FEPORT calls for consistency and coordination between different EU policies


FEPORT calls for consistency and coordination between different EU policies impacting the private cargo handling industry.

During the General Assembly meeting held in Brussels on November 28th, 2018 FEPORT members discussed their expectations in the coming years and commented upon the recent ITF Report on the impact of alliances in container shipping.

As part of the waterborne sector, port terminals are ready to play their role – i.e. continue to decrease GHG emissions, invest in training and in the acquisition of new skills by 220,000 port workers, allocate resources to digitalize, invest in equipment and intermodal solutions that facilitate the movement of cargo once it calls European ports and last but not least intensify their cooperation with port equipment manufacturers to agree on industry standards that improve safety, enhance interoperability, implement artificial intelligence, anticipate cybersecurity threats etc.…

While going through the recent ITF report on the “impact of Alliances in container shipping”, we have once again realized that the port industry, be it on the public or the private side, has produced tremendous efforts to adapt. But it looks like these efforts are expected only from the port sector at the expense of its profitability and the return on investment it may expect from new equipment or new public infrastructure. In any industry, for any sector, it should be “a give and take”. It is about rights but also obligations” said FEPORT President, Mr Gunther Bonz.

“These last twenty years, on one side, regulatory framework has been encouraging consolidation and horizontal cooperation and on the other, we, as port stakeholders, have been pushed to compete. Fierce competition between large numbers of container terminals prevails for a customer base that is shrinking…Where is the consistency from national and EU regulators?” added Mr Gunther Bonz.

Port terminals have expectations towards regulators:

  • Recognition that all sectors are important and a true reflection of this recognition in the way policy is thought and implemented
  • Elaboration of a holistic policy that breaks the silos and does not discourage industry efforts to innovate and invest in new projects
  • Coordination between Transport, Trade and Competition policies which are all impacting waterborne industries in general and the cargo handling sector in particular.
  • Consistency between different policies should guarantee an equality of treatment and a real level playing field

“ITF report is reflecting with accuracy the reality of the current developments in the cargo handling industry. It is important to have data and good insights into the wider maritime sector because facts and figures will enable regulators to have a better appraisal of the impact of the regulatory frameworks they propose and adopt. We highly recommend that this report is carefully read by regulators and policymakers who are currently preparing or reviewing legislation” concluded FEPORT President.

Sue Terpilowski
Author: Sue Terpilowski

Executive Editor of SeaNews