Sea and inland ports are important interfaces of intra-European trade,
enabling economic exchange with neighbouring regions, and are part of
powerful worldwide transport networks. Their importance as linking
elements between several modes of transport and the general backbone
character of worldwide shipping imply that improvements in the
organisation and management of European ports based on new technologies
may have a significant positive impact on the port industry and related
WORKPORT aimed to identify the impact of new technologies in ports, particularly the effect on working environments, and also to consider the application of new organisational and management concepts to meet future demand for ports.
The main objectives of WORKPORT have been:
- to identify the main impacts of new technologies on the human factor, on safety at work, on the social environment, and on qualification, education and training;
- to identify the main trends in technology and management development at an international level;
- to investigate if and how lessons learned from other industrial sectors could be applied in the ports' working environments;
- to assess how R&D results might influence the ports' organisation and management, promote the integration of ports into the intermodal transport chain and increase their efficiency and competitiveness; and
- to consider the redesign of jobs in ports with implications on the required qualifications, working structures, hierarchies, organisational arrangements and responsibilities.
- investigated new technologies in ports and their influence on shipping, finding that ports favour upgrades of existing technologies rather than investments into completely new systems;
- identified new organisational and management concepts for ports, derived from other industries, that are needed to support technological changes and thereby achieve higher benefits;
- reviewed trends in current port development and pending challenges related to organisation and management, safety, environmental aspects and foreseen future demand, and identified legislation, public opinion and cost-benefit as the driving factors;
- identified socio-economic impacts of new technologies, management and organisation, highlighting the increasing integration of health, safety and environmental aspects in management concepts;
- performed case studies on new organisational concepts in 6 European sea and inland ports;
- identified the need to improve education and training of port workers to cope with emerging new technologies and novel organisational schemes.
The compliance of port developments and management schemes with EU
environmental standards needs to be ensured by cooperation between port
authorities, their stakeholders and the legislative bodies, in order to
not hamper free competition. Additional best practice examples of
implementing new technologies and organisational concepts in ports are
needed to establish an information network based on the experience and
assessment methodology of WORKPORT.