Main port services in private hands

Main port services in private hands

Provision of port services to ships

The main services provided to ships – towage, mooring, waste reception, onshore power supply and bunkering – are mostly in private hands in European ports. The only exception is pilotage, which is still under considerable public influence. Some port authorities might have an influence on the quality of certain services through the issue of licenses and authorisations. However, port authorities don’t always have this competence. The technical nautical services are mostly coordinated by the harbour master, whether integrated in the port authority or not.

Cargo handling services and transport services

Cargo handling services are mainly organised by private operators. These operators are generally granted the use of port land through a lease agreement or a public domain concession. Integrated ports, where the port authority offers a full range of services itself, and other mixed cases are an exception. Furthermore, transport services are also mainly provided by private parties.

Background: Trends in EU Ports Governance

The information above was retrieved from the results of the sixth edition of the ESPO Fact-Finding Report ‘Trends in EU Ports Governance 2016’ that was published in June 2016. The aim of the report is to monitor port governance and organisation in Europe and its evolution over time. It is based on a web-based survey that was sent directly to individual port authorities. 86 port authorities from 19 EU Member States, Norway and Iceland completed the questionnaire. Together, they represent more than 200 ports and more than 57% of the overall volume of cargo handled in the European Union.

The PORTOPIA platform will bring an important value added for ports in terms of governance models. In fact, some of the fields of the ESPO Fact-Finding Report are going to be transferred to the PORTOPIA platform, allowing ports to compare geographical ranges, EU averages and evolutions over time in terms of governance model across Europe.

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