Mr Jose Anselmo, Ten-T and Motorways of the Sea policy advisor, welcome to the Zero Vision Tool radio, interviewing at the conference Motorways of the Sea in Gothenburg. Can you please introduce yourself and your role at the Motorways of the Sea?
Well, I’m a civil servant; I’ve been working in Brussels at the European Commission for 23 years. I started on research for transportation and maritime transport, and as I like to do things that I know a little bit of, I’m still there. I mean, I’m not doing research any longer, now I’m doing development and innovation in the sense of the market uptake of these new technologies, so we are trying to bring new technologies into the real world. If you want, you can also see it as a modus contribution for the increase of jobs, growth and competitiveness for Europe, so that’s what I’m trying to do.
What’s your impression of the first day at the conference?
Very good. I was really impressed by the way the stakeholders were reacting. I mean, this conference is dedicated to the reduction of emissions. Emissions may be seen as a problem in this area of the world, I mean North Sea and the Baltic, but I think that people here are taking it as a challenge, not as a problem, as a challenge. And they are facing and trying to discover new solutions, new technical solutions. Of course you have the big ship owners like Stena, which is doing it on a very structured way, which is already moving forward, finding alternative solutions, scrubbers, methanol, LNG, but you also have the very small ship owners.
I’m very impressed with the very small ship owner from Finland, close to Helsinki, and they have five ships and they have developed their own scrubber system. That seems very promising, very good, so this leads me to believe in Europe’s capacity to answer and to meet the challenges and I’m really very grateful to the Baltic and to the Skagerrak, to Gothenburg and to the Zero Vision Tool for helping us to develop these parts that are important to us, knowing what to do for the future, what people need us to support. I mean, where do you need us to support you better to be more efficient? So it was rather good.
Can you give us some words about your speech on the topic ‘the Motorways of the Sea ambition’ and ‘the Motorways of the Sea 2015–2017 report: obstacles and thought solutions’?
Well, we would like to be seen as a tool to help ship owners and ports and transport actors to try and tackle their problems, be it on the environment, as we just discussed, or be it at safety at sea. If you do not have safety at sea, you cannot have ships at sea or solving human problem, the training, it’s not enough to develop liquefied natural gas tools, you also need to train people to handle it. So that’s why we are trying to develop a global holistic approach. The same thing has to do with traffic management if you have again coming to the Baltic every day two thousand ships; you need to have traffic management. Otherwise, a disaster would occur. So all these issues we are dealing with now, and last but not least we are also dealing with the battery integration of maritime transport in the logistic chain.
So obviously what we want to do is to make it easier and more palatable for ships, for people that have businesses in the interland to use maritime transportation as their main carrier so we are trying to facilitate the whole chain of transport between that small village inland where there is the factory to the ports to the port to the ships and to the ships to the foreland to another port and to another interland where another person is going to use this product to make their product. So this is what we try to do, we try to support the deployment of the container, the physical deployment through the system and at the same time we try to develop the information systems that will support it with all the documentation that you need, all the information on the problem that you need to go through the phytosanitary, the veterinary and the customs requirements.
Have you had any special questions from the participants here at the Motorways of the Sea that you would like to address?
Well, basically, the issue of legal obligations and the question I would like to address is that I think that namely ship owners but the shipping community should come straight forward. I have much respect for the Zero Vision initiative in the sense that finally ship owners came out. And those were the first really to come on a structured way out so I’m very thankful to Sweden for giving this example, for setting the example. I think that Finland is following it and I’m certain that Denmark will join very quickly because it is really important that we understand what is the commitment of the ship owners – what do they need to do, how much they match their societal priorities.
For me it’s logic that Swedish ship owners match the environmental societal priorities of Sweden. So the same should happen with the other ones and then we are there to try and help where we can together with the governments and finding solutions for research or true initiatives to the deployment to help them improve and to help them deploy what they want to do.
What is the best way for the shipping industry to keep up the good work in the next step?
Well, they need to come together. Global problems like the emission control areas or some of the other ones cannot be done alone by one isolated shipping company, so you need to learn how to cooperate and how to cooperate with all the other partners, with the ports, with the railways, with the intermodal system. This is what we can and will try to help people do, facilitating trade and using shipping to revamp Europe and to give Europe a future, a maritime future at home and also overseas.