testata inforMARE
23 September 2023 - Year XXVII
Independent journal on economy and transport policy
02:17 GMT+2




"There are possibilities to support the railway sector with state aid. EU regulation allows this under the current exceptional circumstances. Railway lobby organisations have been shouting from the roof to get across this message, and with result. The European Commission has sent a letter to probably the entire railway industry to emphasise this once again.."
"At this point of the COVID-19 crisis, rail freight transport is vital to secure the flows of goods and the continued operation of the supply chains in the European Union but it suffers from an important drop in transported volumes", the letter commences. "Railway undertakings are in serious financial distress, with some operators facing the prospect of bankruptcy as result of temporary liquidity shortages."

Temporary Framework for State Aid measures

To address the liquidity shortages and other economic damage companies face, there are two different aid instruments available, the European Commission (EC) explains. The first is the Temporary Framework for State Aid measures, which was amended on 3 April 2020 to cover additional aid measures, and it may be complemented as necessary. It refers to transport as one of the most affected sectors.

The legislation allows member states "to provide direct grants, tax advantages, State guarantees for loans and subsidised public loans. To address urgent liquidity needs in a speedy manner Member States may give, up to the nominal value of 800,000 Euros per company, zero-interest loans, guarantees on loans covering 100 per cent of the risk or provide equity. This can be combined also with so-called de minimis aid (to bring the aid per company to up to 1 million Euros) and with other types of aid. General measures such as wage subsidies, suspension of corporate and VAT taxes or social contributions payments are also possible." Article 107(2)(b) of this legislation also enables Member States to compensate companies for damages caused by the COVID-19 crisis, including for lost revenues.

Lowering costs

The EC refers in particular to the possibility of reducing the costs of railway undertakings, a measure suggested by the Railway Guidelines, the second piece of legislation. "A number of rail operators face urgent liquidity problems. It is essential to lower companies' fixed costs", it writes.

In some EU countries, infrastructure managers have already started taking action to ensure no reservation charges are levied for train path cancellations or necessary changes of paths or timing in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. The EC welcomes this. "We understand from the sector that (...) adaptations of charging rules for the time of the outbreak would provide a certain relief urgently needed."

It continues to suggest three possible measures to provide relief in this regard:

abandoning reservation charges for short-term cancellations, unless specifically justified;

infrastructure managers could ensure that any delay in this period is categorised under force majeure so as to neutralise the financial effects of the performance scheme;

easing the payment of charges with a postponement of payment deadlines for applicants, so that financial situations could recover over a longer time-span.

Reduction of track access charges

Finally, it states that DG MOVE and DG Competition, two EU institutions, are working to make possible a further decrease of rail infrastructure charges, and other charges in service facilities (such as parking charges) within the state aid framework.

"If such a measure, granted to railway undertakings, does not lead to competition distortions within the sector it could constitute compatible aid under the Railway Guidelines. We invite you to contact DG Competition to discuss any plans you may have. Such measures will be dealt with as a matter of priority."

The commission also makes reference to the possible consequences this may have on infrastructure managers, which may face a drop in revenues. "we recommend compensating for foregone income through national subsidies to them. DG Competition and DG MOVE stand ready to provide advice how best to structure such a measure. In particular, where mark-ups are levied according to Article 32(1), they can also be waived so that rail infrastructure users pay charges just at direct costs level."

Maintain logistics chains

In the letter, the commission also refers to measures to ensure that logistics chains are maintained, to "ensure that environmentally sustainable transport options will be available after the end of the crisis. EU law does not rule out the possibility of imposing public service obligations/concluding public service contracts for rail freight services to ensure the continuity of the transport of goods.

However, this measure is a little more complicated, as it fall outside the scope of EU regulation dealing with rail transport. "Their award would have to comply with the public procurement Directives. The aim of such a public procurement procedure is to ensure that any compensation paid constitutes the least cost to the community and ensures the absence of overcompensation. Provided all requirements are respected including the absence of overcompensation, no notification under State aid law would be necessary.


