Appeal for clean shipping and better Hinterland Connections
“There are many positive things we can report about our ports right now.” Robert Howe, Managing Director of bremenports, opened the traditional reception on the eve of the 36th German Logistics Congress in Berlin with an optimistic assessment.
Around 200 visitors had accepted bremenports’ invitation to come to the office of Bremen’s permanent delegation in Berlin to discuss the latest developments in the logistics business. In his opening address, Howe pointed out that last month Bremerhaven had been a port of call for all the MSC container vessels of the latest generation: “This proved once again that our ports can cope with every vessel that sails the seven seas.” The bremenports manager reminded the guests that his company was going to plan and implement various ambitious large-scale projects over the next few years. Howe stated, “We are planning substantial investments in our quay facilities which will benefit not only the fishing port and the cruise terminal, but also container shipping.”
Tim Cordssen, the new State Councillor at the Senate Department for Science and Ports, took this opportunity to outline the core elements of Bremen’s future port policy. “Many people were surprised at this combination of science and ports,” said Cordssen. “I am convinced that this will lead to stimulating new perspectives. Climate change and digitisation are key tasks for the future and our science cluster and the actors at the ports can provide important impetus in both these areas,” he added.
Cordssen emphasised that the Senate would do all that was necessary to make the port climate-neutral as soon as possible. He said that Bremen was glad that the federal government had given up its traditional reticence in matters of port policy and was now launching a programme to subsidise shore power connections. Cordssen added that many of the berths for inland shipping had already been equipped with shore power connections and it was now important to tackle the larger issue and begin to supply shore power at the container terminals and the cruise terminal. But first and foremost, it was up to the shipowners to make shipping cleaner. The State Councillor pointed out, “Ships have to become cleaner, not only when in port, but also at sea. Cruise vessels that use green power when in port but heavy fuel oil when sailing in the Arctic are not a sign of progress, but simply eyewash in terms of climate protection.”
Cordssen also emphasised the importance of deepening the River Weser for the port business. “We cannot afford the restrictions that result from insufficient water depths, as our ports would then be left far behind by our competitors.”
In his remarks, Cordssen also appealed to the federal government to play its part. It was important to speed up many projects, in particular upgrading the rail network. “All the talking and planning now have to be followed by actions,” said Cordssen.
The Logistics Congress in Berlin, with more than 3500 visitors and 200 exhibitors, will continue until 25 October.