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Seeda Leads Trans-European Intermodal Transport Summit

3 October 2008
(L to R), Lee Amor - SEEDA, the Belgian Ambassador, Detlef Golletz - SEEDA

The South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) gathered together port, rail freight and logistics professionals from across Northern Europe last week for a high-profile conference in London to discuss issues which are likely to affect the Trans-European economy over the next 10 years.

Organised to celebrate the closure of the IMPACTE (Intermodal Port Access and Commodities Transport in Europe) project, attendees included the Ambassador of Belgium, His Excellency Jean-Miguel Veranneman de Watervliet, SEEDA Chairman James Brathwaite, José Fernandez Garcia of the European Commission and Patrick Verhoeven from the European Sea Ports Organisation. The conference ‘Harbouring Ambitions in North West Europe’ also welcomed delegates from the port, rail freight and logistics industries based within the project’s region of operation, i.e. Belgium, France and the UK.

Topics discussed ranged from partnership and competition in rail freight and port logistics to the economic impact of ports; from cross-Channel freight traffic forecasts to issues shaping transport networks in Northern Europe.

Moderated by Ben de Smit, Economic and Commercial Attaché to the Flanders Investment and Trade at the Belgium Embassy, the conference included a keynote speech from Dr Stephen Ladyman MP, former Minister of State for Transport. Alan Bennett, Director General of the Rail Freight Group, and David Whitehead, Director of the British Ports Association, took part in the lively panel discussion.

SEEDA’s Head of Transport and Infrastructure, Detlef Golletz, said: "The conference gave participants the opportunity to draw on the expertise and intellectual capital of some first class speakers and industry experts, find new customers and suppliers and gain unparalleled access to contacts in key business support organisations".

The conference forms part of the IMPACTE project, which has a total value of more than €16 million, with a 30 per cent ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) grant rate. Via this major trans-national initiative, which is INTERREG IIIB NWE co-funded, SEEDA is making infrastructure investments in four key British ports: Southampton, Dover, Portsmouth and Ramsgate.

The conference was held at London City Hall on the 25th September 2008.

For further information please contact

Nancy Weeden, IMPACTE Project Coordinator on
Tel : 00 44 (0)1483 501380
Email :

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