• To support the European Port Industry with meaningful performance data to increase individual port and port transport system performance
  • To support policy formulation and monitor policy implementation


Moving towards a robust and sustainable port transport system that can cope with its internal and external challenges.



PORTOPIA aims at creating an integrated knowledge base and management system of port performance to serve the industry’s stakeholders in improving the sustainability and competitiveness of the European Port System. To that end, different domains will be linked such as:

  • Market trends and structure,
  • Socio-economic performance,
  • Environment and occupational health and safety and security,
  • Logistic chain and operational efficiency,
  • Governance and finance and user perceptions of quality.

Inland ports will also be covered in the project as PORTOPIA aims to create an integrated and balanced view on port performance. Performance will be linked to the industry’s and the European Commission’s policy objectives in diverse areas.

After 4 years, the project should result in the creation of a self-supporting and sustainable organisation at the service of the industry’s stakeholders.

An efficient and sustainable port system is an important facilitator and driver for economic growth. European ports account for 37% of intra-European trade volumes, and play a key role to link European markets and industries to global trade networks with a share of 90% of external trade. On top of that, each year, ca. 400 million passengers transit through European ports.

Mr Dimitrios Theologitis (European Commission – Head of the Ports Policy and Inland Waterways Unit) said:

“In recent years we have witnessed an impressive transformation of the role of ports in the transport chain. Adaptation to multimodality, introduction of advanced ICT systems, impressive changes in the port-ship interface and cutting edge logistics requirements are putting more and more pressure in ports. The PORTOPIA project is meant to document this progress and shows the strong commitment of the EU in supporting innovation and word level class performance of a sector – ports –  which is of key importance for the competitiveness of European businesses and the well-being of citizens”



  • To develop sustainable means for data collection, data management and data storage of the port performance management system, with particular attention to data confidentiality
  • To promote the participation of EU port authorities (including inland ports) and port industry stakeholders within the port performance knowledge and management system
  • To increase the use of harmonized data processing for port performance indicators
  • To integrate and link the port performance management system with existing performance management systems of transport sectors and/or logistic chains linked to ports
  • To increase the value of the performance management system for port industry stakeholders (by providing an appropriate and scientifically sound benchmarking module)
  • To increase the value of the performance management system for policy stakeholders (including the European Commission) by linking the indicators of the port system to various policy objectives
  • To enhance the culture of performance management in the port sector
  • To deliver a sustainable and self-supporting organization for the management of the port performance management system
  • To guarantee the long-term sustainable operation of the system, in terms of finance and resources, and stakeholder support
  • To conduct the dissemination of the results and acquired knowledge, leading to broader societal acceptance of port activities



  • —Development of a forecasting dimension in port performance management within the market trends and structure category;
  • —Development of top-down methods for harmonised socio-economic impact calculation;
  • —Development of an innovative, port-individualized tool for environmental and safety performance;
  • —Development of European port-related logistics chain connectivity indicators;
  • —Development of new governance indicators based on the changing role of port authorities, including indicators on financial capabilities and transparency;
  • —Development of a method to capture user perceptions of port performance;
  • —Development of a dedicated performance management system for the inland ports sector, including attention to the interaction between sea and inland ports;
  • —Development of a strategy map and an integrated benchmarking tool taking into account the specificities of Ports.


The end result of PORTOPIA will be a state-of-the-art, sustainable, self-supporting European Ports Observatory, endorsed by port stakeholders, that provides superior value to the industry and its stakeholders by supplying transparent, useful and robust indicators and the contextual analysis of thereof, leading to improved resource efficiency, effectiveness and societal support for the European Port System.