New tracker aims to move the dial from reactive to proactive in terms of using a combination of fresh data and continuous feedback from the world ports community
Following on from the COVID-19 Barometer published during the first year of the pandemic, IAPH is rolling out the World Ports Tracker to track critical aspects of the evolution in the global port industry. The tracker aims to gain a timely understanding of the challenges that ports are facing, regionally and globally by relying on a combination of survey-based results and port performance data.
As an introduction to this new data tool, a regular contribution to the member flagship magazine Ports & Harbors elaborates on the non-survey part of the tracker exercise, namely quarterly container port statistics based on S&P Global Port Performance Program data. These statistics focus on four container port metrics, i.e. vessel calls, evolution of call and vessel size and port moves per hour, aggregated per region covering the period 2017 to 2021.
Via regular updates of these and additional metrics, the IAPH World Port Tracker will guide ports and stakeholders in their efforts to improve services and address emerging challenges.
Co-author Thanos Pallis, Professor in ports and maritime economics and policy at the department of Port Management and Shipping, University of Piraeus, Greece, who launched the Tracker in person at the IAPH 2022 World Ports Conference earlier today in Vancouver, Canada, commented: “Having fresh as opposed to just historic data from ports is key not only to a timely overview. With careful interpretation, it can give us clues as to what will happen next, also regionally – this is what ports will obtain from our global ports tracker to react accordingly.”
As with the previous barometer, this full version of the tracker will stand out from others by coming from ports exclusively for ports. As an example, key information from them on call volumes, status of warehousing capacity and hinterland connectivity will be inter-linked, and then combined with expectations on cargo and passenger throughput as well as vessel calls in a consistent manner. Similar to the previous COVID19 barometer, the IAPH data will be confidentially handled and not reveal individual port information – the tracker reports will be there for members to use to help them to run their ports.
IAPH will now make a concerted effort to repeat the successful response it achieved with the COVID19 barometer from IAPH member and non-member ports alike to regularly provide answers to short and easy-to-manage questions to feed into the World Ports Tracker.
The other co-author Theo Notteboom, who is Chair Professor “North Sea Ports” at the Maritime Institute of Ghent, Professor at the Antwerp Maritime Academy and at the University of Antwerp as well as visiting research Professor at Shanghai Maritime University concluded:
“What we are calling for is the same commitment shown by fellow ports around the world when the pandemic broke out, as we clearly see that COVID-19, geopolitical conflict and war, extreme weather, and other factors mean that ports do need a bellwether like this tracker as a tool to improve resilience.”
Contact for the release: Victor Shieh, IAPH Communications Director
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Founded in 1955, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) has developed into a global alliance of 161 port authorities, including many of the world’s largest port operators as well as 126 port-related businesses. Comprised of 87 different nationalities across the world’s continents, member ports handle approximately one third of the world’s sea-borne trade and well over 60% of the world container traffic. With its NGO consultative status recognized by the IMO, ECOSOC, ILO, UNCTAD, UNEP, and WCO, IAPH leads global port industry initiatives on decarbonization and energy transition, risk and resilience management, and accelerating digitalization in the maritime transport chain. Its World Ports Sustainability Program has grown into the reference database of best practices of ports applying the UN Sustainable Development Goals and integrating them into their businesses.