Noted by Inga Ablingienė, PA Transport


On 20 October 2022 in Vilnius, Transport Innovation Forum took place. The high-level event was organized by the Transport Innovation Association which also acts as a Coordinator of the EUSBSR Policy Area Transport. During the Forum, leaders of Baltic Sea Region governmental institutions and industries gathered to discuss challenges in the transport and logistics sectors.

One of the highlights of the forum was a Ministerial session titled “Reinventing supply chains in times of uncertainty”. Marius Skuodis, Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania; Talis Linkaits, Minister of Transport of Latvia; Kaupo Läänerand, Vice Minister for maritime issues a; Grzegorz Witkowski, Vice Minister for Infrastructure of Poland; and Mustafa Nayyem, Vice Minister for Infrastructure of Ukraine (online) presented their visions on how the transport sector should continue in the current unstable environment.


Transport Forum 2022

Mr. Andrius Tapinas, Mr. Grzegorz Witkowski, Mr. Kaupo Läänerand, Mr. Talis Linkaits, Mr. Marius Skuodis, Transport Innovation Forum 2022. (Photo: Transport Innovation association)


How to support Ukraine and prepare for the unpredictable future

Ministers shared the challenges each county face, coping with the disruptive supply chains in all modes of transport. Also, they discussed the future steps to take for the transport supply chains to become more resilient in meeting the unknowns. Supporting Ukraine was one of the main topics, focusing on smoother and more simplified cross-border procedures.

The event had significant importance for the EUSBSR Policy Area Transport as messages from Ministers indicate the political focus of countries located on the eastern side of the Baltic Sea.

The main takeaways from the discussions are as follows: 

  • The East-West transport flows have shifted to the axis South-North. Sometimes goods from the far East are shipped via the South-North corridor even though infrastructure needs to be improved. To guarantee the resilience of the transport chain, parallel routes on land and at sea must exist.
  • Cross-border procedures were and are complicated. The focus was put on the Polish-Ukrainian border where challenges have to be solved for both people fleeing the country and for cargo companies facing bottlenecks on the border.  
  • Baltic Sea Region has a clear priority – the digital transformation of the transport logistics chain. Minister Skuodis and Deputy Secretary GeneralLäänerand were clear that the countries together with other partners of the Baltic Sea Region seek to implement the eFTI Regulation earlier than the foreseen European Commission timeline. 
  • The Rail Baltica project will solve many challenges on borders. The next step will be to improve the infrastructure at the Polish-Ukrainian borders. The aim is to connect rails and roads with the Ukrainian network and beyond reaching other countries and include them in the TEN-T network. 


These messages are well in line with the EUSBSR Policy Area Transport objectives. This year the policy area coordinators (PACs) took an active role in preparing a Memorandum of Intent (MoI), which is based on digital transformation issues in transport logistics chains. MoI was endorsed by several Ministers of the region, and the others will hopefully join the MoI later. In the field of transport corridors, Policy Area Coordinators promote ideas to create alternative transport corridors to avoid transport chains passing Russia and Belarus.


To watch the recording of the Ministerial session, follow the link below: 

(1568) TIF2022 | INTERNATIONAL MINISTERS` SESSION: Reinventing supply chains in the time of uncertainty - YouTube