In international trade, roughly 80% of all goods are transported by sea. In Europe, maritime transport plays a vital role for the economy of the Continent, transporting about 75% of EU’s external trade. Moreover, with aworkforce of more than 3 million people over alarge network of about than 330 core and comprehensive seaports, the European maritime sector plays a vital role in ensuring smooth and efficient supply chain,connecting the mainland to Europe’s peripheral regions and islands. More importantly, about60% of all freight moved in Europe is related to short sea shipping, clearly
demonstrating its importance. The Motorways of the Sea (MoS) programme is a key instrument in this setting.
The concept of “Motorways of the Sea”, as introduced by the White Paper “European transport policy for 2010: time to decide” (2001), foresees a set of high-quality transport services based on short sea shipping based upon infrastructures, facilities and services spanning at least two Member States.
The Motorways of the Sea represent the waterborne dimension of the TEN-T network: the programme,funded by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funding scheme,prioritises the full integration of maritime transport operations in the logistic chain.
In a nutshell, its aim is tosupport maritime industry stakeholders (ports, ship and logistics operators, maritime suppliers and service providers, and public administrations) in implementing projects looking at improving connectivity between core and comprehensive ports of the TEN-T network and land-based core network corridors, optimising cargo flows, and improving the environmental performance of the sector. In doing so, it also helps concentrate freight flows on sea-based routes, thus reducing road congestion, as well as increasing connectivity among Member States.
The Motorways of the Sea concept rests upon fourpillars:
- Sustainability, which envisions research, innovation and investments on alternative fuels, and non-fossil fuels, onshore power supply, innovation in propulsion systems for a more sustainableand greener maritime sector.
- Interoperability, in which digitalization plays a central role for the transport system. Asmarter maritime sector requires digitalized solutions to optimize freight flows. Therefore, digitalized systems can help to make transport flows more efficient to ensure efficient logistic chains.
- Connectivity, that can be achieved by pushing on a seamless connection that include better rail connectivity to ports, where more industrial and energy production will take place in the future. A growing attention has been given in facilitation of the intermodal shift between ships and railway wagons, focusing on better hinterland and last mile connections. This would at last help contribute to improve the competitiveness of maritime transport, while reducing the number of trailers and semi-trailers on the roads.
- Resilience, alongside with climate change mitigation, plays a central role in developing stronger short sea connections between European Member States and the rest of the transport network. More connections will offer more alternatives if parts of Europe would be affected by future crises.
In the end, the Motorways of the Seashall contribute towards the achievement of aEuropean Maritime Transport Space without barriers, connecting Core Network Corridors byintegrating the maritime leg andfacilitate maritime freight transport with neighbouringcountries. In this context, they shall also promote sustainable shipping concepts whichcontribute to reducing negative impactson the environment, with the tangible reduction of traffic congestion. According to the overall vision, the Motorways of the Sea willeventuallycontribute to the creation of asustainable, smart, seamless, and resilient maritime sector.
As a beneficiary of the CEF FEDeRATED project,, Terminal San Giorgio (TSG) further develops the concept of Motorways of the Sea through automated gate access and enhanced interoperability among different logistics actors. Through its FEDeRATED LivingLab #18, smarTSGate Living Lab, TSG will implement a set of measures aiming to push the full digitalization of some processes that still require human activity (such as gate access procedures, booking of pick-ups for disembarked freight, etc.) and to achieve a global and accessible supply chain visibility, enabling the realization of a digital port ecosystem.
Furthermore, together with Grimaldi Lines, leader of the Hermes Living Lab #10, Terminal San Giorgio will demonstrate in a concrete use case the potential of data sharing within a federated network of ICT platforms. Indeed, in addition to acknowledging several FEDeRATED Leading Principles (each at own side), the two LLs will also build a common technology infrastructure implementing some of themain FEDeRATED IT Architecture Components, thus representing a full-featured common Living Lab.
Although the implemented services are in principle applicable to any freight type flowing through the terminal (indeed, TSG is a multipurpose terminal also dealing with containerized cargo, break bulk, etc.), the common Living Lab is particularly relevant for MoS, as it is mainly focused on trailerstransferredvia short-sea connections with Sicily. The “domestic”dimension of the LL is compensatedby the fact that it virtually extends the Rhine-Alpine Corridor towards the Mediterranean Sea (and potentially to other Member States).
Beside the two main beneficiaries above, the JointLL featuresthe participation of Luigi Cozza Trasporti, a primary Italian truck carrier that will be engaged as an external stakeholder.The services implemented within the Joint LL will be directly consumed by the actorsherein involved, and at the same time they willbe madeavailable to other potentially interested parties, following the principles of openness, trust and data sovereigntythat are peculiar of FEDeRATED, thus paving the way to the engagement of new actors in the federation (even beyond the boundaries and the time frame of the project). This will demonstrate in concrete terms how theFEDeRATED approach maybe beneficial to the MoS concept, and more specifically to its “Interoperbaility”pillar.
The common Living Lab is being developed through the following three stages:
- In Phase1 (2019-2021), the LL laid down the minimum set of technologies to implement the basicservices, featuring custom interoperability (and human interface for some flows); this enabled the operational assessment of new functionalities within existing technological setup.
- In Phase 2 (2021-2022), the LL extended basic services taking into account FEDeRATED leading principles and technologies, thus moving to a full-M2M scenario.
- In Phase 3 (2023 and beyond), the LL will further evolve by bringing in semantic interoperability and other features developed within FEDeRATED, thus enabling the engagement of new actors and platforms currently not in the scope of the project (e.g. more truck carriers, more terminals, PCSs –Port Community Systems, etc.).