Smart Ports: Piers of the Future interview, Elvir Dzanic, CEO Port of Gothenburg Authority

Elvir Dzanic 2021 3

Port Technology International covered the landmark Smart Ports: Piers of the Future 2022 event hosted by the Port of Barcelona on 15, 16 and 17 November. During the event Jack Donnelly, Editor, spoke to Elvir Dzanic, CEO, Port of Gothenburg Authority, to find out his thoughts on the event, and plans for 2023 and beyond.

Cast your mind back to Smart Ports: Piers of the Future 2021. What were the main takeaways from the event for you? What did you learn?

ED: I did not expect innovation to be so high on the agenda. I picked up on conversations last year between different ports on how much innovation is not just as a keyword but in the every day workings of a port.

Innovation is something tangible and real in the world of ports, which honestly surprised me for the positive side. Most of the time, I have been involved in ports as a shipper, or a carrier, viewing the ports as operational infrastructure. This event has opened up a whole new world for me.

What do you want the logistics sector to remember from last year’s event?

ED: For me, this event is an eye-opener that ports are simply no longer just pieces of brick and mortar infrastructure. Ports are playing a much bigger role in the logistics chain.

The competence needed for ports is different today than it was five, six or seven years ago.

READ: Port of Gothenburg strengthens position in Europe’s container market 

We are moving in the value chain. We are moving because we see that we can make a difference. It is not enough for a port to simply take care of their infrastructure. We now need competencies that understand the mechanics of business models, that understand the mechanics of creating value, not just within the limits of the ports area, but also in the entire supply chain.

The competence needed for ports is different today than it was five, six or seven years ago.

That is the key takeaway; we need a different set of competencies in the ports now, and I believe that is right because there is no doubt that we can add and create value outside of the actual port area.

What were your personal takeaways from the Smart Ports: Piers of the Future Event for 2022?

ED: Regardless which type of panel discussion, the conversation always tilts into sustainability and decarbonisation and so on. That was the continuous thread in the conversation. I enjoyed the conversation about decarbonising business models, which is something we need to dig deeper into as ports.

Dzanic participating in a panel discussion at the Smart Ports: Piers of the Future event from November

Often when we speak about the energy transition, we talk about the technical side of it. How can we adapt our business model to support decarbonisation of our customers? Having just the availability of fuels or the technique in place will not drive new assets to be green in your port.

We need to also synchronise on sustainability. We are competitors in a certain sense, but we need to synchronise that behaviour across various ports – which is where green corridors play a pretty cool role.

What do you as a port want to achieve by the end of this year?

ED: We, as the country of Sweden, are going into labour negotiations this year. We want to achieve a smooth labour contract, period. We want to avoid disruptions and play fair on all accounts because this is a national issue.

We also will launch the access for e-methanol by 50,000 tons to become a green hub. Access to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is done. Access to Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) and biofuel is done, but now we need methanol to become that true green bunker hub that we are talking about.

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