NETWORKING FOR STRONGER PORT INDUSTRY AND BETTER COMMUNITY
On November 16, 2021, the APEC Smart Port Development Forum was successfully held virtually. Guided by the Ministry of Transport of China, the APEC Smart Port Development Forum was hosted by APSN and co-hosted by Shandong Port Group. The theme of the APEC Smart Port Development Forum is “Develop Smart Ports to Promote Supply Chain Connectivity”. The Forum was moderated by Dr. Jia Dashan, Secretary-General of APSN; Mr. Fei Weijun, APSN Senior Consultant/President of China Waterborne Transport Research Institute (WTI); and Dr. Luo Xunjie, Advisory Board Member of APSN/Vice President of Tianjin Port (Group) Co., Ltd.
At the Opening Session, Mr. Marc-Yves Bertin, President of the APSN Council, welcomed all speakers and participants to the APSN Forum. H.E. Mr. Zhao Chongjiu, Vice Minister of Transport of China, addressed the Forum. In his remarks, Mr. Vice Minister Zhao pointed out that the port and shipping industry is essential to ensure the safety and operation of the supply chain for the Asia-Pacific region and even to the globe during the pandemic. He also mentioned that China highly values scientific and technological innovation in the transport sector and has made tangible achievements in the intelligent development of water transport and the stability of the global supply chain. He stressed that all stakeholders in the APEC region should enhance cooperation on the development of smart ports and shipping and promote epidemic prevention and control and economic recovery. To obtain this objective, all efforts need to be made to promote safe, stable, unimpeded and efficient operation of the global industrial and supply chains, to continue to improve infrastructure connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region, and to jointly promote the inclusive growth and sustainable development of the region by technological innovations.
About 380 participants from 15 economies attended the Forum, including Canada; China; Hong Kong, China; Germany; Indonesia; Japan; Korea; Malaysia; Peru; the Philippines; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; the United States and Vietnam. Senior representatives from such international organizations as the APEC Transportation Working Group and BIMCO were also present at the Forum.
A total number of 12 speakers provided high quality presentations and discussions on Development Trends and Best Practices of Smart Ports and Development Modes and Issues of Smart Port, which are of common concern to all economies. Speakers include senior officials from port authorities, industry leaders, experts from research institutes and senior representatives from international organizations. They are (according to the Forum Programme):
· Capt. Mohamad Halim bin Ahmed, Undersecretary, Ministry of Transport, Malaysia
· Mr. Zhang Baochen, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee, China Institute of Navigation
· Mr. Li Fengli, General Manager, Shandong Port Group
· Mr. Zhang Xin, Vice President, Shanghai International Port (Group) Co., Ltd.
· Dr. Li Yubin, Vice President, China Merchants Port Holdings Co Ltd
· Mr. Chen Yipeng, General Manager Assistant, COSCO SHIPPING Ports Limited
· Mr. Chen Sijia, CEO, Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN)
· Ms. Stephanie Bubola, Policy Advisor, Transport Canada
· Ms. Debbie Murray, President, Association of Canadian Port Authorities, Canada
· Mr. Zhuang Wei, Regional Manager for Asia, BIMCO
· Mr. Bui Van Quy, Chair of the Advisory Board, APSN
· Mr. Lars Anke, Chief Representative in Asia Pacific, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG
Speakers shared their views on the following four aspects: Firstly, smart port development is the trend of the times, and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the deepening development of this process. Now many of the leading ports had extended the smart technology from automated terminal operations to smart logistics management and finally to the whole ecosystem. Secondly, the development of smart ports is facing many challenges. Thirdly, in order to deal with the shortage and imbalance of human resources in the development of smart ports, it is necessary to take multiple measures and cooperate with multiple parties in a long-term process. Fourthly, in order to enhance the data sharing required by the intelligent development of the port and shipping supply chain, emerging technologies represented by blockchain have become the choice of many stakeholders.
Dr. Jia Dashan, Secretary-General of APSN, also announced the recipients of APSN Green Port Award System (GPAS) 2020 and 2021 at the Forum.
The APSN Forum successfully provided a platform for port authorities, port operators, shipping lines, researchers, senior officials from international organizations and other stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific region to exchange ideas and share views regarding trends and developments of smart port to help port and terminal operators cope with the future challenges.