UNCTAD Launches Tools to Build Resilience in Maritime Logistics

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UNCTAD launches new tools to help build maritime supply chain resilience by helping countries cope and adapt to disruptions that extend beyond pandemics.

Frequent disruptions in supply chains have exposed the vulnerability of transportation and logistics operations amid uneven capacities and resources across countries.

Recurring extreme weather events, the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and other crises illustrate the magnitude of the challenge and its implications for global supply chains and sustainable development.

These challenges underscore the need to improve resilience, particularly in the most vulnerable economies.

“As disruptions become part of the new normal, resilience and risk management are emerging as new mantras for transportation, logistics, trade and supply chains,” said Shamika N. Sirimanne, director of the technology and logistics division of UNCTAD.

To help countries cope with the new normal, UNCTAD has launched a new website to promote maritime logistics resilient in the face of disruption. The website includes a guide for ports entitled “Developing capacities to manage risks and improve resilience” and a host of other resources.

“The webpack provides our grantees with support in risk identification and assessment, management tools and approaches, case studies, best practices and a step-by-step process of building resilience for ports and other relevant supply chain actors. sea,” he added.

UNCTAD will update the website as additional resources and tools become available.

Responding to challenges

Sustainability and resilience are important to member States, as highlighted during the ninth session of UNCTAD’s multi-year expert meeting on transport, trade logistics and trade facilitation, held in July 2022.

Participants expressed concern about the ripple effect of disruptive events that drive up consumer prices, inflate food and energy bills, and reduce reliability of transportation service.

UNCTAD’s work on building resilience in trade logistics aims to alleviate and mitigate obstacles resulting from disruptive events and their negative effects on the smooth delivery of cross-border trade.

“The COVID-19 pandemic took the entire world and ports by surprise. It woke us up to the reality that building resilience against such shocks should be a daily routine going forward,” said Michael Luguje, director of Ghana Ports and Harbors.

“We highly congratulate UNCTAD and its partners and donors for the published impact assessment reports, the organization of regional webinars to disseminate lessons learned, the publication of a guide for ports, the dedicated resilience website and the package of training that is being developed”, he said. he said.

Safeguarding the integrity of the maritime supply chain, in particular ports, is a sustainable development imperative, as developing countries have become major players in shipping and maritime trade.

Ensuring the integrity and efficient operation of shipping is critical to all economies, especially small island developing states and least developed countries.

These vulnerable economies rely heavily on shipping networks for their livelihoods and access to the global market.

In addition, they are already burdened by disproportionately high transportation costs and low shipping connectivity, making their trade uncompetitive, volatile, unpredictable, and costly.

The UNCTAD guide presents a step-by-step approach, tools and methods to build capacity to improve port resilience. It underlines the importance of preparation and emphasizes the role of effective risk management.

The guide provides guidance for ports, as a key node in the maritime supply chain handling more than 80% of maritime trade by volume.

It will be expanded to encompass collaboration with other actors involved in hinterland connections, as these are crucial for designing responses to disruptions and building resilience.

Next Steps – Escalation Action

UNCTAD will launch a new course on ports and maritime supply chain resilience, structured around six modules.

These will help raise awareness of maritime supply chain resilience and build the capacity of ports and other relevant stakeholders to better manage risks and cope with disruptions.

This work was carried out within the general framework of a broad UN initiative launched in 2020, specifically a project entitled “Transport and Trade Connectivity in the Age of Pandemics”.

Source: Alphaliner


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