chainPORT group analyses the role of ports during sixth annual meeting

Rotterdam, Netherlands - Sep 3, 2017: Aerial view of a sea container terminal in the Port of Rotterdam

In the first exclusively digital chainPORT annual meeting held on 21 and 22 September the multilateral partnership of the world’s leading ports discussed the evolving role of ports in today’s supply chain.

According to a release by the group the discussions were centred on the need for ports to analyse and redefine their role in the maritime supply chain.

Hosted by the Port of Rotterdam, Allard Castelein, CEO of the Rotterdam Port Authority, said in his welcome address: “Digital transformation is fundamentally changing the world and accelerating the harmonization of global shipping and trade processes.”

He added, “Ports are joining together to create a common understanding of data and definitions. We expect this will improve the transparency, efficiency and sustainability of logistical supply chains.”

The foresight project proposed by the Hamburg Port Authority together with the Port of Los Angeles also attracted attention. Under the heading “a PORTtrait of the Future”, different perceptions were discussed regarding what sustainable ports of the future could look like and how goals such as a zero-emission port could be achieved.

“We do not know what the future has in store,” said Jens Meier, CEO of the Hamburg Port Authority. “But we are determined to play an active part in shaping it. Right now, we envisage that ports of the future will be designed according to three principles: they will be solution providers; they will have a strong social license to operate from their communities, and they will be role models for sustainability.”

Gene Seroka, Executive Director at the Port of Los Angeles added, “The global health and economic crises we face in 2020 demonstrates that ports can play a role in the recovery of any disaster, physical or otherwise. The key to our effectiveness lies in our ability to create frameworks that support our long-term goals while positioning ourselves to be agile and ready to manage the circumstances we face in the present.”

Seroka highlighted Port of LA’s blueprint for a sustainable solutions port, with planning frameworks that guide environmental and other long-term initiatives, flexibility to mobilise and support its region during the COVID-19 crisis, and LA’s focus on digital infrastructure and other post-COVID-19 business imperatives.  

The chainPORT member ports agreed to further intensify their collaboration in the future.

The next Annual Meeting is fixed for autumn 2021 and will be hosted by Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) in Shanghai, China.

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