The Maritime Institute of Old Dominion University, Virginia, invited ESPO Secretary General Patrick Verhoeven mid-February to give a number of lectures on European ports policy and European port development.
The programme also included a meeting with Virginia Port Authority, a visit to the automated APMT terminal at Portsmouth and an encounter with the Virginia port and business community. The visit featured in the context of the United Nations ‘Getting to Know Europe’ grant that the university obtained. As part of the grant programme, students of Old Dominion will go on a trip to Europe in May this year. Their schedule will bring them to Brussels, where they will meet with representatives of the European institutions and ESPO, and visit the ports of Antwerp, Rotterdam and Copenhagen-Malmö. During his US trip, Patrick Verhoeven also met with his American colleague Kurt Nagle, President and CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA).
In 2008, ESPO and AAPA signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen co-operation between the two organisations. In this context, a first trans-Atlantic seminar on ports policy was held in Washington DC last year, in the presence of the European Commission and relevant US administrations. Current issues of joint interest for AAPA and ESPO include port performance measurement and environmental port management.