Ports are key elements of the European Transport System. Over 90% of Europe’s trade with the rest of the world (and almost half of intra-European trade) is shipped through ports and expected figures are much more impressive for the future: the European Sea Ports Organisation estimates that traffic in European ports will double from 2006 to 2015. At the same time, constraints (in terms of ships size, ships calls, available space, etc) and requirements (in terms of environmental protection, security, safety, profitability, etc) will have severely increased.
Such a future scenario emphasises the needs of European ports for further developments and innovations. Therefore, investments in research and development (R&D) and innovation for ports represent several billions of euros each year. However, various R&D and innovation projects have been realised in the past which never passed the commercialisation threshold. As ports are nodal points for the repartition of goods through inland transport networks, failure in one port has consequences for the entire supply chain. Issues of R&D and innovation activities and associated investments in ports are therefore of major importance for the future development of a sustainable transport system.
CAPOEIRA concentrates on maximising the opportunities for successful R&D and innovation in the field of freight transport activities in ports.