“Short Sea Shipping, Motorways of the Sea and e-freight”: Optimed Project trains 20 future professionals in intermodal transport

The course, organised under the framework of the European OPTIMED project (Rationalising Mediterranean Sea Ways: from Southern-Eastern to Northern-Western), brought together participants from Algeria, Egypt, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey. “The course was the occasion to make all the involved stakeholders aware of the unique opportunity given by short sea shipping, and by the intermodal shipping system proposed by OPTIMED project, with respect to land transport”, stated Eduard Rodés, director of the Escola Europea de Short Sea Shipping.

The overall aim of the Short Sea Shipping, Motorways of the Sea and e-Freight course was to present the European standards and politics on intermodal transport, logistics, short sea shipping services, motorways of the sea and e-freight to professionals coming from the neighbouring countries.

The lecturers pointed out the benefits that the modal shift from road to sea can bring to all users, hoping to transmit a better understanding of the concept of co-modality as a tool for improvement in transport management, in costs and risk, and keeping in line with the environmental policy of the European Union. There is a lack of educational courses that offer such programmes to professional members of the transport sectors of extra-EU countries across the Mediterranean basin. This in turn hinders trade and adds complexity to the logistic operations. Technological incompatibilities between the systems in different countries and the EU encumber the creation of efficient and environmental logistics chains – and added with the ignorance of a large portion of the actors across the Mediterranean on the uses and benefits of intermodal transport – consequently stop the growth of an effective and resourceful trade network. Through courses such as this, OPTIMED project partners hope to diminish the divide and encourage economic progress.

The week-long training began in Barcelona on the 14th of September 2015. Alongside theoretical lectures, the group was given a tour to the Port of Barcelona and a chance to visit the premises of the Generalitat of Catalunya. Participants then boarded a Grimaldi Lines vessel and continued the course on board in the crossing between Barcelona and Cagliari (Sardinia). The participants visited the transport research laboratories of Cagliari University, hosted by professor Paolo Fadda (responsible for OPTIMED for the project partner CIREM), and the offices of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia – Regione Autonoma della Sardegna – received by Gabriella Massidda (General Director of the Transportation Department of the Region of Sardinia and OPTIMED project coordinator) and other project partners representatives. Following presentations in Cagliari, a visit to the Port of Porto Torres and tourist explorations of the archeological site Su Nuraxi, the 20 participants successfully completed the training during the return trip to Barcelona on the 18th of September.

The course was organized and managed by the Escola Europea de Short Sea Shipping (2E3S) in Barcelona and the Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon (CCIA-BML), with the collaboration of the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Port of Barcelona, the Autonomous Region of Sardinia, the University of Cagliari, Grimaldi Lines, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the Port Authority of North Sardinia.

The teaching staff comprised both professional and academic specialists in the sector, including: Alessandro Doveri, representative of the Port Authority of North Sardinia; Inge Keymeulen, Project Officer from the Joint Technical Secretariat ENPI; Manuel Galán, from the Port Authority of Barcelona; Miguel Pardo, Grimaldi Terminal Barcelona; Paolo Fadda, University of Cagliari; Pere Padrosa, General Manager of Transport and Mobility, Generalitat de Catalunya; and Salvatore D’Alfonso, Senior Project Manager, UfM Secretariat. Moreover, Eduard Rodés (Director and Founder), Adriana Díaz (Quality Department) and Marta Miquel (Public Relations) from 2E3S led the training.



The OPTIMED project, carried out under the ENPI CBC MED Programme (Cross-Border Cooperation in the Mediterranean, funded by the Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument), aims to strengthen the connection between the ports in the Mediterranean through the creation of a new form of cooperation between countries in the Latin arc of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the countries of the southern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Specifically the project aims to optimise the maritime trade network between the northern shores of the High Tyrrhenian arc and the southern-eastern shores of the Mediterranean sea, by creating an innovative virtual logistics platform structured around ports strengthened as Ro-Ro hubs.

More information about the project can be found on the project website: http://www.optimedproject.eu

The project partners are: Autonomous Region of Sardinia Italy, University of Cagliari – CIREM, Port Authority of North Sardinia, ASCAME-Association of Mediterranean Chambers Of Commerce, Escola Europea de Short Sea Shipping, the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon, and the Ministry of Public Works and Transport – Lebanon. The project has a total budget of 1.9 million euro, with an EU contribution of 90 percent, and it is set to run between 30/12/2013 and 31/12/2015.