PM in addition to GHG emissions;
  • Safety of bunkering operations, the infrastructure and the product;
  • Technical maturity of fuel (beyond showcase applications);
  • The financial resources required to realise the necessary investments.

As she highlighted, a goal-based and technology neutral approach is needed to ensure the uptake of clean fuels for shipping. This goal-based and technology neutral approach is needed to ensure the uptake of clean fuels for shipping, support innovation and avoid stranded assets.  The current level of flexibility as foreseen in the AFID directive should be maintained.

In this respect, a gradual emission reduction standard for ships at berth should be part of a goal-based approach. Reducing the emissions at berth is not in itself sufficient for reducing the overall emission from shipping. Even so, European ports are in favour of a developing a gradual approach to reduce emissions at berths with an initial focus on berths close to urban areas and a focus on particular segments such as cruise ships and ferries. Over time, the objective of zero emissions at berths is achievable. By 2030, CO2 emissions from ships at berth and in ports should be reduced by 50% on average and across all segments of shipping.

She also bolded the On Shore Power supply (OPS) as one of the promising technologies, should be encouraged as an important part of the solution. Onshore Power Supply (OPS) should be encouraged as an important part of the solution and barriers should be taken away.  However, Onshore Power Supply (OPS) to large extent depends segment of shipping. Alternative solutions which achieve the same objectives should be encourages and allowed. Important to consider:

  • High cost of OPS solutions
  • Electricity shortage (green grids)
  • OPS is only addressing emissions at berth
  • Price and taxation is a barrier
  • OPS can only work if the vessels have the technology
  • Case-by-case assessment is needed and must be seen in the context of the rapidly evolving zero-emission propulsion technologies

M.s Isabelle also added the LNG’s role as a transition fuel that should be recognised as one of the compliant fuels for shipping which meets the 0.1% Sulphur cap in SECA areas (since 2015) and also the overall 0.5% sulphur cap which is in place since 1 January 2020. Furthermore, current LNG infrastructure can also be used for bio-LNG in future. It is predicted that LNG will remain a transitional fuel at least for the near future. ESPO’s 2019 environmental report shows that 32% of surveyed ports already have LNG bunkering facilities

 available. Most are mobile installations. In addition, one in four ports have ongoing LNG bunkering projects. EU support for LNG investments must continue at least during the period 2021-2027. (legal certainty to planned investments + not to punish first movers).

In achieving the EU Green Deal in ports, Market-based measures and incentives have an important role. Given the international nature of the shipping sector, a global approach is essential if market-based measures are to succeed. The EU should increase the pressure on the IMO to roll out meaningful measures by 2023. ESPO believes that any European proposals such as an Emission Trading Scheme (ETS), a levy or an innovation fund must be thoroughly examined in view of safeguarding the competitiveness of the EU port sector. Environmentally differentiated port fees:

  • To be encouraged,
  • Must remain a Port decision,
  • Useful instrument to reward frontrunners, but financial impact will not change investment decisions.

She continued the discussion with explaining the Permanent tax exemption for all clean shipping fuels.  The review of the Energy Taxation Directive (2003/96/EC) should support the uptake of all sustainable clean fuels, including OPS, by introducing a permanent tax exemption for all of them. Currently: temporary exemption OPS taxation for Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Spain. (Netherlands in the pipeline). And for Long run: fair and just taxation, level playing field between all modes of transport.

According the ESPO secretary general, Short sea shipping and pipelines are important modal shift options. ESPO fully recognises and supports the role of rail and inland waterway transport as sustainable hinterland modes for freight. Motorways of the Sea and Short Sea Shipping can however be just as effective as rail and inland waterways in providing an alternative to road transport. The further greening of the EU short sea shipping segment will make SSS even more attractive as sustainable modal shift option. In addition, pipelines can play a crucial role in the transport of certain commodities (such as chemicals and fuels) and the implementation of certain decarbonisation technologies (such as CCS). Pipelines are accepted by many as a sustainable mode of transport. 

At this point Ms. Isabelle Ryckbost presented the slide on the importance of the port energy clusters and port industry clusters. She continued that Many European ports are important clusters of energy and industry.  These ports are players and partners in achieving the energy transition. Greening “the port” means much more than greening the transport side. All industry players in the port should have their agendas, goals and plans and the port managing body must support the industries in the port in their pathways to a more sustainable future.  Ports are an ideal location to develop circular economy projects. In some cases, the governance or business models of ports will have to be reviewed.

