Fair and sustainable waterborne transport in Europe

The waterborne transport sector in Europe – comprised of sea and inland waterways, locks and bridges, deep-sea and inland ports and terminals and fisheries – is a key catalyst for economic growth and employment.

Several challenges are shaking up the sector today, including decarbonisation and digitalisation, intensified global competition, and new threats, such as cyber-attacks and health pandemics. The European markets in the sector are also still largely fragmented, and there is a lack of integration in wider multimodal logistics networks.

At the same time, waterborne transport workers (seafarers, crewmembers, fishers and dockers) need to continue working in a changing industry. They are key ‘front line’ workers that kept the flow of goods flowing throughout a global pandemic, providing essentials to people around the world. New business models along supply chains with sustainability at their heart are vital for the quality of life around the globe to improve. Creating smart, safe and sustainable waterborne transport services and operations requires both high-skilled workers and high-quality jobs.

The Fair and sustainable waterborne transport in Europe project aims to explore the following topics:

  • Understanding the importance of the European waterborne transport sector in global value chains;
  • Understanding crisis management from a global perspective;
  • Exploring options for a fair waterborne transport sector in Europe to move forward.

The project will look into how to promote high standards of employment practice and respect of fundamental rights in the waterborne transport industry while encouraging improvement of rights.

More about Fair and sustainable waterborne transport in Europe

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Water Transport Employment in Europe: The Role of Governance

The European waterborne transport sector should be considered a strategic and key asset.
It is just one of the conclusions the ETF underlines in the recently published final report of the EU-funded project “A fair and sustainable waterborne transport in Europe”. The report assesses the current state of water transport employment in Europe, links it to water transport governance and provides recommendations for reform.

15 Sep 2023

ETF calls on member states and the European Commission to show political will and take action for sustainable and quality shipping in Europe

A Fair and Sustainable Shipping is our proposal for a future European Maritime Space.
To start building together the foundation of such a future space, an essential aspect needs to be addressed from the very beginning: how can EU initiatives contribute to sustainable and quality shipping in Europe by promoting a race to the top instead of a race to the bottom?

10 Feb 2022