Port directors visit Benelux ports
Directors from the 20 largest Danish ports were on a study trip organized by Danish Ports on 9-12 November 2014. In addition to an introduction to the food chain of EU legislation and visits to three ports, the purpose was to create a stronger network and cooperation between Danish ports. In November 2014, Danish Ports organized a study trip for directors of the 20 largest ports. One of the objectives was a solid introduction to the EU institutions and the political work in Brussels. In addition, there were visits and meetings with the directors of the ports of Ghent, Terneuzen and Zeebrugge. The study tour provided inspiration to promote mutual trade and cooperation, but also showed that there are big differences in the competences of ports and the degree of state aid. The EU must be taken seriously Brussels must be taken seriously because it is where the foundations for the free market and a level playing field among European ports are laid. The Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament play a key role. The delegation visited the Danish Shipowners' Association and Danish Slaughterhouses in Brussels to hear how other industry organizations influence the EU and how their members gain value. At the Danish EU Representation, there were good discussions on transport policy with the Danish transport attaché, a good introduction to the Danish EU efforts by the Danish embassy counselor and a discussion of infrastructure funds under TEN-T together with the European Commission and the transport agency INEA. On the first day there was also time for a visit to the European Parliament with an introduction and exchange of views with Christel Schaldemose (S). Port visits First port visit was the industrial port of Ghent. Then a stop at Zeeland Seaports. The last visit was to Zeebrugge. The Scandinavian and Baltic region is of great importance for the port of Ghent. Sweden has been the most important trading partner for the port for the past three years thanks to ro-ro traffic. There is an almost daily ro-ro service between Ghent and Gothenburg and weekly with Brevik in Norway. Ghent's CEO introduced the infrastructural and commercial development of the port, the new legal A/S structure in cooperation with the City of Ghent and in the future with several Belgian regions as owners. During the tour, the delegation got a feel for the highly multimodal port and the relationship between port and industry. The port of Ghent is interested in Copenhagen Malmö Port AB and in particular how the two ports have set up cooperation across a cross-border economic zone. Ghent and Zeeland Seaports want a similar solution. Both ports have been working together operationally for some time. The Danish delegation was "transported" by the boat Jacob Van Artevelde from Ghent to Zeeland Seaports in the Netherlands. Here the discussion on strategic port cooperation and the development of the port continued. This was followed by a visit to the logistics operator Verbrugge Terminals in Vlissingen. On the last day, the delegation visited the Port of Zeebrugge, which already has good relations with the Port of Esbjerg. In 2007, the two ports entered into a strategic partnership to exchange know-how, business contacts and develop business strategy. The cooperation has, among other things, created Cobelfret's successful ro/ro connection between the two ports. The Port of Zeebrugge is a sharp company born as an A/S 100 years ago with a strong focus on its role as a company and transport center with special emphasis on the strategic cooperation for logistics clusters. For more information. Contact Bjarne Løf Henriksen, Danish Ports.