“Ports and waterborne transport are a priority in ensuring resilience to climate change. Seaports and waterborne transport should be seen as a priority in ensuring resilience to climate change.  In that respect, European ports welcome the European Green Deal’s commitment to adopt a new and more ambitious strategy on adaptation to climate change.

Later on Ms. Isabelle Ryckbost put an emphasis on the digitalisation of the supply chain is an additional instrument in achieving the Green Deal ambition. Digitalisation will increase the transparency in the supply chain and can help create awareness of the carbon and environmental footprint of the whole supply chain.  She added that by improving the communication, gathering and exchanging real-time information among different parties, logistics processes can be optimised and transport infrastructure and means (avoiding empty trucks, trains and ships, containers) can be used in a better way. Digitalisation must be seen as an additional instrument to meet the Green Deal objectives.

She added at the end that a strong Multiannual Financial Framework of the European Union (MFF) is needed for achieving the Green Deal objectives. A strong MFF is essential for Europe to invest in a sustainable future. Getting an agreement on a strong MFF must show that both European and national policy makers walk the talk. Extensive support from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is an absolute prerequisite for investments in clean fuel infrastructure in ports, especially if there are mandatory provisions on the installation of certain technologies. Both core and comprehensive TEN-T ports should be eligible. Support will also be important for turning port areas into clean energy hubs and for ensuring connectivity to clean energy grids (TEN-T and TEN-E).

A page also was presented by Ms. Isabelle Ryckbost on Green Deal after COVID-19 with a focus on Green Deal + COVID 19: “Green Recovery”. President von der Leyen at the European Parliament Plenary on the EU Recovery package – 27 May 2020. “We can now lay the cornerstone for a Union which is climate neutral, digital and more resilient than ever before.”Vice PSD Frans Timmermans: “the European Green Deal is not a luxury, but a lifeline to get out of the corona virus crisis”. The EU Recovery plan: is for 750 billion EUR.  Supporting the green transition to a climate-neutral economy via funds from Next Generation EU.  

EU Taxonomy for sustainable finance

ESPO Statement on taxonomy  – 2 July

European ports endorse the idea to help private investors to prioritise green    and sustainable investments by providing them a clear manual with common definitions. 

ask the Commission and relevant policy makers to respect the sustainability requirements and funding priorities put forward in sectoral legislation when using the EU taxonomy framework as a basis for public funding and financing instruments.

the EU taxonomy should not create another layer nor overrule the established funding requirements and eligibility criteria for EU funded projects. 

Where no sectoral requirements are in place, ESPO pleads for technology neutral definitions of sustainable economic activities and investments and asks to include transitional and enabling activities, which provide short- and medium-term solutions on the path towards climate-neutrality. 

Moreover, when setting any technical requirements ports should be considered in a holistic way. Ports are more than a component of maritime transport. They are clusters of transport, energy and industry.

At this stage Mr. Alexio Picco, the project manager, thanked the Ms. Isabelle and mentioned that she has addressed all different aspects of the EU Green Deal relevant to the ports in the presentation.  He also said that he likes the last sentences of the presentation emphasizing that port are clusters of different industries not only transport hubs. He said he ask the participants if anyone has a question on the ESPO presentation. Mr.Hooft complimented the Roadmap of the ESPO , while also he hoped to have a common roadmap for the ports, not each port on itself. In this way let say some ports may go together in making that Roadmap for the future. From the side of Alliance for Logistics Innovation through Collaboration in Europe, ALICE (ALICE) speaking, ALICE already made the Roadmap of zero-emission for

logistics in Europe by 2050, which is in line with ESPO’s Roadmap to implement the European Green Deal objectives in ports. He also commented on the Motorways of the sea, short sea shipping, and they should not be overlooked. Alexio added a point to the last comment of the Mr.Hooft that clearly shipping is a part of the logistic chain, and must be more integrated. If we one really to make the maritime transport integrated, we should simplify the short-sea-shipping projects, and it is at the centre of focus of the Coordinator of the on the MosWays of the Sea.

