The Baltic Sea is undeniably a link between the countries in the Baltic area, where
maritime and port activity has known for 20 years an incontestable dynamism. Taking into account the maritime fact, its, often vital, economic importance and its impact is a common denominator on the shores of the Baltic.
Now, the Baltic region released a relatively comfortable situation of shared growth, which favored its rapid revitalization. Actors of the maritime world and ports must develop new strategies to meet the contemporary and future challenges. Connect the region remains the first one, but some other challenges and questions exist :
– What about the positioning of the Baltic ? Today in a situation of interface, the Baltic Sea sees this role possibly challenged. The first interrogation comes primarily from the Russian policy of port self-sufficiency while the Russia has been and remains the main market for many ports in the region. Moreover, the impact of the development of continental bridge between Asia and Europe remains to be assessed for the Baltic region as well as the question of the influence of the north sea route, including geographical, economical but also geopolitical aspects.
– Major ports will grow and what happens to small ones ? Ports must adapt to the new requirements of the shipping industry (growing ships size, new alliances, SECA regulation, cruise industry development…). They need to make
their operations more efficient by specialization and economies of scale.
Flows are called in to centralize on a small number of ports but smaller ports can keep a competitive advantage in some areas. Thus, some other questions emanate like the regional port frame and is hierarchy, competition or complementarity, integration in logistic supply chain…
– Towards more environmental pressure ? At first, the global warming process can have a strong impact on marine traffic and the development of the port s in the Baltic Sea. In this context, the ports in the North could benefit from early warming and better navigation conditions, without ice, winter months.
Then, to minimize emissions of most pollutants, guidelines and standards
impose a continuous adaptation of the shipping industry in the region. Shortterm development focuses on the use of LNG but the integration of the propulsion hybrid appears to be relevant in the long term solution, including for ferries. So many questions remain unanswered.
Answer to these questions, and many others, is a challenge that is both ambitious and exciting. This is what attaches the conference which will explore the situation of the maritime transportation in the Baltic Sea as well as its future possibilities, challenges and issues. So, the main covered topics – but not the only one – will be: shipping and ports in the BSR, maritime networks, International trade and logistics, alternative roads (northern route, Eurasian land bridges…), geopolitical issues, environmental perspectives…