This past weekend, a group of French professionals have participated in the MOST France (Motorways of the Sea Training) course organised by the Escola Europea de Short Sea Shipping (2E3S) of Barcelona. This course, which centered on intermodal logistics, short sea shipping services and the motorways of the sea, took place on board of a Ro-Pax vessel of Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV).
From the 27th to the 29th of November, the attendees participated in the course, whilst traveling on one of Europe’s main short sea shipping routes – the crossing between Barcelona and Genoa. Mixing lectures, workshops and a case study, the course helped the students absorb the teachings and experience the operations first-hand. It was taught in French and English by a teaching staff composed of French, Spanish and Italian specialists from the transport sector, as well as academic experts. These included Alessandro Feniello, GNV’s Sales Freight Manager, Jean-Marie Millour, Director of the French Shortsea Promotion Center, Claire Perez and Nathalie Thomas, Delegates of the Port of Barcelona in France, Silvio Ferrando, Marketing and International Relations Manager for the Port Authority of Genoa and Xavier Lluch, a consultant specialized in the sector.
Over the three days, 2E3S introduced the concept of co-modality, explained how the motorways of the sea can be a viable alternative for services, cost or time in the logistics chains, gave them the tools to identify the benefits and calculate the savings to be gained from the use of the motorways of the sea and presented the environmental policies on transport of the European Union. Aside from the theoretical lectures on board, workshops were given to demonstrate the organization of a Ro-Pax vessel as well as its loading and unloading operations. The group took part in maritime visits to the ports of Barcelona and Genoa, helping them understand how the different port terminals work. This course was also a great opportunity for the professionals to network and to establish lasting professional bonds and camaraderie with the other participants, the teaching staff as well as the 2E3S team.
The weekend was full of discoveries for the participants; they could enrich their expertise with new theoretical and practical knowledge, which they will be able to employ in their professional careers. All were satisfied, as explained one of the participants: “The quality of the teachers and the debates were excellent. It was a really good experience, mixing theory and practice. I definitely recommend this course ! ”
It is increasingly important for French short sea shipping professionals to start considering intermodal alternatives in their logistic solutions. With three different coastlines and numerous ports, France has significant potential for short sea shipping. Currently the share of short sea shipping in total ports activities in France is about 70 % (in tonnes). 2E3S courses help clarify these solutions, making it easier for the professionals to employ them in the future and therewith optimise their operations.
The month of December promises to be a busy one for 2E3S: two maritime visits of the Port of Barcelona are planned for the 3rd and 5th of December respectively for students coming from Holland and Colombia and a MOST Management course for Portuguese students and professionals is planned for the 12th – 15th.