At this point Ms. Angela Carpenter made a point about the Port-wise Reception Facilities. It is a Directive along with the requirements of the IMO regulation on it. She continued that in this case for the shipping industry 2018 standards, an issue arises it is to get national cooperation. All the national governments agreed to comply with it at national legislation, so it is not only to get everyone on board but also making sure very well that governments are doing it properly and the governments are not preventing the ships to discharge the wastes at their ports. Mr.Alexio Picco acknowledged that it is true and probably it in not the only example, and also mentioned about the digitalisation and Directive 65. He suggested that we have avoid to do it. He named the Ealing project in the field of Cold Ironing with 17 ports engaged with all their feasibility relevant studies in place. But what is important is that Motorway of the Sea is more than a study for each, and sometimes the solutions like cold ironing is expensive and we have to look at other solutions available.

The discussion went on at this stage by the comment of Prof.Micchele Acciaro. First, he thanked the extensive presentation of ESPO, then he continued by asking for the clarification of a part of the presentation on “ the ambition already to reduce the emissions at berth by 50%”,  that it was not very clear whether it was intended as the total emissions of the port or

it was intended in terms of the efficiency that each individual vessel can produce at port which could effectively result in increase of emissions at port?  Secondly he would like to ask a couple of questions specifically on the way to move forward some of the limitations that at the moment the port industry facing. Ms.Isabelle replied to this question , that it is the emission total from both port side and also berthed-ship side. Mr.Acciario continued with the other question: would ESPO consider the development of the approaches that the European level indeed respecting the autonomy of the ports but also set some certain standards at European levels. For example, would there will be any that ESPO will support the policy at EU level where Onshore Power Supply (OPS) is mandatory for all those all vessels that are not meeting the

emissions requirement? , or would ESPO consider supporting the European Environmental Tax where every port is allowed to actually get a white tax at European level?  We talk about the incentives, but we are coming at a level in necessities of the things that we need to do to reduce the environmental impacts in ports and outside the ports where unfortunately the carrot is not enough anymore! And although he is very supportive of the carrots, but we have seen for example in short sea shipping with 20 years of incentives still road transport is increasing with respect to short-sea shipping. So would you consider among your members any appetite for rules which are of course negotiated but they are also binding and they go beyond incentives, examples could be European tax on polluting ships, or European requirements on OPS (cold ironing), of course well-argued and well-structured we can see in the future?  Ms.Isabelle ,the secretary general of the ESPO, answered that if we talk about to have on obligation to have OPS on the ships ,  the answer is what we (ESPO) have been saying in  the past is that we cannot oblige the ports first to invest and then nothing for the ships’ side. We see more and more putting all eggs in one basket and that is probably not the way to go. It means if we have to say that everyone should have OPS, and it is not right. But we have to admit is that the OPS is very expensive solution, the installation is very complex, and it is not something that to be installed over a night, so we cannot say it is very promising. For sure installing OPS will take a certain time, even if there are some agreements already made, it takes at least 6 months. We need to keep an eye on other solutions as well, as for example if you have already Hydrogen in place, the whole OPS infrastructure will be redundant. So we should be very careful and cautious on these topics and technologies, as we had in past similar experiences with Scrubber, and LNG. Regarding the environmental tax, we are having the present discussion on the market-based measures, in particular for shipping side,  however, it should be cleared that ports are not tax offices. Not our purpose is to collect the taxes, with the role of tax collector. As we see some of our ports are going deeply into it to see what will be most effective to address in this respect. At this point Mr.Acciaro left a comment that soon the OPS, as it has already been discussed  by the Commission, will be mandatory. The question in this regard is that: who going to pay for it? Prof.Acciaro said that he believes that ship owners should pay for it, and it means on the other word that we need to harmonize our taxation scheme that allows every port to impose the cost of recovering OPS in a homogeneous way.

At this stage, the German partner of the DocksTheFuture project thanked me for the very comprehensive presentation. He mentioned that the digitalisation has been for many years a hot topic, and he is not sure if regarding the digitalization as a support to the climate change & zero-emission on top or in another way approached the digitalisation itself. Mr.Alexio replied there are things that digitalization can do even sometimes more than other environmental tools.

by & filed under Events, Project news, Sustainability.

With the pleasure to have Isabelle Ryckbos: the Secretary General of ESPO , and also Valter Selén:Senior Policy Advisor of the ESPO, our DocksTheFuture’s 3rd International Consultative Committee (ICC) meeting will take place today 29 July virtually with the participation of project partners and the 5 distinguished members of the consultative committee.

by & filed under Events, Project news, Sustainability.

Docks The Future, the European Commission funded project aiming at defining the vision for the ports of the future in 2030, announces as one of its many outputs the launch of The Network of Excellence, gathering the most innovative ports willing to team up and take actions to support the maritime community achieving the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals through opportunities given by International funding programmes such as the ones set by the EU Green Deal.

