Luxembourg Maritime Cluster - “Logistics, Shipping and

“Logistics, Shipping and Finance
made in Luxembourg”
Cluster Maritime Luxembourgeois
Founded in 2008
– Shipowners [Cobelfret, DEME, Group Jan de Nul, Intershipping]
16 founding members
– Banks [BGL, Dexia-BIL, ING]
– Consultants, Audit firms, Tax advisors [Atoz, Deloitte,
Ernst&Young, PriceWaterhouseCoopers]
– Transport firms [CFL Multimodal, CFL Cargo]
– Law Firms [Arendt & Medernach, Etude Glodt]
– Institution [Chambre de Commerce]
Goals of the Luxembourg Maritime Cluster
“ The Association… pursues the aim, on a non-profit basis, of contributing to
the development of the maritime sector and the associated services in
Luxembourg, by implementing promotion and communication
(Art. 4 of the Articles of Association)
• to increase the standing, the effectiveness and the visibility of the
maritime industry in Luxembourg – locally and abroad;
• to defend, protect and promote the interests of the Luxembourg
maritime industry, in the broadest sense.
Scope of the Luxembourg Maritime Cluster (1)
• Membership is diversified
• Approach is “transversal”, cutting across traditional “economic sector”
- bringing together “the shipping industry” (shipowners & ship operators)
- its related suppliers of services: banks (finance), lawyers, audit &
accounting firms, tax advisors… [targeted: insurance companies, inland
- its companion transport modes: rail, inland navigation, road transport,
inland terminals… [“the logistics chain” or network]
Scope of the Luxembourg Maritime Cluster (2)
• Creating synergies and strategic alliances, reinforcing each other (flow of
ideas and information: innovation through cooperation!)
• Maritime activity in Luxembourg is centered on
“software” (managing, contracting, accounting, financing, operating
“corporate structures”…),
not on “hardware” (producing parts, instruments, equipment…)
Maritime clusters – a different game in a
landlocked country
• Maritime clusters in “sea port countries” have a
broader base:
– including the sea ports (port authorities, port-based firms)
– including “hardware” suppliers (shipyards, equipment suppliers…)
– including a full range of “sea-centered professionals” (seafarers:
schools & training institutions, professional organisations; research
– including the national Navy
Maritime Luxembourg: a bit of history…
• Luxembourg is landlocked, but…
…in 1990 and 1994, legislation was passed (and improved) to establish a
• “Luxembourg Maritime Register” (Luxembourg Flag)
to facilitate (at that time) the flagging out of the Belgian merchant fleet:
“If local economic and financial conditions force the merchant ships to
leave, better to keep them under a national European Flag”
Cobelfret, an early mover
into Maritime Luxembourg
• Cobelfret originally established in 1928 in Belgium (Antwerp),
by Luxembourgers!
• Cobelfret SA, Luxembourg established and locally operational in
• Cobelfret Group of Companies is an European Group
– anchored in Luxembourg
– with port/terminal operations in Belgium, the United Kingdom, the
Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, France
– with roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) services (Lines) in the North Sea [25 Ro-Ro
ships owned]
– with a fleet of bulk carriers (coal, iron ore, bauxite) operating world-wide
[controlling 31 bulkers, Capesizes & Panamax]
Maritime Luxembourg: the story continues…
• 1994 Legislation: A fully established & operational National
register open to all serious shipowners and ship operators
interested in working under a financially attractive, wellToday
regulated and supervised quality-oriented regime
2004shipping industry [CAM,
• 2004 Structural & policy change:
Commissariat aux Affaires maritimes] under supervision of
the Ministry of Economic
1994 Affairs & Foreign Trade, considered
as an “export-oriented economic sector” (no longer under
Ministry of Transportation)
Shipping in the Logistic Chain
• Landlocked countries = Hinterland of ports
• Trade flows in and out of sea ports must be channelled to the
broad hinterland, reaching producers (industry), commerce and
• CML wants to help develop improved links with the sea ports
serving the Luxembourg region, e.g. Zeebrugge, Antwerp, Rotterdam,
Is Geography Destiny…?!
• “Luxembourg region” has two aspects:
- Historical & institutional one: Benelux
economic cooperation with two traditionally seafaring nations
comprising the main Western European sea ports (“Gateways to
• Recent “flexible” one: “la Grande Région”
Luxembourg, Lorraine, Saarland, Rheinland Pfalz, Région Wallonne,
Deutschsprachige Gemeinschaft Belgiens,
transborder cooperation and coordination with neighbouring regions
(local authorities) in various fields (transportation?)
Geography is also an opportunity !
• CML “shipping” members can bring valuable expertise and contacts to
transport firms in the “Luxembourg region” related to their dealings with
the sea ports (“optimizing the logistic chain”)
• CML focus is currently on railroad connections with sea ports, bringing
different actors together (concepts of “dry port”, inland terminals, “hub
and spokes”)
Intermodality & Ecology
• Confronting and comparing different “modes of freight transportation” in
the CML, in a B2B sphere;
• Promoting and expanding the role of alternative, environment-friendly
transport modes for the freight traffic to and from the sea ports
(specifically rail, inland waterways)
• Organising and promoting the use of distribution centres/terminals in
Luxembourg (“hubs”), as “dry ports”, “avant-ports”
Recent & future actions…
• « Promotion »:
- participation in Luxembourg economic
missions abroad [B2B Contacts]
• « Bringing together »:
– membership drive…
– networking events…
• « Visibility, awareness »:
– « European Maritime Day ‘09 »
Thank you for your attention!
F. Bracke,
President CML
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