Port Organisations to pool resources and prioritise efforts
Roundtable meeting in London to discuss cooperation throughout the entire seaborne supply chain on meeting IMO regulations on safety, environment and operations
At a meeting held in London at the Baltic Exchange, heads of the world's leading associations for the world port community met to establish a Roundtable with view to establishing a stronger, unified voice of the port sector in the maritime industry as a whole, in order to pool resources and prioritise efforts on meeting IMO regulations on safety, environment and operations.
The Ports Roundtable meeting gathered: Nick Cutmore, Secretary General IMPA (pilots), Spencer Eade, Secretary General, ISSA (ship suppliers), Ole Krebs, MCP, IPCSA (port community systems), Jonathan Williams, General Manager, FONASBA (ship agents), Patrick Verhoeven, Managing Director, IAPH (ports and harbors), Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Rachael White CEO Secretariat, ICHCA (cargo handlers).
Each association drew up its main priorities moving ahead with all parties agreeing to collaborate closely on existing and new projects and programmes, particularly those associated with meeting IMO regulations on safety, environment and operations.
The associations involved are: FONASBA - Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers & Agents, IAPH - International Association of Ports and Harbors, IBIA - International Bunker Industry Association, IBTA - International Dry Bulk Terminals Association,ICHCA - International Cargo Handling Coordination Association, IHMA - International Harbour Masters' Association, IMPA - International Maritime Pilots Association, IPCSA - International Port Community Systems Association, ISSA - International Shipsuppliers & Services Association.
During the discussion, follow up actions were planned on several projects and programmes in which Roundtable member organisations are already involved together: Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN): FONASBA, ICHCA, IAPH, IMPA, ISSA; Navigating a Changing Climate: IAPH, IMPA; Taskforce Port Call Optimisation: IHMA, IAPH; World Ports Sustainability Program: IAPH, ICHCA.
Other priorities discussed included the adoption of "single window" data information exchange between all port players as well as the impact of autonomous vessels on safety.
The group also looked at other key port industry hot topics including container weighing standard processes, ISPS adoption, e-maritime and ship reporting, electronic FAL documentation use, CTU packing codes, safe mooring procedures and maritime signage.
The newly appointed Secretary General of ICS, Guy Platten, was also invited to join the meeting to discuss how ports and shipping sectors could work closer together to achieve common objectives.
Exploratory talks included the adoption of an inclusive 'supply chain approach' towards greenhouse gas emission reductions, bunkering solutions to tackle the IMO 0.5% global sulphur cap on fuel by 2020 and the optimization of port calls to the benefit of all parties.
IAPH's managing Director Patrick Verhoeven, who is also principle coordinator of its World Ports Sustainability Program, expressed his thanks to all participants and stated: "This first Roundtable meeting of international port organisations sets the ball rolling in terms of sharing information and resources between key players in the port community, and providing a united voice in global fora such as the various working committees of the IMO. This follows the first ever Ports-specific meeting earlier this year at the IMO headquarters in London which aimed at bringing shipping and port interests closer together"
ICS Secretary general Guy Platten commented: "It is in the mutual interests of shipping and ports to cooperate more closely. The future availability and quality of onshore power facilities as well as quality low-sulphur fuel and LNG bunkering infrastructure in ports will be of vital importance to owner-operators. Optimising ports calls through better use of data, standardisation of procedures and digitalisation will also create a win-win situation for shipping and ports".