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Platform Economy, New Business Models and Sustainability: Why Ports Need to Redefine Their Role in the Supply Chain – chainPORT concludes 6th Annual Meeting in Rotterdam

© HPA (Hamburg Port Authority) / chainPORT

Presidents, CIOs and head strategists of 12 world class ports gather digitally to continue close collaboration of recent years

chainPORT – the multilateral partnership of the world’s leading ports – has just concluded its 6th Annual Meeting which was hosted by the Port of Rotterdam on September 21 & 22.

In the first exclusively digital chainPORT Annual Meeting and against the background of the ongoing Corona pandemic, the discussions were centered on the need for ports to analyze and redefine their role in the maritime supply chain. A secure global exchange of data plays a key role in the continued enhancement of efficiency and reliability for their customers.
Welcoming delegates to the event, Mr. Allard Castelein, CEO of the Rotterdam Port Authority declared: “Digital transformation is fundamentally changing the world and accelerating the harmonization of global shipping and trade processes.”  Mr. Castelein went on to say: “Ports are joining together to create a common understanding of data and definitions. We expect this will improve the transparency, efficiency and sustainability of logistical supply chains.”

The foresight project proposed by the Hamburg Port Authority together with the Port of Los Angeles also attracted considerable attention. Under the heading “a PORTtrait of the Future”, different perceptions were discussed regarding what sustainable ports of the future could look like and how goals such as a zero-emission port could be achieved.

“We do not know what the future has in store,” said Jens Meier, CEO of the Hamburg Port Authority. “But we are determined to play an active part in shaping it. Right now, we envisage that ports of the future will be designed according to three principles: they will be solution providers; they will have a strong social license to operate from their communities, and they will be role models for sustainability.”

“The global health and economic crises we face in 2020 demonstrates that ports can play a role in the recovery of any disaster, physical or otherwise,” says Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “The key to our effectiveness lies in our ability to create frameworks that support our long-term goals while positioning ourselves to be agile and ready to manage the circumstances we face in the present.”

Seroka highlighted Port of L.A.’s blue print for a sustainable solutions port, with planning frameworks that guide environmental and other long-term initiatives, flexibility to mobilize and support its region during the COVID-19 crisis, and L.A.’s focus on digital infrastructure and other post-COVID-19 business imperatives.

The chainPORT member ports agreed to further intensify their collaboration in the future.
The next Annual Meeting is fixed for autumn 2021 and will be hosted by Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) in Shanghai, China.

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