Valencia Port Foundation, Port of Ystad, Port de Barcellona, APDL – Administração dos Portos do Douro, Leixões e Viana do Castelo, Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company, IMDO Irish Ports, Centre-North Tyrrhenian Sea Ports System Authority (Ports of Civitavecchia – Fiumicino – Gaeta), Gijon Port Authority and Porto de Aveiro have already joined the Network, in order to develop innovative projects to achieve their sustainable targets.

More, in particular, the Network (which is run by the partners involved in the DockTheFuture project) promotes ideas for the Port of the Future, inspired by other ongoing initiatives and proposals and has a leading and proactive role in the process of overcoming the industry challenges of today and tomorrow.
It also will speed up the distribution of practical innovative ideas and best practices, promoting new technologies to innovate the business and the whole port industry, and will enrich the dialogue with and among other organisations such as the European Technology Platforms, international associations and maritime clusters.

The Network of Excellence, open to cooperation with any organization from maritime and logistics interested in making a contribution, will offer continuous updates on forthcoming calls for proposals, engaging members in the discussion through specific digital channels and platforms such as a dedicated website, news digest and organizing networking digital and physical events with the participation of top-tier experts.
Circle, company heading the homonymous Group specialized in the analysis and development of automation and digitalization solutions for port and intermodal logistics sec-tors, listed on the AIM Italia market organized and managed by Borsa Italiana, will take care, through its Connecting EU Business Unit, of the technical organization of the Network.

Preliminary core topics of DocksTheFuture Network of Excellence will focus on are energy efficiency (e.g. cold ironing, smart grid), alternative fuels (e.g. bio-fuels, hydrogen), sustainable and resilient transport infrastructure system, emerging technologies and digitalisation across the
logistic chain, cyber security, innovative financing tools, multimodal transport, city-port relation and circular economy.

Genoa, 9th July 2020






About Docks The Future

The EU’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) selected, under the Horizon 2020 programme, the DocksTheFuture project within the ‘Smart, green and integrated transport’ challenge, which includes areas such as aviation, infrastructure, green vehicles and ‘Blue Growth.’ The 1.2 million EUR and 30 months’ long project kicked off in January 2018. Circle S.p.A. (Italy) has led the group consisting of academic partners (the University of Genoa (Italy) and consulting companies (Institut für Seeverkehrswirtschaft und Logistik – ISL (Bremen, Germany) Magellan (Portugal) and PortExpertise (Belgium).

The project has focused on research needed to implement new port concepts, new management models, innovative design, engineering, construction, and operation technologies solutions for full customer satisfaction in future ports. The project set out to refine the Port of Future concepts, topics, and their related targets in 2030, identify appropriate Key Performance Indicators (KPI), monitoring and evaluation and lead to the ‘Port of the Future Road Map for 2030.’

See http://www.docksthefuture.eu/ for more info on the project. Contact us at info@docksthefuture.eu


For any further information:
Circle S.p.A. – Via Bombrini 13/3, 16149 Genoa (ITALY)
Nicoletta Garzoni, Media Relations Manager
Mail: press@circletouch.eu – Mobile: +39 3392367218

by & filed under Events, Project news.


DockstheFuture and ALICE platform were jointly organising a TRA invited session on “The Future of Ports: vision 2030 – Bringing together innovative technologies, tools and policies through an EU network” in a form of a webinar was on Tuesday, 23 June at 11:00-12:30 CEST.


The webinar is a redesigned invited session supposed to take place at the TRA2020 conference in Helsinki, Finland 27-30 April 2020.

The four H2020 important initiatives – DockstheFuture, COREALIS, PortForward, PixelPorts – and an Interreg project – ResQU2, join forces under the umbrella of the ALICE platform to bring latest innovative technologies and tools for future ports.


The webinar agendaThe Future of Ports: vision 2030 – Bringing together innovative technologies, tools, and policies through an EU network

Organiser: Manuela Flachi; Magellan

Moderator:  Salvador Furio;  ALICE corridors, hubs and synchromodality chair


  • Nicola Sacco, University of Genova
  • Wiebe de Boer Deltares
  • Ignacio Lacalle Úbeda, Universitat Politecnica de Valencia
  • Christian Blobner, Fraunhofer Institut
  • Lauri Ojala, University of Turku


The meeting is recorded, and you can watch it here: https://vimeo.com/431843961


The Presentations can be downloaded from the below links: