The SMOOTH PORTS project kick-off meeting was held in Hamburg, Germany on September 26-27. Partners from Bulgaria, France, Italy and Germany came together to set the stage for the project activities and joint efforts to reduce CO2 emissions in ports. Host of the meeting was the Lead Partner - the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Ministry of Economy, Transport and Innovation.

The kick-off meeting took place back-to-back with site visits and the first steering group meeting on two consecutive days. The first day was used to discuss project-related aspects such as the individual expectations by the partners, administrative issues, communication related information and to have a first possibility to exchange experiences and ideas. Furthermore, the partners discussed the pillars of the joint- and regional studies and the next steps in that regard.

Smooth Ports wants to engage with stakeholders to reduce CO2 emissions from port-related road traffic and improve regionally available policy instruments in a holistic manner. Therefore, the second day was then used to engage with stakeholders from administration, port related businesses and logistics businesses along the supply chain. The site visits tour took the participants to the locations of the Plant Health Inspection service, the Veterinary and Import Agency, the Principal Customs office and the Container Terminal Altenwerder. Presentations were held at each of the stops and a first exchange of experience was possible after each presentation and during the bus transfer.

The site visits were rounded off by a boat tour through the port to illustrate the size of the Port of Hamburg and its proximity to the city also from the water side. Examples of involved stakeholders: the chamber of commerce, the association for road transport and logistics, and the business association Port of Hamburg.