At its meeting today, the Federal Cabinet adopted the National Strategy for Sea and Inland Ports that had been submitted by the Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Alexander Dobrindt.
Germany is one of the largest seafaring nations in the world. We want to retain this leading position. We are thus making our shipping industry fit for the global digital era. The National Ports Strategy provides us with a strategic toolkit for strengthening our ports. We will join forces with the federal states and the industry to enhance the efficiency and productivity of the German sea and inland ports. This is a clear signal in support of Germany's competitiveness as a business location. High-performing ports are hubs for Germany, the world champion in exports and logistics. And as such, they are drivers of growth, prosperity and jobs.
The National Ports Strategy defines the objectives of our ports policy for the next ten years. It includes specific measures for all stakeholders; for instance the Federal Government, federal states, local authorities or the ports and logistics sectors. The objectives of the Ports Strategy are to be achieved by all these parties jointly implementing the measures.
The major objectives are:
- upgrade port-related infrastructures as demand requires;
- improve linkages between ports;
- be more proactive in shaping European and international ports policy;
- strengthen environmental protection, for instance by using alternative fuels;
- progress offshore wind energy;
- provide high-quality training and good jobs;
- ensure safety and security in shipping.
The specific measures agreed upon in the Ports Strategy include:
- the digitalization of the ports industry by rolling out broadband networks and developing research and technology programmes; Minister Dobrindt has launched a €30 million programme for innovative transport technologies from which the financial assistance programme for innovative port technologies will be funded;
- the removal of bottlenecks in the landside links to and from the ports. Minister Dobrindt has launched a €350 million upgrading programme for the rail links to and from the ports;
- the removal of bottlenecks in the seaward approaches, for instance adaptation of the fairways on the Lower and Outer Elbe and the Lower and Outer Weser;
- the removal of bottlenecks on the inland waterways, for instance on the Middle and Lower Rhine;
- the Federal Employment Agency will provide up to €30 million to fund the targeted training of 1,000 persons as skilled workers for employment in the German seaports.