Turkish shipyard Med Marine delivers a new tugboat to the Vernicos Scafi
It is the first means of new construction of the fleet of the Greek-Italian joint venture
Kenya Ports Authority privatizes benches at ports of Lamu and Mombasa
Launched an international competition that also includes a special economic zone
Last month, freight traffic in the port of Taranto increased by 6.9% percent.
In the first eight months of 2023, a decline of -4.0%
New paints to contain the propagation of fires on ships and construction sites
Messina Group has taken delivery of its second full container ship
Has a transport capacity of 4,600 teu
Approda in Genoa the first container ship of the FIM service of HMM
Scalo to container terminal of PSA Italy
Visual Sailing List
Departure ports
Arrival ports by:
- alphabetical order
- country
- geographical areas
First meeting of the technical table on security of work in the port
Among the proposals, insert some port job profiles between the "usurante/gravest" job categories
Hapag-Lloyd will equip all of its internet connection ships through the Starlink satellite network
Success of tests started in May
In the June-August period, FedEx Group revenues fell by -6.7% percent.
Net profit marked a growth of 23.2%
Cooperation of ICHCA and PEMA to improve the safety of handling goods
Spearport, necessary to minimize red tape in ports
Botta : paper documents are an absurdity in the age of digitalization
Germany's Rhenus acquires the two terminals of the Rietlanden Terminals in the port of Amsterdam
Germany's Rhenus acquires the two terminals of the Rietlanden Terminals in the port of Amsterdam
Singapore / Holzwickede
Dutch company will be ceded in two stages by Singaporean JERA Global Markets
In August the port of Algeciras handled 424mila containers (+ 1.5%)
In the first eight months of 2023, the total was 3.16 million teu (-0.4%)
Conference on the Promotion of Health in the Port Workers of the Straits
It will be held on October 2 in Messina
Ukrzaliznytsia-RCG Agreement for the development of intermodal transport between Ukraine and Austria
In short, the testing of the transport of semi-trailers on the Kiev-Budapest line will begin.
In the first half of 2023 the revenues of the Chinese terminalist group CMPort decreased by -10.8%
Hong Kong
Container traffic grew by 0.3%
Union Pilots has strongly criticized the procedure for renewing the piloting tariffs
Bellomo : well the updating of the fares of local practical
At the MITO terminal of the port of Cagliari the first container ship coming out of a Ukrainian port
Landed 2,114 containers
The Cool Logistics Global event will be held for the first time in Italy
The event is scheduled from 10 to October 12 next in Genoa
In the first quarter of this year, the traffic of goods in Greek ports has returned to growth
However, the total was lower than pre-pandemic levels.
Last month, shipping containers handled by the port of Valencia fell by -11.7% percent.
In the first eight months of this year, the decline was -10.6% percent.
In August, container traffic in Hong Kong port fell by -9.4% percent.
Hong Kong
Decline of -15.1% in the first eight months of 2023
Last month, container traffic in the port of Los Angeles returned to growth.
Los Angeles
In the first eight months of 2023, a decline of -21.0% percent was marked
Italian Ports:
Ancona Genoa Ravenna
Augusta Gioia Tauro Salerno
Bari La Spezia Savona
Brindisi Leghorn Taranto
Cagliari Naples Trapani
Carrara Palermo Trieste
Civitavecchia Piombino Venice
Italian Interports: list World Ports: map
ShipownersShipbuilding and Shiprepairing Yards
ForwardersShip Suppliers
Shipping AgentsTruckers
Conference on the Promotion of Health in the Port Workers of the Straits
It will be held on October 2 in Messina
The Cool Logistics Global event will be held for the first time in Italy
The event is scheduled from 10 to October 12 next in Genoa
››› Meetings File
España demanda una revisión instantánea de los puertos vecinos de transbordo
(El Mercantil)
Shipping minister resigns in aftermath of ferry passenger's death
››› Press Review File
FORUM of Shipping
and Logistics
Relazione del presidente Daniele Rossi
Napoli, 30 settembre 2020
››› File
Last month freight traffic in the port of Singapore grew by 1.7% percent
The containers were over 3.3 million (+ 2.0%)
On October 2 in Lugano, the sixth edition of "A Sea of Switzerland" will be held in Lugano.
The conference will be articulated in three sessions
In August, freight traffic in Russian ports grew by 5% percent
St. Petersburg
Increase in dry goods. Decline of liquid bulk bulk
New agency of Negro families, Clavarino and Schenone to provide services to the construction of the new Genoa Dam
In August, container traffic in the port of Long Beach decreased by -15.4%
Long Beach
In the first eight months of 2023, the decline was -24.4%
New freight train service Verona-Wuppertal of Rail Cargo Group
Made three weekly rotations
Cargill yields 25% percent of the KSK grain terminal of the port of Novorossiysk
The share will be acquired by Russia's Delo
Stranded a drug trade in the port of Salerno
Detected 104 pans of cocaine and the deposit to which they were intended
Ferrante (MIT) : amendments to the European Directive 2023/959 to avoid distortions that penalise Italian transhipment ports
It would allow Gioia Tauro to be placed on the same list in which ports such as Tangeri Med and Port Said are included.
MOL Chemical Tankers will buy the Fairfield Chemichal Carries
Singapore / New York
The Singaporean company's fleet will rise to 121 chimichiere vessels
In the second quarter, freight traffic in Tunisian ports grew by 13.0% percent.
The Goulette
Loads at landing and boarding increasing by 14.3% and 11.0%, respectively
- Via Raffaele Paolucci 17r/19r - 16129 Genoa - ITALY
phone: +39.010.2462122, fax: +39.010.2516768, e-mail
VAT number: 03532950106
Press Reg.: nr 33/96 Genoa Court
Editor in chief: Bruno Bellio
No part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher
Search on inforMARE Presentation
Feed RSS Advertising spaces

inforMARE in Pdf