EMMA project’s kick off meeting in Hamburg brought together 43 representatives from all 21 partner organizations from 5 countries. Opening speech was held by Mr. Ingo Egloff, the CEO of the lead partner Port of Hamburg Marketing.
The Baltic Sea Region (BSR) with its growing transport volumes especially between East and West and its insufficient road and rail infrastructure needs innovative and pragmatic solutions to cope with future requirements on transport facilities. Rivers, canals and also the Baltic Sea have huge capacity reserves, whereas road and rail infrastructure already is, in some parts of the Baltic Sea Region, overloaded.
However, Inland Waterway Transportation (IWT) still does not play the adequate role in the transport system to its potential. All in all ship transportation has many advantages compared to alternative modes like road and rail. In particular, it is cost efficient and environmentally friendly compared to the other modes. However, too often, inland shipping is not even considered as transport alternative by many forwarders and stakeholders in the transport sector.
The question that needs to be answered is how the modal share of IWT can be increased in the Baltic Sea Region countries. The implementation of pilot activities, their promotion for wider acceptance and information that addresses the specific target groups is required and will be taken up by the EMMA project!
The opening speech of the project kick-off meeting stated that environmental issues seen important in all participating countries, as well as the availability and costs of logistics services. Therefore the Inland Waterway Transport (IWT) can be an interesting option.
Following presentations stated that IWT solutions also face similar challenges in various countries, as need for investments and improvement of infrastructure in the IWT sector, special weather conditions as ice condition and lack of lobbying compared to other transport modes. New technologies and solutions could enhance the possibilities for IWT to be attractive option for service users and providers.
The aims of EMMA project, apart from obvious international co-operations and best practice/solution exchange and finding, is to strengthen the position of IWT in the industry, development of problem solutions, promote and bring IWT problematic to knowledge of wider public, national and international officials operating with IWT. The goal is to improve the competitiveness of the IWT sector and find new business possibilities in IWT related fields. EMMA project will be implemented between 3/2016 and 2/2019.
Please find additional information in the attached project outline paper.
Mr. Stefan Breitenbach
Port of Hamburg Marketing
Head of Project Development
+49 40 37709 121