Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: ESPO

A Finnish woman has unanimously been elected as Chair following a vote of the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO)'s General Assembly in Brussels, Belgium today.

Annaleena Mäkilä has been the Managing Director, CEO of the Finnish Ports Association since 2012. She succeeds Eamonn O’Reilly, who chaired the organisation during the last four years. Afloat adds O'Reilly was re-elected as chair of EPSO two years ago whilst also in the role of chief executive of the Dublin Port Company.

The General Assembly also elected Zeno D’Agostino and Daan Schalck as Vice-Chairs of the organisation. Mr D’Agostino, who is currently President of the Port Network Authority of the Eastern Adriatic Sea, starts a second term in that role. Mr Daan Schalck is CEO of North Sea Port.

Upon her election, Mrs Mäkilä said: “I am proud to be elected as Chair of this strong organisation and unique network of port professionals representing the common interests of all European ports. As economic players, ports in Europe will be facing challenging times. In this rapidly changing world, ports will need to readily respond to sudden changes and challenges.

“During the current crisis, ports have proven to be agile and resilient. Europe’s ports are in a unique position to play a positive role in achieving Europe’s ambitions for a Green Recovery. Being at the centre of different strategies, ports need a policy framework that allows them to play their role in line with the European goals.

"I look forward to working with the ESPO team, all ESPO members, as well as with Zeno and Daan in further promoting the importance of ports as engines of growth and recovery and defending our industry’s interests in Brussels.”

Another notable event today saw ESPO publish its Annual Report 2019-2020 as Afloat previously reported.The report outlines the activities of the organisation over the past year. A copy of the report can be found here.

At 6 pm (CET) today, ESPO will disclose the winner of the ESPO Award 2020 on Societal integration. Adina Vălean, European Transport Commissioner, will announce the winner in a dedicated virtual ceremony.

Published in Ports & Shipping

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) presented its fifth annual Environmental Report during a dedicated Webinar held today.

The ESPO Environmental Report 2020 includes more than 60 different environmental performance benchmarks, such as the Top 10 Environmental Priorities of the European ports, and figures on the green services to shipping (shore-side electricity, LNG and environmentally differentiated port dues).

Air quality continues to be the top environmental priority for ports, as air quality has become a key determinant of sustainable port activity and ports’ license to operate. Climate change has become the second top priority of ports in 2020, having entered the Top 10 environmental priorities for the first time in 2017.

In 2020, seven out of ten European ports take climate change into consideration when they develop new infrastructure projects. The threat posed by climate change is demonstrated by the fact that 65% of European ports have taken steps to strengthen the climate resilience of existing infrastructure, and over half of surveyed ports have already dealt with operational challenges due to climate change. Energy efficiency (formerly referred to as energy consumption) is the third top priority after air quality and climate change.

Noise remains an important priority for ports, as they are continuing to take steps to avoid or decrease noise pollution from port activities. The relationship with the local community, which is of outmost importance for ports, remains a high priority coming in fifth place this year. In 2020, ports have continued their efforts to ensure that ports are more transparent, involved, and accountable to local communities. Close to all (91%) of participating ports communicate their environmental policy to all relevant stakeholders, and 86% of them makes it publicly available on their website.

With regard to the green services to shipping, a growing share of ports are offering shore-side electricity for ships at berth (OPS) in 2020, with 58% of sampled ports providing this service in 2020. It is important to mention, that, out of this total, 46% of these ports provide high voltage electricity which is suitable for seagoing vessels. Notably, 40% of ports are planning to offer OPS in the coming two years.

When it comes to LNG, one third of ports has made LNG bunkering available, LNG being mainly provided by trucks (100%) and by barges (34%). In parallel, 57% of ports provide environmentally differentiated fees for ships that go beyond regulatory standards, with air emissions, waste and climate change being important targets of these discounts.

In addition, around two thirds of European ports are certified with an environmental standard (ISO, EMAS, EcoPorts’ PERS), which is an increase by 11% since 2013. 81% of ports have set up an environmental monitoring program, waste being the most monitored issue.

Aiming to further increase the transparency and accountability of the European port sector and to enhance the relationship of ports with their local communities, ESPO decided to publish the annual Environmental Report of the European port sector starting in 2016. The report provides quality data on ports’ environmental performance and is becoming a point of reference for policy makers and stakeholders, including local communities, civil society, researchers and industry. 97 ports have been participating in this year’s report.

