Port Officials Collaborate to Tackle Pandemic

(Global) 20 Signatories for Global Commitment

Members of international trade body the Port Authorities Roundtable (PAR) have combined forces to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group of 20 port authorities from the around the world signed a declaration ensuring ports remain open and critical breakbulk infrastructure remains operational.

“As the world battles with the COVID-19 pandemic, it has never been more critical to keep our ports open and goods moving. Shipping is chartering into many unknowns and new challenges. Port authorities have to take enhanced precautions for their ports and on ships, as well as manage the stress faced by our seafarers and maritime personnel,” said Quah Ley Hoon, chief executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

Port authority signatories to the declaration were:
• Abu Dhabi Ports*
• Antwerp Port Authority
• Bureau of Port and Harbor
• Tokyo Metropolitan Government
• Busan Port Authority
• Guangzhou Port Authority
• Hamburg Port Authority*
• Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
• Montreal Port Authority
• Ningbo Municipal Port Administration Bureau
• Port Authority of Thailand (Bangkok Port)
• Port of Barcelona*
• Port and Harbor Bureau, City of Yokohama
• Port and Harbor Bureau, Kobe City Government
• Port Klang Authority
• Port of Long Beach*
• Port of Los Angeles
• Port of Rotterdam*
• Port of Seattle*
• Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission
• Port of Le Havre*

*​Ports exhibiting at one or more Breakbulk events

Information Sharing

The joint declaration outlines a number of core commitments to support the global supply, including information sharing initiatives to ensure best practices are achieved.
“The declaration, initiated by Singapore, calls for port authorities to collaborate and share best practices in ensuring that port operations can remain undisrupted … PAR has shared the declaration with the International Maritime Organization and the International Association of Ports and Harbours to rally other port authorities to join this declaration,” a PAR spokesperson commented.

Precautionary measures include publication of advisories and assistance for shipping lines, shore personnel and ship crew, as well as best practices for handling of cargoes during this period.

First Virtual Declaration

As well as signaling a new phase of cooperation for the 20 signatories, the declaration was also the first virtual agreement signed by members, highlighting the new reality of remote working that has become increasingly prevalent for most operators.

“This virtual declaration by member countries across different geographical regions is also a first for the PAR. We came out of the session gaining more valuable knowledge to ensure that necessities and essential medical supplies continue to be transported seamlessly across the world and into our respective countries,” Ley Hoon said.

Inaugurated in 2015 by Singapore’s MPA, the Port Authorities Roundtable is an annual by-invitation event.
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