Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
On 1 March the ESPO* Award on Societal Integration of Ports was announced as the competition entered its eleventh in the series.
The theme of this year is Transparency and the Role of Social Media in Reaching out to Local Community”.
The ESPO Award 2019 will go to the port authority that has developed a successful strategy to reach out to the local community and is succeeding in directly communicating with port citizens.
Using social media as a new way of communication and demonstrating a high level of transparency about operational achievements, future strategies and environmental challenges and performance is becoming increasingly important for European ports who can only function and further develop if they receive the licence to operate with local citizens.
Direct and transparent communication must make it possible for every citizen to follow the port in its successes and challenges. Moreover, it allows the dialogue with the citizens and, ideally, makes every citizen an ambassador for its port.
Innovative projects since 2009
The ESPO Award was established in 2009 to promote innovative projects of port authorities that improve societal integration of ports, especially with the city or wider community in which they are located. In this way, the Award aims to stimulate the sustainable development of European ports and their cities.
Project submissions have to reach the ESPO secretariat by 28 June 2019 at the latest. The application form and the terms of reference are available on the ESPO Website here: www.espo.be
The eleventh ESPO Award will be formerly presented during an Award Ceremony and Dinner, which will take place in November in Brussels.
As ESPO say in their recent announcement: ‘Is your port successful in reaching out in a direct and transparent way to the port citizens?
‘Submit your project for the ESPO award 2019!’
The Port of Rotterdam won the ESPO Award in 2018, see illustration here.
Previous winners of the Award are the Port of Gijón (2009), the Port of Helsinki (2010), the Ports of Stockholm (2011), the Port of Genoa (2012), the Port of Antwerp (2013), the Port of Koper (2014), Port of Dublin (2015), BremenPorts (2016) and Guadeloupe Ports Caraïbes(2017).
For more information readers are invited to visit: www.espo.be
*European Sea Ports Organisation
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has welcomed the commitment of 12 countries to facilitate crew changes and achieve key worker designation for seafarers, following a virtual ministerial summit hosted by the UK Government on 9 July. This step represents significant progress to help resolve a growing crisis facing the maritime industry, and enable hundreds of thousands of stranded seafarers to go home or join ships.
In a joint statement, representatives from 12 countries expressed their deep concern about the current crisis and acknowledged that “the inability of ship operators worldwide to conduct ship’s crew changes is the single most pressing maritime operational challenge to the safe and efficient movement of global trade”.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions and border closures imposed by Governments around the world have caused significant hurdles to crew changes and left hundreds of thousands of seafarers stranded onboard ships, or unable to join ships. It is currently estimated that at least 200,000 seafarers worldwide are stranded on ships and require immediate repatriation, and a similar number urgently need to join ships to replace them. This has led to a growing humanitarian crisis, in addition to concerns that seafarer fatigue and mental health issues may lead to serious maritime accidents. There are also concerns about the continuity of the global supply chain.
French container carrier, CMA CGM has announced its intention of launching a new product called Round the Africa (RTA) service to add to and complement the current 31 CMA CGM services already operating to sub-Saharan Africa.
A bit of a misnomer, the service is unique in terms of providing a direct service from Asia to Senegal and Sierra Leone along with best transit times, as well as calls to other selected West African ports.
Dakar is reached weekly from Ningbo in 35 days, from Nansha in 32 days. Freetown (Sierra Leone) is reached in 35 days from Nansha. The service offer to Tema (Ghana) is improved with three weekly departures.
‘Our exporters from West Africa will benefit of excellent transit time and direct service to China. Shanghai is reached in 29 days from Abidjan, 31 days from Tema, 36 days from Freetown and 39 days from Dakar,’ says the line in a statement.
One is left to assume the Round Africa part comes from the ships returning to Asia via the Cape of Good Hope.
Round the Africa service rotation is as follows:
Shanghai – Ningbo – Nansha – Singapore – Malta – Tanger – Dakar – Freetown – Tema – Abidjan – Port Kelang – Shanghai