When it comes to energy transition, investing in climate, strong logistics chains, closing cycles, developing port infrastructure, digitalisation or safety, no company or public authority can operate on its own. Collaboration is key, which is expressed by North Sea Ports tagline 'Together Smarter'. Parties need to be able to find one another.
Each of the eight programmes of the 'Connect 2025' strategic plan require some form of linkage between parties. The port authority is very well placed to put the challenges of developing the port area onto the agenda – like the spider at the centre of a web. It is also well placed to bring various parties into contact with one another – to connect them – and to arrive at solutions together.
North Sea Port also performs this connecting role in matters outside of its core activities. For example, with regard to the labour market and helping to fill vacancies. Acting as a connector for EU subsidies is also an important role.
Stakeholders include companies, other ports such as Rotterdam and Antwerp, railway infrastructure companies, companies that manage public infrastructure for gas and electricity, partners in the logistics chain, start-ups and research institutes. A second group of stakeholders are the European, national, regional, provincial and municipal authorities. And then there are people living in the vicinity of the port area and interest groups (e.g. nature, climate).
Growth and transition
This role of connector is becoming increasingly important to achieving growth and transition in the port area. As is the support of public authorities and acceptance by local communities.
In 2025 it will be self-evident that the port authority should play this role of connector and it will be valued for the way in which it does so.