Transport and Logistic Cluster interests met in Lübeck
On the 13th March representatives from German, Swedish and Danish business organisations and regional authorities met at The Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Lübeck, exchanging views on the possible outlook for the transport and logistics industry in Scania, Capital Region of Copenhagen, Zealand, Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg.

The meeting was the first in a row to come in the Dialogue Group 2 "Transport and Logistics Clusters in the STRING Region". The group's purpose is bringing stakeholders form the transport and logistics industry in the STRING Region together in order to validate results from the Green STRING Project and develop a common cross border view on synergies and challenges for the industry between the regions.


Challenges for Schleswig-Holstein


Rüdiger Schacht, from the Chambers of Commerce in Schleswig-Holstein hosted the meeting and presented some of the current challenges facing the development of mobility and transport and also challenges in the coming years in Schleswig-Holstein. Apart from the preparatory work going on in relation to the coming fixed Fehmarn Link, other issues of infrastructure investments - or lack of, are of great concern for the business interests in Schleswig-Holstein. According to Rüdiger Schacht, there is regional pressure on the national prioritising of large infrastructure projects. A major wish from the region is improved motorway connections East-West and North South. Especially a need for a new crossing under the River Elbe, north-west of Hamburg, that could bypass the current road traffic bottlenecks around Hamburg. Also, new investments are needed in renovating the locks of the Kieler Canal - connecting the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. The canal is critical for the passage of feeder ships between the large container ports in the North Sea and feeder ports on the German Baltic Sea coast. These examples of highly prioritised infrastructure projects are to a large extend an issue of state funding, but they compete with many other high-profiled projects in other parts of Germany.


A Swedish perspective


A Swedish representative from a network organisation coordinating initiatives on more efficient use of transport corridors, described the various interests of the industry in the STRING Region for developing a more efficient transport corridor between the Öresund Region and Hamburg.


"Sweden primarily has the interest of securing their trade and transport flows via efficient corridors from A to B - meaning Sweden and the European Continent. The Stadt of Hamburg already is a centre and hub for a diverse range of activities and trade flows from many parts of the World. However, Hamburg has got a natural interest in expanding its interaction with the Scandinavian market, but primarily in terms of trade and transport flows via its port and related business.


On the other hand", said Jerker Sjögren, "do we find the interests of the intermediary regions in STRING, namely Region Zealand and Länder Schleswig Holstein, which have an interest in not only developing the transport flows within the corridor Öresund-Hamburg, but also to benefit in terms of value adding activities in their local logistics sector."


This view of differences in interests seen from the logistics sectors in the STRING Region was to a large degree agreed upon by the other representatives at the meeting. It supported one of the main challenges for the transport and logistics industry in Schleswig-Holstein pointed at by a German representative from a business and trade organisation in Northern Germany: The local logistics businesses run the risk of being outmatched by large internationally oriented logistics providers.


According to the representative, Schleswig-Holstein is the location for a number of very innovative firms requiring sophisticated logistics solutions - often requiring global transport connections and services. These demands are a challenge for the local logistics and transport providers in general and point to an urgent need for further qualification of the local transport and logistics providing industry. A better match is needed between what is offered of candidates from the transport related education programmes from regional universities and business schools and the requirements from the local transport and logistics industry. Otherwise, only the large metropolitan regions will gain from the location of value adding activities related to logistics, while the intermediary regions in the long term perspective could develop as "only" being the location for simple transport services.


By Leif Gjesing Hansen