“This year’s ESPO Environmental report shows, that despite the challenging times ports are going through, environmental engagement and support has not been put on hold. The top three environmental priorities do not come as a surprise. It clearly shows what ports are having on their radar. Ports continue to invest in green infrastructure such as shore-side electricity for ships at berth, and have improved their transparency towards European citizens and local communities. We will have to keep an eye on the share of ports certified with an Environmental Management System, which went down slightly. ESPO is therefore committed to continue helping ports demonstrate excellence in environmental management through the EcoPorts PERS certification, which is the only port-specific environmental standard on the market.

I am happy though to see that the sample used for the Annual Report becomes bigger. I would like to encourage all our members to join EcoPorts and make the sample even more comprehensive and representative for all maritime EU Member States,” says ESPO’s Secretary General, Isabelle Ryckbost.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Ongoing discussions on the future of FuelEU Maritime Initiative has led the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) to express the commitment of European ports is to play their part in helping the shipping sector decarbonise.

The full ESPO position on the FuelEU Maritime Initiative is available here.

ESPO welcomes Europe’s ambition to be the world’s first net zero emission area by 2050 and believes that the greening of shipping is a priority to deliver on this ambition. It is time to act. Enhancing both the development, uptake, use, and availability of sustainable alternative fuels and technologies is crucial to curb the rising CO2 emissions from shipping.

For Europe’s ports, the best and most effective way forward is a policy which combines clear goals with measures facilitating the uptake of a variety of clean fuels and technologies, overcoming the barriers to the use of sustainable alternative fuels and supporting investments on both the demand and the supply side.

Since there is currently no silver bullet to reduce shipping emissions, Europe’s ports believe that a goal-based and technology-neutral approach is best placed to facilitate the deployment of promising potential technologies and allow for innovation as part of a multifuel future.

To facilitate this approach, ESPO calls for the creation of bottom-up coalitions and framework agreements between all relevant stakeholders in the maritime sector. Relying on a supporting policy framework at the European level, such coalitions would ensure that the alternative fuels infrastructure available in ports is effectively used and that the demand for alternative fuels infrastructure matches the supply. The approach would help achieve economies of scale and overcome potential hurdles to the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure, which include uncertain demand, high initial investment costs, and slow and uncertain return on investment.

The FuelEU Maritime Initiative will have direct implications for alternative fuel infrastructures and must therefore be compatible and well-aligned with existing legislation, specifically the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive. It will require targeted and effective investments in ports. Individual roadmaps at port level are an important tool for ports to assess what is needed and effective in terms of investments, taking into account the diversity of shipping segments and particular circumstances of the port. Coordinated approaches and solutions between stakeholders at port level and between ports must be stimulated.

The FuelEU maritime initiative should address all ship emissions, both during navigation and at berth. ESPO supports a specific emission reduction target at berth as complementary to the overall emission reduction standard, but this cannot be a way to delay action, or compensate for lacking emission reductions during navigation.

European legislation, including the FuelEU Maritime Initiative, must provide the appropriate financial support to enable the greening of the maritime sector. This must happen through dedicated funds under new and existing instruments for investments in clean fuel infrastructure for shipping, the creation of clean energy hubs in port areas, and clean energy grid connectivity. To further incentivise the use of clean fuels, the review of the Energy Taxation Directive must provide for a permanent and EU-wide tax exemption for all clean fuels and clean sources of energy. Finally, the deployment and use of infrastructures could also be encouraged using revenues generated by forthcoming market-based measures for shipping.

“We welcome the Green Deal ambitions and the proposed EU-wide target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. Even if the maritime sector is one of the most energy-efficient modes of transport, this ambitious target will require the shipping sector to take urgent action now in order to significantly reduce emissions. It is now important to find the most effective ways to deliver on these ambitions. There is no time to waste, and given the current economic circumstances, there is no money to waste. We cannot go for investments that simply tick arbitrary boxes through prescriptive goals without ensuring the use and uptake of sustainable alternative fuels. Such an approach will not deliver in terms of emission reductions of the shipping sector. We therefore favour an approach which combines clear goals with a supportive policy for the most promising technologies, which would avoid the risk of creating stranding assets. Such a goal-based approach will provide the basis for bottom-up coalitions between stakeholders. We see such a framework as the best guarantee for delivering the decarbonisation of the maritime sector” comments Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General ESPO.

The full ESPO position on the FuelEU Maritime Initiative is available here.

