The CEOs of the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam have laid out converging visions for the future development of their respective ports, one having just returned from the World Economic Forum, the other speaking about in an interview about forward-looking prospect for the port. Both agree that the fight against climate change and the need for a carbon-neutral port economy are absolutely crucial. Technological innovation, both onshore and offshore, and moves to optimise logistics chains, will of course form part of the solution. Beyond that, however, the success of these changes will depend on the ability of ports to forge new partnerships and work collectively, by bringing their communities together around a shared process of transformation.
➜ Port of Rotterdam / Flows
In the majority of port cities, logistics activity is increasingly structuring the territory. Marking out the future of this sector is becoming necessary. To this effect, the Urban Planning Agency of Marseille (France) remind us of a few key points. The massification of world trade flows will continue leading to the concentration of shipowners, the adaptation of ports, the extension and robotisation of warehouses, the emergence of single operators. In the era of e-commerce, the optimisation of the last mile has also become crucial. Nevertheless, land transport remains the weak link in this ecosystem with difficulties in massifying flows and proportionally a heavier CO2 impact. Pooling could be part of the answer but not all sectors believe in it. At the heart of these developments, the issue of employment appears to be an additional challenge for the territories.
➜ Agam (pdf)
Lake Kivu in western Rwanda marks the border with the neighbouring DRC. The four ports will be built with the help of the Netherlands, and spread out from the north to the south of the lake. They will promote improved mobility for passengers and goods between the various districts along the bank. Within twenty years, they should handle the majority of commercial cross-border trade and some 3 million passengers. The Government is also keen to use the ports as a platform for more ambitious plans to kick-start water-based transport on other lakes and rivers in Rwanda. The aim is to reduce the use of onshore transport infrastructures, maintenance of which represents a significant portion of the national budget. Finally, the project will help to boost competitiveness for both the food industry (beer, tea, coffee) and the cement industry, while also giving a lift to the tourist sector.
➜ The New times
Energy transition and circular economy
The sector currently accounts for 25% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency is one of the biggest ways to cut emissions. While there is a consensus on the need to gradually phase out fossil fuels, LNG is seen as a stepping stone, while in the longer term, making the right choice between hydrogen, ammonia and biofuels remains a key challenge. Another way to reduce emissions is intermodality, with the aim of reducing the proportion of goods moved by road, and increasing short distance transport by rail, river and sea. Finally, innovating for more efficient logistics is the third solution. The aim is to reduce overall energy use, while ensuring that emissions avoided at sea are not simply moved onshore, particularly as a result of increased congestion in port cities.
➜ Diario del Puerto 1 / Diario del Puerto 2 / Diario del Puerto 3 / Diario del Puerto 4