The Port of Rotterdam Authority has recently launched the World Ports Climate Action Program in which port authorities of Hamburg, Barcelona, Antwerp, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Vancouver and Rotterdam will be joining forces and working together on projects that address the issue of global warning. The World Ports Climate Action Program focuses on increasing efficiency of supply chains using digital tools; advancing common and ambitious policy approaches aimed at reducing missions within larger geographic areas; accelerating development of in-port renewable power-2-ship solutions and other zero emission solutions. Including other specific actions as accelerating the development of commercially viable sustainable low-carbon fuels for maritime transport and infrastructure for electrification ion of ship propulsion systems and accelerating efforts to fully decarbonise cargo-handling facilities in the ports.
“The Paris Agreement has set a clear target: we need to limit global warning to well below 2°C. It is vital in this context to reduce the emissions generated by maritime transport. As critical hubs in the global maritime transport network, I am convinced that the ports can make a significant contribution. I am pleased to see that international port authorities have taken on a leading role in this area, committing to collaborative projects that can further advance the decarbonisation of the maritime transport sector,” said Allard Castelein, President & Chief Executive Officer at Port of Rotterdam.
The Port Authority organisations call upon the shipping industry and other ports to join the commitment to deliver on the Paris Agreement, asking the governments and regulators to adopt or, at very last, international policies for CO2 pricing and provide funding support to relevant R&D and pilot projects.
The Antwerp Port Authority is taking various initiatives in order to be fully prepared for Brexit including the appointment of Justin Atkin, owner of Ragged Edge Consulting, as the new representative for the UK and Ireland. With more than 20 years of experience in transport, shipping and logistics, Atkin assumed his role on 1 September 2018.
“The UK was always a self-evident market for us. Brexit brings new challenges for us, and our new representative will act as our eyes and ears, keeping us in touch with the economic situation and the impact of Brexit on Antwep’s business. We also count on Justin to place Antwerp even more strongly on the map for the UK and Ireland, and to attract new sources of cargo and investment, “ explained Wim Dillen, Regional Development Manager at Antwerp Port Authority.
With an annual freight volume of around 15 million tonnes the UK is the port of Antwerp’s third-largest maritime trading partner after the USA and Russia. According to the Port Authority, Antwerp is also ideally situated as an investment location close to the European centres of decision-making, and as the gateway to Europe from where the continent can be served quickly and efficiently, given that 50% of UK production is bound for continental Europe.
“The actual impact of Brexit is still uncertain,” said Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Antwerp Port Authority. “Last year there was a decrease of nearly 8% in trade with the UK, probably due to this uncertainly. But with Brexit rapidly approaching we want to concentrate on maintaining and even expanding our market position within the United Kingdom.”
Other initiatives being taken by the Port Authority include Brexit taskforce that has been set up with representatives of the port community, Customs & Excise and the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain.