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Weaker Ports Risk Abandonment In Digital Sprint

Monday, 18 June 2018 | 16:00

Weaker or smaller ports that are unable to keep up with digitalisation and infrastructure demands could be abandoned by shipping lines, delegates at an IMO special event on ports heard.

After sessions discussing the electronic exchange of information, the Single Window environment and trade facilitation, speakers were asked: will ships refuse to call at ports which lag behind in these areas?

Jan Hoffmann, chief of UNCTAD’s trade logistics branch, said: “We monitor ports’ connectivity with shipping. We do observe, and have to some extent quantified, that the smallest and weakest ports, island states and countries find it increasingly difficult to have all the necessary infrastructure – data, physical, etc., and the supply of the necessary services, not just for ships but also for digital connectivity.

“So while the overall network improves, those at the margins and edge are increasingly dropping out. That is certainly a challenge for us to make sure we reduce this digital connectivity divide.”

Trade facilitation leads to big global gains, added Bill Gain, the World Bank Group’s global lead, trade facilitation and border management. Up to 60% of the costs of an imported pineapple are logistics-related, including documentation, border clearance and other formalities, he said. “Automation and a regulatory Single Window are key.”
Source: Port Strategy

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