On 5th February, over 45 members and guests of the ECG Maritime & Ports Working Group (M&P WG) gathered at the Port of Barcelona for an informal networking dinner, kindly sponsored by ECG members the Port de Barcelona and Noatum Maritime Automotive.
The next morning the group was welcomed at the port’s offices inside the Barcelona World Trade Center, where an insightful presentation on the port’s long-term strategy as well as its current activities and facilities was given. This series of introductory presentations continued with an overview of Noatum Maritime Automotive and a detailed description of its local Autoterminal Barcelona.
Then it was time for an external guest speaker, a Professor of Commercial Law, who was invited to provide insights into the recent Spanish port labour regulation and liberalisation process. This appreciated synopsis was follow by a discussion among participants regarding the situation in other ports across Europe and the effectiveness of European law in this regard.
A discussion among participants followed on the state of the market with guests from Daimler/Mercedes Benz highlighting some of the OEM’s strategic thinking and future goals.
At the request of the M&P WG Chairman, and ECG Vice-President, the meeting also featured a “tour de table” where participants were asked to share their main challenges for the next 12-24 months and what ECG could do to assist them with these. Some of the topics raised included how to handle maritime transport of EVs; the perceived lack of infrastructure and labour in some ports; the need to improve forecasting and share data; further standardisation in the FVL sector; the path towards carbon neutrality in ports; and the increasing shortage of drivers as well as operating personnel in maritime and inland waterway transport.
The ECG Secretariat used the occasion to present the association’s brand-new website (request your new log in now if not already done) and the 2020 programme of events with a specific focus on the General Assembly & Spring Congress which will take place on 14-15th May in Malaga, Spain, as well as the Annual Conference which will be held on 15-16th October in Brussels.
The meeting ended with the customary port visit, which took place by boat and was expertly guided by the hosts and sponsors. The next meeting will take place at the Port of Sète in June (details coming soon), for more information on this and other future meetings of the group please contact the ECG Secretariat.