written by

IAPH/Indian Ports Association webinar cites digitalization, risk management & focused approach to sustainable transition as key issues for South Asian ports

IAPH Regional Webinars 4 min read
The view from a room at the Taj Mahal Towers hotel in Mumbai

Third regional IAPH webinar took us to India and Sri Lanka via Antwerp and London

In an IHS Markit Regional Webinar organised by the International Association of Ports and Harbors and the Indian Ports Association for South Asia last Thursday, an expert panel examined key issues facing South Asian ports, with further input from the Port of Antwerp on approaching sustainable transition by applying the UN Sustainable Development Goals in practice.

IPA Managing Director Dr. Janardhana Rao welcomes participants

Dr A. Janardhana Rao, Managing Director, Indian Ports Association introduced the Webinar alongside IAPH Vice-President SW East Asia and Middle East, Masaharu Shinohara. Dr Rao commented on the long collaboration between IAPH and IPA as Associate Member.

Mr Masaharu Shinohara, our Vice President SW East Asia and Middle East, introduces IAPH

Mr. Sudhir Kanvinde, Executive Director (IT) Indian Ports Association, gave a broad overview of digitalization in ports in South Asia, emphasizing the importance of integrating Port Community Systems as “every port needs to ensure it can be efficient and cost-effective” and highlighted the potential of the National Logistics Portal (NLP Marine) in gaining an integrated approach towards achieving those objectives.

Mr. Sudhir Kanvinde provides an overview on digital developments in ports in South Asia

Mr. Upul Jayatissa, Additional Managing Director, Sri Lanka Ports Authority gave an inciteful overview of how his organization dealt with the COVID19 pandemic from a risk and resilience perspective. Deploying 14 day shifts with comprehensive testing as well as recruiting former colleagues, repatriated port workers from other countries and deploying temporary staff ensured continued operations during the various waves, with the Authority also publishing a Healthcare Strategic Framework guidance document containing standard operating procedures to follow during the pandemic.

Mr. Uphul Jayatissa provided guidance on how Sri Lankan Ports have dealt with the COVID19 pandemic

Ms Claudia Mariconda, Head of Sustainable Transition, Port of Antwerp, explained the strategic approach the Port is taking towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, focussing on a selection with the ambition to achieve high levels of performance where the Goals were most relevant, and also selectively partnering with key stakeholders on a project-based approach towards accomplishing objectives in practice.

Ms Claudia Mariconda, Head of Sustainable Transition, explained Port of Antwerp’s strategic approach

She cited the recent example of the recent study published by the Hydrogen Import coalition ( of which Port of Antwerp is member) on the viability of the import of renewable energy.

The principle UN SDG goals being addressed by the Port of Antwerp

Dr. Patrick Verhoeven, Managing Director, IAPH commented : “This third regional webinar has already demonstrated a commonality in the challenges being faced by different ports in different parts of the world, namely the priority in enhancing risk and resilience to face current and future crises, the need to accelerate digitalization at the ship-shore interface to improve safety and efficiency throughout the maritime supply chain, and the very necessary focus on energy transition by ports in order to decarbonize to meet IMO targets and ambitions. IAPH’s focus is on these three areas and we encourage South Asian ports to join us to pool resources.”

Further IAPH webinars are planned for other regions including Central and South America, which is being organized together with the Secretariat of the Inter-American Committee on Ports (S/CIP) on 11th February. You can register for that Webinar here (or copy-pasting the link https://bit.ly/IAPHLatAMCar ) as part of the run up to the IAPH World Ports Conference 2021 to be held in June this year.

About the Indian Ports Association

The Indian Ports Association (IPA) was constituted in 1966 under Societies Registration Act, primarily with the idea of fostering growth and development of all Major Ports which are under the supervisory control of Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. Over the years, IPA has consolidated its activities and grown strength by strength and considered to be a think tank for the Major Ports with the ultimate goal of integrating the maritime sector.

About the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH):

Founded in 1955, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) is a non-profit-making global alliance of 170 ports and 140 port-related organisations covering 90 countries. Its member ports handle more than 60 percent of global maritime trade and around 80 percent of world container traffic. IAPH has consultative NGO status with several United Nations agencies, including the IMO. Through its knowledge base and access to regulatory bodies, IAPH aims to facilitate energy transition, accelerate digitalization and assist in improving overall resilience of its member ports in a constantly changing world. In 2018, IAPH established the World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP). Guided by the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, it aims to unite sustainability efforts of ports worldwide by sharing best practices through its project portfolio and collaborative partnerships.


Victor Shieh, IAPH Communications Director : victor.shieh@iaphworldports.org

Tel : +32 473 98 08 55

Main photograph: Raj Rana | Source: Unsplash

Resilience Climate and Energy Digitalization COVID19