Maritime Day

  • Maritime Day

  • Morning Conferences

    9h30 - 10h30 - Maritime transport in crisis: how to assess the market and protect against its vagaries

    Shipping businesses – on the financial razor’s edge?
    The maritime freight world has rarely been so hard to predict. Overcapacity, reduction in Chinese exports, regionalisation of trade, groupings of ship-owners, low oil prices, economic crisis, reduced traffic on the China-Europe route, and increased traffic on the trans-Pacific; the vicious circle of falling freight rates, which even go negative on some days, makes managing a shipment complicated. In addition, entry into force of the Marpol Annex VI (for sulphur) and BWM (for ballast water and sediments) conventions involves very large investments for both ship-owners and ports. How can we see clearly in this fug, when even the largest ship-owners are weakened by their poor financial health? Twenty years ago there were twenty of them, now there are ten, six of which represent 70% of the market. In fifteen years, market volume has multiplied by 4.5, while the fleet has multiplied by nine. 2017 will see the launch of the first container ships of more than 20,000 TEU. How do shippers find their bearings?


    10h45 - 11h45 - Ports and regions, a route-based vision to improve competitiveness

    French maritime ports are at the c rossroads of strategies of government, competitiveness clusters, public bodies, and large and small businesses, and are having a major strategic rethink. How can they stay competitive against the mega-ports of Northern European, while one of their main sources of revenue, port fees paid on the import of petroleum products, is in freefall? There are fewer receipts, which have not been replaced by others, while government taxes and fees are not dropping, and the EU is considering applying business tax to them. Furthermore, the reduction in maritime traffic, associated with giant container ships and the development of ship-owner alliances, increases costs for terminal operators while reducing their income. While application of the SOLAS Container Weight Verification Requirement has demonstrated their major role in the day-to-day management of ports, their economic health has become a problem. Nevertheless, as they take a position on liquefied natural gas (LNG), a future source of energy, French maritime ports have a major advantage: their size diversity. Resource pooling between major ports (Le Havre, Marseille) and satellite ports, with a view to management by coastline, and a route-based vision, could make them simpler to understand and competitive at an international level. What part do the government, regions and the private sector play in this? That is the question!


    12h00 - 13h00 - What answers do maritime and river ports offer for optimising land-based logistics flows? How do they hold their place in logistic chains?

    The four parliamentary reports on French ports, submitted to the Prime Minister in 2016, have thrown light on the hinterlands in particular: “France’s strength is not in its 564 ports (…), it is not in having the longest European coastline and some of the best port facilities in Europe, but it is its potential for one day finally making sea, rail, river and road work together for the vitality of our territories, based on the structure provided by major transport routes (…)”. The recommendation has been made for implementation of an indicator to measure the effectiveness of port activity in the economic development of the hinterlands. Furthermore, each hinterland needs territorial management, both to avoid ports on the same coastline competing with each other (such as Bordeaux and La Rochelle for example) and to genuinely connect river and maritime cities that already have logistic links, such as Lyon and Marseille. There is a need for investment in multi-modal hubs, and to untangle rail and river logistics knots. There is also ultimately a need to integrate the hinterlands with the nine central corridors of the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T), of which Strasbourg, for example, is at the centre of four. Hinterlands and corridors…this is a huge interconnected project, and the stakes are high.


  • Afternoon Conferences

    13h15 - 14h15 - Ports and ships of the future, what innovations will keep us competitive?

    The maritime world is innovating fast. Ship-owners are launching ships that are more eco-friendly, less polluting and consume less energy. They are demanding that ports provide new services, such as cold ironing (shore-to-ship power), LNG fuelling, and automated container handling, as at the Maasvlakte terminal in Rotterdam. Ports are also developing “single window” software. The port of Le Havre is ahead of its European competitors and has been experimenting with a 3D version of this system for a year, which prefigures the port of the future. This is a “smart” port, because it is accessible to (almost) anyone, simply and in real time, via computer or smartphone. Search for a route or declare ships online, get information on the swell or consult local and national regulations, and even user feedback. Ports will also be smart by hosting other activities such as data centres, like Marseille, which is an arrival point for many sub-sea cables, making the port an international hub for digital data. Brest is developing for the future by offering, from 2020, a polder dedicated to heavy packages for marine renewable energy. Nantes and Dunkirk are leaders in LNG. All these innovations are the fruit of competition between ship-owners, but raise the question of cybersecurity: a smart port is a potential hacked port…


    14h30 - 15h30 - River transport, a dynamic of innovation

    Sustainable development, circular economy, computerisation, decentralisation and collaborative work, development of new technologies etc. The “niche” that is currently river transport is not an exception: Like all other modes of transport, production and distribution, waterways are being disrupted by these changes that provide a foretaste of the economy of the future. On the river, innovations mainly target navigational safety and simplicity, with implementation of river information services, which better integrate this mode into the overall logistics chain, and improvement of the environmental impact of river transport, driven by the coming into force of drastic European standards for pollutant emissions from 2019. There is, however, an additional constraint. The smallness of the market limits R&D resources and demands cooperation.


    15h45 - 16h45 - Seine-Escaut: the countdown has begun. What will be the advantages for logistics providers and shippers by 2025?

    The large-scale Seine-Escaut river link project will pass a decisive milestone in 2017, with the creation of the company responsible for implementing the project. While considered by some as essential to the development of river transport in France, the possibility of connecting the Seine basin with the navigable European network poses as many questions as it opens new opportunities. For this canal to be more than a simple “pipeline” and genuinely integrate into and enhance the territory it crosses, it must have port infrastructure. In particular, the various stakeholders in the sector – transport operators, logistics providers, shippers and port operators – need to take ownership of this new resource and be prepared to invest and take risks. From north to south of the link, how can those working in the sector prepare for this opening and maximise their benefits?

    Click here to consult the conferences programme of the day

SITL Paris


14-16 March 2017
Paris• France



14-16 March 2017
Paris • France

Transport Next Generation


14-16 March 2017
Paris• France

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