Building port resilience is vital for trade

About 80% of the products traded worldwide – from food, fuel to other industrial products – is loaded and unloaded in ports. So when crises take place, they also inflict freight on a global scale.

Strengthening the ability of ports to adapt to crises such as COVID-19 pandemics, social affairs and climate change is key to ensuring that products can be delivered timely.

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, freight rates hit record highs and have again soared as the war in Ukraine has disrupted transport logistics and caused port congestion.

War in Ukraine raises global shipping costs. Daily rates for smaller-size tankers, which are key for regional oil trading in the Black Sea, Baltic Sea and Mediterranean Sea regions, have dramatically increased.

The higher energy costs have also led to higher marine bunker prices, raising shipping costs for all maritime transport sectors.

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The consequences of climate change will increasingly hit ports worldwide, which is especially true for island nations for people rely on ports doing trade.

Durban port, the largest and busiest shipping terminal in sub-Saharan Africa, in 11th April 2022, has been inundated with flood waters that carried away shipping containers and left them in a jumbled pile.

So advancing digitalization and cybersecurity is vital to improve port resilience. COVID-19 showed us the importance of having reached at least a certain level of digitalization. Otherwise, many ports would have been shut down and the economy would have suffered even more.

In addition to streamlining aspects of maritime trade, such as customs clearance processes, digital technologies allow ports to remain operational even in times of pandemic.

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Post time: Jul-05-2022