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Press Release – May 2010

Date: 06/05/2010

The Malta Shortsea Promotion Centre which was launched in November 2006 has its mission to establish itself as the focal point for promoting and improving multimodal initiatives in Malta in order to enhance the transport sector contribution to the local economy and Malta’s cohesion with Europe and its neighbours. It aims to be the central source for the collation and dissemination of information, knowledge and education on Shortsea activity in Malta, and seeks to promote and support transport, including shipping, air and ports industry initiatives that are aimed towards the growth of transport.

To date, MSPC has five members, two of whom namely Transport Malta and Malta Motorways of the Sea, are corporate members whereas Tug Malta, Valletta Gateway Terminals and Combined Maritime Services are members. Over the few years that it has been established, MSPC has focused principally on keeping abreast of developments within the European commission directorate general for energy and transport which deals with Shortsea Shipping. MSPC has considered the timing appropriate to revamp its scope in order to become an effective and practical vehicle for Maltese interests who can take advantage of the opportunities presented by the European Union through Shortsea Shipping and Motorways of the Sea. For this purpose also, MSPC has outsourced to Combined Maritime Services the backoffice services in order to have more focus and delivery.

Malta has a particular role to play within the ambit of Shortsea Shipping as developed by the European Union, because whereas countries on mainland Europe have an option between sea and land means of transport, the Maltese Islands have to resort to the sea (and air) for its transport requirements. Hence whereas other EU countries can benefit tonnage miles savings, Malta can not. This makes the role of the MSPC even more challenging in that its scope has to be wider and to encompass such realities as feedering, logistics and hubbing.

The MSPC has to be an effective conduit for the Maltese industry and transport service providers to be kept constantly aware of the developments within this sector as they occur. It has to bring to Malta the advantages that the EU offers to the member states, and assist those who stand to benefit by becoming an overall diffuser and assessor of information with regards to logistics alternatives and developments.

The intention of the MSPC is to its website in order to transform it into an interactive site where interested parties can find information relevant for their business. It aims to identify and hopefully raise awareness among all stakeholders – including government agencies, the business community, shipping companies, logistics companies, shipping agents, service providers and the general public – about the advantages of Shortsea Shipping.

The MSPC shall also be issuing a regular newsletter in order to members and other interested parties of the developments within the Shortsea Shipping sector. The centre shall also be co-ordinating seminars so that local interests can network with leaders in this area.

The Shortsea Promotion Centres, which are represented collectively through the European Shipping Network (ESN) are present in all European countries and some of them have proved to be effective fora for the interaction between ports, shipping lines, freight forwarders, shipping agents, shippers and receivers. The aim of the MSPC is to emulate successful Shortsea Promotion Centres and to participate actively within the workings of the ESN.

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