The new IAPH President Subramaniam Karuppiah makes his case to shipping : “building infrastructure is more complex, takes longer and is much more costly than building a new ship”
At the closing of the IAPH World Ports Conference, IAPH’s outgoing President Santiago Garcia-Milà handed over the reins to his successor Captain Subramaniam Karuppiah, with both reflecting on the discussions over the last week.
Santiago Garcia-Milà, who is Port of Barcelona’s Deputy General Manager, re-emphasised the essential role of infrastructure in keeping maritime supply chains flowing, commenting :
“Some shipowners mentioned that the disruptions that we have seen lately are due to infrastructural bottlenecks, some which were present already before the pandemic. As we have seen during the conversations this week, I do agree optimising port operations through better data collaboration and ensuring 24/7 operations are certainly priorities we should work on collectively. However, the scale of funding that is needed to expand physical infrastructure is in a different league to shipping, also requiring complex public-private partnerships.”
Captain Subramaniam Karuppiah, who is General Manager of Port Klang Authority agreed, stating “We cannot overlook the fact that the lead time for building new port infrastructure is much more complex and costly – and therefore takes much longer – than that of building a new ship.”
With infrastructure development marked by complex planning procedures, including environmental impact assessments, extensive stakeholder dialogue and complex government approval policies, Captain Subra, who has seen a career both at sea and on shore, believes that shipowners do not always realise these challenges when they are making their next ship orders.
“Especially when it comes to ships with new fuel requirements, such as LNG, methanol and ammonia, much higher and more complex investments will be required on land than in the shipyard. As mentioned by several port CEOs during the conference, achieving this in a sustainable manner - both economically and from an environmental standpoint - will require much closer cooperation between shipping and ports than we currently see, and will also require working closely with the energy majors and future providers of bunker fuel for these new ships.”
Contact : Victor Shieh, IAPH Communications Director
Email : email@example.com
Tel : +32 473 980 855
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.