Published in Ports & Shipping

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) regret to inform that they feel obliged to cancel their Conference 2020, which was due to take place in one month in Oslo, Norway.

ESPO commented that this was a tough decision but in view of the current situation of the spread of Covid-19 among Europe and the different travel bans that will probably still be in place in May, in Norway as well as in many other EU Member States.

This being said, we would like to inform you that we will postpone our annual event to 2021, same place, same period! Pin the date in your calendar: 27 – 28 May 2021! With the Port of Oslo, we are really in good hands and we will keep all the good ideas of this year’s edition for 2021 and make it an even stronger version.

Ingvar M. Mathisen, Port Director/CEO of the Port of Oslo said: “ESPO 2020 is postponed, but not cancelled! We were really looking forward to hosting this conference and it is a pity that you will miss all the excellent speakers, but we will be back. We hope to see you all in Oslo next year end of May for an even better programme and networking event for the European ports.”

“We deeply regret that this annual tradition and gathering of European ports and the European port industry cannot take place this year. Since ESPO Conferences must be open and accessible for all ports and port stakeholders from all over Europe, which cannot be guaranteed in the next months, we decided to postpone the event to 2021. Moreover, in most European ports, it is now also all hands on deck to play their critical role in the supply chain and try to overcome this health and economic crisis. So, first things first. We are happy that a new date has been set already and that the Port of Oslo remains our enthusiastic host. We sincerely hope to see all our members, participants and ports back in Oslo in good health. We promise you a Conference edition that counts for two! In the meantime, we wish you all the strength and courage to overcome this difficult period,” said Isabelle Ryckbost, ESPO Secretary General.

For the participants who had already registered for this year’s edition, you can contact Mrs Braekke from the Port of Oslo email: [email protected].

The theme, programme and practical information for next year’s edition will be disseminated in early 2021 through the official conference website.

Published in Ports & Shipping

“Transport keeps us going” is the slogan which the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO), together with 33 organisations has issued a Declaration stressing the essential role transport is playing in the corona crisis.

"Transport and logistics play a crucial role in the supply of essential goods in this critical period. To ensure that transport can continue to keep us going, the free flow of goods between Member States must be guaranteed. We must also support and encourage all the people working in transport. Their contribution in overcoming this crisis is vital. In times of emergency, ports have an essential role in providing citizens, health services and businesses with the goods and materials they need. Europe’s ports take this public responsibility very seriously. We hope the Member States are following the recommendations of the Commission to ensure that goods keep moving in Europe, in the interest of every single EU citizen,” comments Isabelle Ryckbost, ESPO Secretary General.

On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 a pandemic and governments worldwide have taken wide-ranging measures to contain the spread of the virus.

The transport sector has a crucial role to play in the supply of goods, in particular medicines, medical devices, food and other essential commodities needed to overcome this crisis. The transport sector also proves to be a vital instrument in these times where many European citizens are restricted in their mobility.

The undersigned European associations representing transport, infrastructure managers, operators, workers in all transport modes and logistics, contractors, local and regional authorities, logistics service providers, shippers, users and equipment suppliers in the maritime, port, inland waterways, railways, road, cycling, aviation and intermodal sectors, as well as supporting industries and companies, jointly endorse the following statement:

  • Highlight the key role transport and logistics are playing for the supply of essential goods in this critical period: stress that transport infrastructure is in this respect critical infrastructure;
  • Show their respect and support to all workers in the supply chain enabling the continuity of transport services, the movement of goods and essential commodities, as well as the repatriation of stranded citizens, and thus playing a major role in helping the European citizens to overcome this crisis;
  • Call on the Member States to enable smooth border crossings for freight transport, both intra-EU and with third countries, in this respect fully support the establishment of green freight lanes in coordination with the concerned transport stakeholders;
  • Support the measures and actions taken on EU-level and by national governments to contain the spread of COVID-19 and call on the Members States to coordinate their response to the COVID-19 and to follow the European Commission’s guidelines on border management;
  • Reiterate the importance of protecting the health and safety of transport workers, notably through personal protective equipment, as well as access to clean and disinfected sanitary facilities, food and drinks;
  • Highlight that the transport and logistics sectors are based on a physical work force and call on the European Commission and the Member States to facilitate its mobility, including repatriation of the transport work force;
  • Urge the policy makers to assist the heavily affected transport sector in its recovery, to ensure future connectivity for both passengers and freight, and to revitalise the arteries of the internal market as soon as the crisis is over.
Published in Ports & Shipping

On the occasion of this year's International Women's Day, tomorrow, Sunday (8 March), the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) published the statistics for their committee meeting gender balance for 2019.

