Call for greater port co-ordination and co-operation

Shipping lines, ports and other operators in the maritime sector have been urged towards greater co-ordination and co-operation in dealing with the challenges ahead at a special event on ports hosted by the IMO in London.

Clemence Cheng, chief executive of the Port of Felixstowe and managing director of Hutchison Ports Europe, called for a forum to be set up where all parties could discuss the major issues facing the maritime sector. It was essential that all those involved should put their differences aside in order to “build a better shipping for a better future”, he said.

“As ships continue to get bigger and eventually more autonomous and as the digital world disrupts more and more the way of doing things, ships and the ports industry are going to have to change with it,” he said. “It will need greater co-ordination and co-operation with all the stakeholders in the industry.”

The one-day conference, organised in partnership with IAPH, was the first ever port-dedicated event hosted by the IMO.

Kitack Lim, IMO secretary general, said: “Ports are an essential vital link in the maritime transport chain and any measures to improve their efficiency come under the purview of this organisation.

“This is the first time that the secretariat has organised events like these dealing with facilitation and port security matters, recognising that the ports and the shipping sector need to work closer together, and to promote the facilitation of international maritime traffic.”

IAPH president Santiago Garcia Mila said: “Through closer co-operation between our respective organisations, we will be able to take on the challenges of trade facilitation, climate change, automation, cybersecurity and others in dialogue with the shipping community and the maritime administrations represented in the IMO.”

Source: Port Strategy, 15 June 2018

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