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

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

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

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 achieving an integrated approach towards achieving those objectives.

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.

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. 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.

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 regional Webinars are planned for West & Central Africa as well as Central and South America, which are organized together with the Port Management Association of West and Central Africa as well as the The Secretariat of the Inter-American Committee on Ports (S/CIP), respectively.