All technical committees together, overall 31,76% of port professionals attending the meetings in 2019 were women, 68,24% men. The participation rate of women in ESPO meetings remains thus stable compared to 2018.

Looking in more detail into the different committees, the results of this monitoring reveals that the Port Governance committee and the Sustainable Development committee are scoring very well with almost an equal representation of men and women at the meetings. The Economic Analysis and Statistics committee and the Trade Facilitation, Customs and Security committee both count nearly a quarter of women. 20% of the members participating in the Intermodal, Logistics and Industry committee last year were women, which reveals an increase of 6% compared to 2018. The General Assembly and the Executive Committee meetings gathered an average of one third of women for two thirds of men at their meetings. In 2019, these two committees have welcomed slightly more women than in 2018. On the other hand, the Cruise and Ferry port Network (38% of women in 2019) and the Sustainable Development Committee (43% of women in 2019) show a small decline in the number of participating women.

"It is the second year we are monitoring the number of women active in our different meetings. This second report does not reveal spectacular changes or improvements but shows that the average of one third of women active in our organisation is a quite stable number. While some committee meetings attract fewer women, it is important to see that the Executive Committee, which is the policy-making and strategic body of the organisation, shows a slight increase compared to last year, with 36% participation of women”, says ESPO’s Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost.

ESPO has been one of the founding members of the European Commission’s initiative “Women in Transport – EU Platform for Change”, which was launched in 2017. In order to strengthen women’s employment and equal opportunities for women and men in the transport sector, the members have been exchanging best practices and experience related to diverse topics such as improving work-life balance, the gender pay gap, fighting gender-based violence and harassment and tackling gender stereotypes from an early age. The platform has been set-up to address and increase the low percentage of women transport workers in the EU, who account only for 22% of the transport work force.

Moreover, ESPO welcomes the first Commission’s strategy for equality between women and men in Europe. On 5 March, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented the Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025; which sets out key actions for the next 5 years and commits to ensure that the Commission will include an equality perspective in all EU policy areas.

Published in Ports & Shipping

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) represents the port authorities, port associations and port administrations of the seaports of the 22 Member States of the European Union and Norway at EU political level.

ESPO has also observer members in Iceland, Israel, Ukraine and UK.

The organisation is the principal interface between the European sea port managing bodies and the European institutions. In addition, ESPO is a knowledge network which brings together port professionals with a view of exchanging good practices and developing pro-active bottom-up initiatives in different fields.

We are looking for a: Senior Policy Advisor in the field of environment, sustainable development, cruise and ferry.

The person will monitor EU policy and legislative developments in the fields of environment, sustainable development, cruise and ferry and will be coordinating the EcoPorts network, the main environmental initiative of the European port sector.

Responsibilities include intelligence gathering, preparation of ESPO policy views and lobby actions, coordination of the relevant technical committees and working groups, promotion of management tools as well as liaison activities with relevant research networks. The ideal candidate will also be responsible for coordinating ESPO’s bottom up initiatives in the field of environment and cruise and ferry.

The ideal candidate should:

Combine a good background and practical experience on environmental management with an understanding of and/or outspoken interest in EU ports, shipping and/or transport sector; technical expertise and/or additional expertise on energy issues and policy will be considered as a plus;

  • Be eager to become passionate about ports, environmental and climate issues;
  • Be familiar with the functioning of the European institutions and have a good insight in EU policy making;
  • Be a positive person, strong networker and communicator with the ability to translate complex technical and legal issues in easy-to-understand language;
  • Be a motivator in encouraging ESPO members to participate in ESPO’s bottom-up initiatives;
  • Be able to work independently, well-organised and cope with multiple tasks and deadlines;
  • Be flexible and happy to work in a small team;
  • Be ready to travel on a regular basis;
  • Have an outstanding command of the English language, both written and spoken; being fluent in different other EU languages is considered an asset.

We are offering you a challenging and varied job in a stimulating, informal, flexible and European working environment together with a competitive salary and a set of additional benefits. It is a full-time post, with a contract of indeterminate duration, to start preferably on 1 June 2020.

How to apply? Send your letter of motivation, together with a detailed CV by Monday 23 March 2020 to the attention of Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General, ESPO, by mail to: [email protected]

All applications will be treated with strict confidentiality.

