Interview with
SENATOR CLAUDIA SCHILLING

Bremen’s Senator for Science and Ports and Senator for Legal and Constitutional Affairs talks about the new marketing concept and the future challenges facing the ports of Bremen.

DR SCHILLING, YOU HAVE COMMISSIONED BREMENPORTS WITH HANDLING THE LOCATION MARKETING FOR THE PORTS. HOW WOULD YOU RATE THE REORGANISATION THAT IS NOW TAKING PLACE?

Ports are the scene of dynamic events, places that are continually evolving. These criteria also apply when it comes to marketing the ports. Times change and that is why you have to step back now and again and take a critical look at where you have to change the focus. In order to assess the image rating of the ports of Bremen, bremenports commissioned a survey with the markstones Institute at Bremen University. Over the course of a year, Professor Christoph Burmann and his team conducted various interviews, first with port experts and subsequently with 300 customers in Germany and abroad.

AND WHAT WERE THE FINDINGS?

We now have quite a detailed picture of the strengths of the ports of Bremen and we also know where there is room for improvement. The ports of Bremen are obviously perceived as too reticent, too modest, too quiet. In other words, we have to become louder and cheekier – and that is what the new marketing concept entails. We have to showcase our strengths proactively. But it is also important that we remain the serious and dependable partner for our customers that we are today.

WHAT ARE THESE STRENGTHS IN YOUR OPINION?

The ports of Bremen have a clearly recognisable brand core. The above study confirmed that there is a “handshake” mentality. In other words, anyone who does business with the ports of Bremen knows that he can rely on them. The players in Bremen and Bremerhaven work with great commitment and passion – they are fired with enthusiasm for the ports. And that is exactly the brand essence of the ports of Bremen. The new marketing concept does a wonderful job of building up from that baseline.

Dr. Claudia Schilling

is Bremen’s Senator for Science and Ports and also Senator for Legal and Constitutional Affairs. She is a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Bremerhaven and was previously Head of Youth and Social Services. Dr Schilling studied law and worked as a judge for many years.

HOW DO YOU IMAGINE THE IMPLEMENTATION WILL TAKE PLACE?

The focal point of our efforts has to be the location. We need to network with the port community even more strongly than in the past. I would like to see us embark on a joint work process that is even more intense. We have to show the work of the ports of Bremen transparently – and that includes our passion for getting things done at the ports, or how the ports of Bremen are working on sustainability issues.

""We have to become louder and cheekier.”"

YOU ARE COUNTING ON THE COMMUNITY…

…that’s right. We are dependent on the different players at the ports and their commitment. I am really pleased that we have set up the new Port Expert Advisory Committee which will support the marketing activities of bremenports in future. The Committee is made up of marketing experts who can contribute their ideas directly. What’s more, this is an open club and other interested parties are welcome to join. bremenports has informed me that there is enormous willingness on both sides and that many talks have already taken place in the form of a direct dialogue. This ultimately benefits everyone so that we can achieve the best results together.

"“WE ARE ABOUT TO UNDERGO A RADICAL CHANGE”"
SUSTAINABILITY AND PASSION ARE KEY ITEMS OF THE NEW MARKETING CONCEPT. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN REAL TERMS?

Sustainability plays a central role. Acting sustainably involves not only environmental aspects, but also social issues and, last but not least, questions of cost effectiveness. That is really important because it is ultimately the only way we can offer a good working environment and pay acceptable wages. It is essential for the ports to remain economically viable and competitive if they are to help relieve the pressure on the climate and the environment. These topics are inextricably linked at the ports of Bremen. That is why I think it is an excellent idea to hold a sustainability congress next year, where all the different players can show what their companies do to promote sustainability.

DO YOU SEE THE CURRENT CRISIS AS AN OPPORTUNITY OR A CHALLENGE?

It presents significant opportunities for the ports of Bremen, for example as regards climate change and the transition to green energy. Where energy is concerned, we will see revolutionary developments over the next 10 to 15 years and expand the use of renewable energies on a much larger scale than ever before. Everyone knows that this cannot be done without the ports, whether it involves getting offshore wind turbines to their operating locations at sea or the hot topic of the future, hydrogen, which could potentially be produced at gigantic wind farms in Iceland, Canada or Norway and will then have to be imported to Germany. All of this will mean immense challenges for the ports and right now we are in the process of developing appropriate concepts for Bremen and Bremerhaven. We are about to undergo a radical change – and the ports are a part of it.


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