The development of maritime transport and logistics sector in the Mediterranean still needs to be improved in order to ensure more efficient and sustainable trade relations between the northern and south-eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
In this context, and by means of a virtual logistics platform structured around the ports of Porto Torres (Italy) and Beirut (Lebanon), OPTIMED project will enhance commercial connections between public and private operators in maritime transport and logistics sector of Lebanon, Italy, Spain and France. The two ports will be directly affected by activities oriented to plan the facilities to improve the current services and strengthen the ports in their role of Ro-Ro hubs.
Specifically, the improvement of technical and management capacities and the hub-based network structure provide a scheduled service enabling shipping companies, and consequently the companies that use their services, to obtain a precise delivery time estimate. This is opposed to the current system in which delivery times cannot be guaranteed. Moreover, the new system will do away with the need for shipbrokers who act as intermediaries in chartering vessels once a sufficient amount of freight has been accumulated for the desired port of destination. The scheduled service will also ensure just-in-time delivery for sea freight.
The project aims to a direct economical and commercial impact, creating opportunities finalised at the matching between offer and demand of services between the two shores. The seven actors part of the project will also develop new tools (such as the organization of business meetings and the promotion of short sea shipping), thus contributing to a more efficient transport and logistics model characterized by better delivery times of freight and consequently by a greater competitiveness.
Through the different phases of analysis, testing, promotion and training, the project wants to contribute to achieve a better competitiveness of the Mediterranean transport and logistics sector, and therefore of trade in general. In the coming years, the project results and the capitalization of them will give the opportunity to operators to take advantages and rewards of intermodal transport through the promotion of Ro-RO hub-based networks, short sea shipping, Motorways of the Sea and e-freight, as the basis for the development of sustainable logistics within Mediterranean transport systems.
The signature of the MoU “Short Sea Shipping Euro-Mediterranean Network” represents a starting point for the enlargement of the Optimed network at Euro-Mediterranean level, in order to exploit the opportunities arising from the new maritime trade connections. . Final beneficiaries of the start up of the new network will be the consumers of EU and the Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPC), that will take advantage of the faster and better efficient trade services between the two shores of the Mediterranean basin.
The project is financed under the 2007/2013 ENPI CBC MED, a European multilateral Cross-Border Cooperation Programme.