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ESC – European Shippers' Council


Parliamentary Event on the Future of Rail Freight

This article was posted on December 9th, 2016 by under EventsNews

On 5 December, ESC attended a parliamentary event on the future of rail freight, organised by Rail Forum Europe and hosted by the Chairman of the European Parliament Transport Committee.

The discussions focused on the attractiveness of rail freight, competition with road, and how rail could adapt to technological and environmental challenges (including the issue of rail freight generated noise). ESC pointed out that rail and road are complementary options and that rail will not become more competitive by trying to undermine the competitiveness of road transport. Many shippers would like to make more use of rail freight, but rail needs to deliver on all the following parameters to be considered as a suitable option:

–       Reliability & punctuality

–       Cost-competitiveness

–       Attractive lead times, which would also help increase wagon turnover

–       Customer-service – including good responsiveness to planning requests and the provision of an estimated time of arrival in case of delays

–       Flexibility

ESC also highlighted the importance of access to the rail network and of last mile infrastructure for shippers.

For more information, please contact Pauline Bastidon –

ESC Maritime Day 2016

This article was posted on by under EventsNews

On November 29, 2016, the third edition of the annual ESC Maritime Day was held in Barcelona. The event was organised by the European Shippers’ Council and Transprime in cooperation with widoit QUALITY, and was kindly hosted and sponsored by the Port of Barcelona.


The ESC Maritime Day is set to be the annual reference marine logistics event for shippers in Europe, with previously organised Maritime Days in Brussels (2014) and Antwerp (2015). Each event contains the synthesis and conclusions extracted from previous years to openly discuss the maritime world with all stakeholders from a unique shipper’s perspective and to build new ways of thinking ahead of the current scenario.

The event in Barcelona gathered almost 100 participants and offered shippers the opportunity to focus specifically on two issues: SOLAS: A new relationship status between stakeholders (Roundtable 1) and Alliances and cooperation (Roundtable 2).

During the SOLAS Round table, the presentations from the high-level speakers from INNTRA, Cosco Iberia, Terminal BEST BARCELONA, BDP International and DOW Chemical raised interesting discussions. With the SOLAS regulation a new relationship has emerged within the logistics sector, for example a connection between shippers and terminal operators. This highly debated topics showed a huge need for harmonisation in several fields by all the participants of the conference.

During the Roundtable on Alliances and Cooperation, with participation of high level speakers from DG COMPETITION, Barcelona Port, and University of Antwerp among others, concerns were raised regarding the competition in the maritime sector. It appears that there is an urgent request to the competition authorities for a new approach in monitoring competition in the maritime sector around the world.

Next ESC Maritime Day will be held in November next year and will give a chance to look back at the modifications in the alliances situation in 2017.

For more information about this event, please contact Fabien Becquelin –

LEARN Project: Towards Green Transport and Eco-labels for Logistics

This article was posted on by under EventsNews

ESC represents shippers’ interests in the European Commission funded project – the Logistics Emissions Accounting and Reduction Network (LEARN) that kicked-off on the 26th-27th of October 2016.

The main objective of LEARN is the creation of a consistent and transparent emissions measurement and reporting across the global logistics supply chain. The global methodology framework of the Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) will serve as the basis for their work. As no single stakeholder can address emission reduction on its own, the project is establishing a coordinated network at the European and global levels which will be industry-led and will be complemented by players from the research, standardisation and civil society sectors.

This approach provides shippers with the level playing field on the business decisions and implementation measures vis-à-vis the reduction of emissions. LEARN will enhance cooperation of stakeholders on the reporting of carbon footprint of logistics activities which will lead to a progress in a harmonised approach.

How can shippers or logistics service providers drive environmental performances through their carrier selection process while safeguarding sensitive business data? How to strike the right balance between the accuracy of information and efforts/costs of companies measuring and reporting? These are some of the questions to be answered in the framework of the project.

For more information about the LEARN project, please see:

For GLEC Logistics Emissions Methodology, please see:


ESC Participated in the Maritime Climate Fund Roundtable

This article was posted on November 21st, 2016 by under News

The Maritime Climate Fund Roundtable was hosted by MEP José Inácio FARIA, ALDE, and organized by Transport and Environment in the European Parliament on the 8th of November 2016.

The establishment of a flag-neutral Maritime Fund under the ETS is a policy option at EU level to reduce shipping emissions. If set up, the fund is expected to contribute to the EU’s 2030 climate target by surrendering ETS allowances purchased on behalf of ship operators using member fund contribution. It should also facilitate investments in innovative technologies to reduce the sector’s CO² emissions through ship abatement measures partly financed by the Fund. The Fund will be a carbon pricing mechanism having the EU ETS price as a floor price per tonne of CO².

Different opinions were voiced by Transport and Environment, European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) and Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) on whether it is better to wait for the global mechanism coming from the International Maritime Organization on the maritime emissions, or to have an EU solution. Everyone prefers to “go global”, but the IMO decision-making does not show much progress. Most of the speakers supported the idea of the Maritime Climate Fund. However, questions stay unanswered: How MCF can affect the implementation of the IMO solution? How can it be run? What benefits would international partners get if they must contribute to the MCF?

Maritime is global. ESC strongly supports a global approach towards the securing emission reductions in the maritime sector. A regional approach, if implemented, will lead, in most cases, to a deviation in maritime routes to avoid additional environmental charges imposed at the entrance of the EU. E.g., a ship may stop at a port outside the EU and have the goods delivered to their destination in the EU by truck. Thus, the Maritime Climate Fund does not create a level playing field and will not solve the problem.

Hanjin in Talks with MSC

This article was posted on October 24th, 2016 by under News

The South Korean carrier Hanjin was the first major carrier to be hit by the crisis in the shipping industry, caused by overcapacity and low freight rates.