Shortsea 12, The European Shortsea Convention in Dublin, marks the first time Coastlink has entered into a joint venture with the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) to organise a shortsea conference.
However, there are strong foundations to this cooperation, IMDO having provided substantial assistance to Coastlink when it organised a conference in Dublin in 2007.
This is the 4th European Shortsea Conference that has been hosted in Dublin since 2007.
The programme for Shortsea 12 consists of four sessions during the day, preceded by an evening reception on 23 May and a tour of the Port of Dublin on the morning of the 25th.
Leo Varadkar TD, the Irish Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, will give the keynote address and will highlight the increasing strength of Irish exports and the role shortsea shipping plays in delivering these exports safely to customers worldwide. He will also discuss the wider challenges facing Europe in a volatile global economy.
Following this, the one-day conference is split into four sessions: “State of the Markets”, “The drive for sustainable logistics”, “The ‘F’ words – Finance & Fuel?” and “European Gateways”.
State of the Markets
The prospects for the container market will be considered by Trevor Crowe of Clarkson Research Services. He will seek to provide possible answers to questions such as “ Will demand from intra-regional trade flows support successful regional operations or will the impact of global developments in the container shipping sector and patterns in the availability and the deployment of tonnage provide an insurmountable long-term problem for intra-regional European containership operators”.
Following on from Mr Crowe, Mark Harrison of HC Shipping & Chartering will provide his perspective on the shortsea dry bulk market focusing broadly on a size range of around 3000/5000dwt and will consider recent trends, current sentiment and the outlook going forward.
The shipper viewpoint will come from Paddy Cummins of the C&C Group, an Irish and UK based manufacturer, marketer and distributor of well know branded drinks including Bulmers and Magners. It services over 30 European and global markets from its Irish and UK manufacturing facilities and is a primary user of shortsea, deepsea and logistics services. Mr Cummins will provide an overview of the fast changing conditions that companies in the FMCG markets must contend with in order to remain competitive and also outline what he expects from its service providers.
The drive for sustainable logistics
Dr Alice Bows, from the Sustainable Consumption Institute (SCI) at the University of Manchester and which benefits from funding from Tesco, is Senior Lecturer in Energy & Climate Change. She believes that the environmental cost of transport will lead to increasingly strict controls on the way logistics operators conduct their business and that climate change will become a real challenge for the transport industry.
Although “Sustainable logistics” and “greening the supply chain” are terms much used today, what exactly is involved in achieving a truly environmentally friendly transportation system? How far have we really travelled down this road and how much further is there to go?
Dr Bows will focus on the scale of the climate change challenge to show the implications for transportation and supply chains of the wider context around moving towards a more sustainable transportation system. Dr Bows will be followed by Mark Boulton of Norbert Dentressangle Logistics who will provide an overview of Norbert Dentressangle operations in Ireland and around the world, focusing on the role that 3PLs have to play in sustainable logistics and working with clients to reduce their environmental footprint. There will also be some practical examples of the latest initiatives that Norbert Dentressangle is bringing to its customers.
The final words in this session will come from the the Irish Exporters Association, represented at this event by Neil Foot of Coilte Smartply. The IEA’s members span the spectrum of the largest multinationals in pharmaceutical, ICT and healthcare through to Irish indigenous companies in various sectors including forest products, agriculture and the food and drink sector plus other smaller independent firms competing in today’s highly globalised economy.
The ‘F’ words – Finance & Fuel?
Under the chairmanship of Paul Harris, Head of Natural Resources Risk Management at Bank of Ireland Global Markets, Manuel Fernández Riveiro of the European Investment Bank will look at the subject Finance for Europe. As we all know, the credit crisis has created major issues for raising finance from traditional capital and banking markets. The European Investment Bank is the European Union’s AAA credit rated financing institution whose 27 member states make up its shareholder base, which has jointly subscribed capital. Mr Riveiro will provide an overview of current funding in the European market and alternative sources of finance including lending facilitated by the EIB.
A slight change in subject comes with a presentation on the rising cost of fuel as it affects the shortsea shipping industry and of course those who use shortsea services. Every transport operator wants to be able to predict the future cost of fuel and the impact it will have on his customers.
In the shortsea trades, there is a particular problem in that the low levels of SOx emissions that ships in the Baltic, the North Sea, the English Channel and, probably quite soon, the Irish Sea, are required to meet means that most are having to use ever more expensive diesel fuel. Our speaker Ian Adams, formerly Chief Executive at The International Bunker Industry Association and now Managing Director of IMA Marine, will consider how global demand for diesel might force up prices at a rate that exceeds the increase in the cost of crude oil and also discusses the problems with alternative fuels such as LNG and with technologies such as exhaust scrubbers.
Taking the chair for this session is Eamon O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, the conference’s lead sponsor. Since Ireland is wholly dependent on shortsea services to provide the initial links to the global market, European gateways are of critical importance. The Port of Rotterdam dominates this sector and so Patrick Vroegop, the port’s Business Manager Containers, was invited to address this Dublin conference. He will no doubt point out that Rotterdam has deepsea links to virtually every country in the world. Likewise, it has rail and barge connections to the European hinterland and benefits from excellent road links to many European industrial and commercial centres. Not to be overlooked too are its shortsea links to Scandinavia, the Baltic (including Russia) and Iberia, North Africa and the Med. Sitting at the heart of this network, its shortsea terminals provide ideal hubs for cargo transiting the Port of Rotterdam. :
Greater cooperation between ports to exploit their combined potential is hard to achieve but it can be done, says Jean-Marie Millour, Managing Director of BP2S, the French shortsea promotion centre. Mr Millour, who works closely with the Port of Rouen, will give details of the HAROPA project, which sees the ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris joining forces to form a sustainable integrated port organisation. As a strategic player that is close to the market and its expectations, HAROPA is responsible for coordinating the implementation of actions that will enable market share for the Seine region’s ports to be strengthened.
This session will be brought to a conclusion by Stephen Carr of Peel Ports who will discuss the provision of new container terminal capacity linked to portcentric distribution facilities.
He asks “Is portcentric distribution a new concept or is it just a return to the past when no self-respecting port was without massive berthside shed capacity? Did the “Cheap and Easy” decades of road transport in the eighties and nineties distort the trend towards regional distribution and warehousing based on ports?” He will then explain how the Port of Liverpool and the Manchester Ship Canal are being rejuvenated to meet the revival of interest in portcentric warehousing and are once again becoming major gateways for the northern half of Britain and Ireland.