Mittwoch, 08.04.2020 09:34 Uhr

Inland ports seek ideas in quest for green climate

Verantwortlicher Autor: Jochen Raffelberg Brussels, 25.02.2020, 18:46 Uhr
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Brussels [ENA] European inland ports (EFIP) today invited ideas to help achieve Europe’s ambitious transport, environmental and climate targets set for 2050. Galvanizing thoughts and concepts on how the transport hubs can facilitate green goals participants are asked to address topics in the areas of energy, logistics services, process optimization and innovative solutions for local companies and employees.

Thinkport VIENNA (University of Natural Resources, Vienna; the Port of Vienna) and the Brussels-based EFIP jointly organize the Open Innovation Challenge competition based on EFIP’s Strategy of becoming enablers of green logistics. EFIP brings together nearly 200 inland ports and port authorities in 18 countries of the European Union, Switzerland, Serbia and Ukraine. In its 2019 strategy EFIP declares that transport and climate change will be at the forefront of activities with climate change/adaptation, infrastructure funding and development, digitalization and multimodality issues being primary and inland waterway transport, governance issues, port-city relations and diversification of business secondary concerns.

Inland ports, due to their role as multimodal transport hubs as well as their proximity to metropolitan areas, are seen of crucial importance when considering strategies and approaches to achieve climate targets in the coming years. EFIP says that Globalization, changing consumer behavior and urbanization are leading to a steady increase in traffic, freight transport and emissions in European cities. These developments call for new solutions and rapid action in order to meet arising challenges. The political measures and initiatives to achieve these goals would be the focus of attention of all actors in the coming years.

According to EFIP challenges apart from energy supply and generation include logistics services, process optimization and solutions for local companies and employees ideas for integrating ports into urban logistics, creating new infrastructure or creating new services for cities under the heading inland ports as suppliers to the city. A third challenge is connectivity such as inland waterways as supply routes (new means of transport, alternative fuels, etc.). Ideas can be submitted by 7 May. After the jury will have selected the best three ideas by 14 June, the final event is scheduled for 8/9 October when the winners will present their results at an experts’ workshop in the Port of Vienna.

The European Union’s climate strategy adopted in November 2018 sets a target of full climate neutrality by 2050 and a total reduction of 80%. In its outline of transition policies for the European economy and industry special emphasis is given to transport, including long-term transition to zero-emission vehicles, sufficient alternative fuels infrastructure and increase of efficiency in the European logistics network. EFIP answers to these goals will include a position paper on the greening of the inland waterway fleet and an overview of the possible infrastructure needs of European inland ports for climate adaptation.

EFIP will put another focus on testing and piloting new business models. These include new last mile urban logistics models in which goods and parcels are delivered to distribution areas at the edge of a city to be distributed. Depending on their relative position, this could prove to be an opportunity for inland ports. “This is especially the case when distribution is done through the urban waterways,” EFIP says. New players like Uber freight were also entering the distribution market. These types of models could have a space for inland ports and should be explored. EFIP will also create a social media strategy since it has no comprehensive digital communications approach in place, the organization says.

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