More information about ESPO and EcoPorts can be found on: www.espo.be and www.ecoports.com

Published in Ports & Shipping

Europe’s ambition as enshrined in The European Green Deal published on 11 December, to become the world’s first climate neutral continent by 2050 has been welcomed by European Sea Ports Organisation.

According to ESPO, European ports are at the crossroads of supply chains. As clusters of transport, energy, industry and blue economy, they add great value and are at the service of the European economy and society. They are a strategic partner in making this ambitious European project happen.

In the coming weeks, ESPO and its members will put forward concrete proposals on how to contribute in the best and most effective way to implement the objectives of the Green Deal.

“We share the European Green Deal ambition, which is in line with ESPO’s priorities for the period 2019-2024. The publication of the European Green Deal is an important milestone. Together with our members, we are now developing a concrete plan on how to go forward, how ports can contribute, what policy and financial instruments are needed to support European ports in this huge project. We are looking forward to working with the Commission, Parliament and Council in shaping the policy”, says ESPO’s Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost

Published in Ports & Shipping

A process has begun at the European Commission for reviewing the 2013 TEN-T guidelines with a public consultation before next summer.

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) believes the review should not lead to a complete change of direction in the TEN-T policy. The rationale of the 2013 guidelines remains the same: achieving an efficient, sustainable and multimodal Transport Infrastructure Network in Europe.

ESPO, however believes that the European Commission should use the review as an opportunity to level the playing field between the maritime and the land links.

“More than 30 % of intra EU freight traffic is currently going over sea. The ongoing digitalisation, the progress on the internal market for maritime transport with the new European Single Window Environment framework and the greening of shipping, which seems to be delivering first on the short sea links, will give maritime transport within the EU, and even within one Member State, a new impetus. It is now time to fully recognise the contribution of maritime transport to the aims of Europe’s Transport Infrastructure policy. The maritime dimension must be brought on an equal footing with the land-based corridors and links,” says ESPO’s Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost.

More concretely, ESPO refers to the following discrepancies between the maritime and the land network:

  • The TEN-T guidelines are currently only recognising maritime links between two Member States as TEN-T short sea links, the so-called Motorways of the Sea. The links between two ports within one Member State are not considered as Motorways of the Sea, whereas the TEN-T road or rail network is also recognising the national stretches as part of the TEN-T network.
  • Even if seaports are in most cases situated on the territory of one Member State, they are a part of the maritime border of a country. Being the gateway for trade with other EU member states and third countries, maritime ports must be seen as cross-border entities or sections. Moreover, also in their hinterland, ports are serving a catchment area that largely exceeds the local or national borders.

The full contribution of ESPO to the public consultation on the review of the Regulation 1315/2013 on Union Guidelines for the Development of the Trans-European Transport Network can be found here.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Tagged under

It was congratulations from the European Sea Ports Organisation as the Port of Barcelona (Spain), Port of Vigo (Spain) and Port of Baku (Azerbaijan) achieved an EcoPorts’ environmental management standard (PERS).

Isabelle Ryckbost, ESPO’s Secretary General, handed over the PERS certificates to the ports’ representatives during the GreenPort Congress in Oslo (see related report). 

“I would like to congratulate Port of Barcelona and Port of Vigo for renewing EcoPorts’ environmental standard and Port of Baku for obtaining it for the first time. Ports in Europe are more than ever investing to improve their environmental performance and to get their “licence to operate” from the local community. Transparency and sharing information with stakeholders and local communities are among the main requirements of the EcoPorts environmental standard. Being PERS certified shows that ports measure and share results. PERS ports strengthen the EcoPorts Network and help us monitoring the environmental performance of the whole sector at EU level,” says ESPO’s Secretary General, Isabelle Ryckbost.

“It is important that the number of European ports certified with an international environmental standard (EMS) has significantly increased the last five years. EcoPorts’ PERS which is the only port-specific standard available, has become well recognised and one of the most preferred by the sector. Port’s environmental performance certified by environmental standards such as PERS, is ‘factored –in’ to calculations of premiums by insurance companies and is an evidence of port’s efforts to contribute to the greening of the supply chain,” says EcoPorts coordinator, Sotiris Raptis.

Compliance with the EcoPorts’ PERS standard is independently assessed by Lloyd’s Register and the certificate has a validity of two years. EcoPorts’ PERS is revised after the 2-year period to make sure that the port continues to meet the requirements.

You can find more information on EcoPorts’ PERS here.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Tagged under
Page 1 of 7

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating