IAPH Insider- 18, April

This edition covers:


This week’s Insider highlight with Victor Shieh



IAPH releases statement on MSC Aries

Last Sunday, the seizure was confirmed of a Madeira-flagged, 14,300 TEU capacity container ship MSC Aries, by both the Iranian state news agency as well as the charterer (MSC). The vessel had just completed a call at Khalifa port in the UAE and was heading, with cargo onboard, for its next call at Nhava Shiva port in India. IAPH released a statement in which managing director Patrick Verhoeven expressed deepest concern for the welfare of the seafarers of this ship, which follows the hijacking of the crew of the Ro-Ro carrier Galaxy Leader in the Red Sea back in November. As stated by the International Chamber of Shipping, innocent seafarers are suffering directly as a consequence of geopolitical conflicts, and this has serious implications for the global maritime communities and the ports that serve them. The attack in the Gulf of Oman has the potential to further disrupt cargo transits in and out of the region, which will impact all of our member ports, one way or another. This makes it all the more important to share information and know-how about how to respond to these constant disruptions, together. Following the statement, IAPH has agreed to be a signatory to a joint industry communication, being prepared for publication later this week, calling for the release of the seafarers and to protect the safe transit of ships in the region.


The MSC-chartered vessel, at the Port of Los Angeles, December 2021 (c) Ajdibilio | Dreamstime.com


MSW cybersecurity initiative supported at IMO FAL 48

Last week at the IMO headquarters in London, the 48th meeting of the FAL Committee discussed the issue of cybersecurity in relation to Maritime Single Windows (MSWs) and called for Member States to develop and operate their MSWs in a cyber-secure and resilient way, following a submission led by IAPH. This was supported by 16 member states in plenary. The Committee invited interested Member States and international organisations to contact IAPH, to prepare the proposal for a new output on the issue to be considered at FAL 49, which is due to be held 10-14 March next year. This could include proposed amendments to the FAL Convention to establish mandatory cybersecurity measures when developing mandatory Maritime Single Windows and the development of a model law on cybersecurity.


IAPH’s Frans van Zoelen introducing the IAPH cyber submission at FAL 48, alongside Patrick Verhoeven


Five further IAPH submissions at IMO FAL 48

IAPH had a total of six submissions to last week’s IMO Facilitation Committee meeting (FAL 48). Along with the proposal calling for a cyber-secure Maritime Single Window (MSW), IAPH co-authored a paper with the World Customs Organization (WCO) providing an overview of the joint guidance on cooperation between customs and port authorities. The Committee welcomed these guidelines and invited IAPH and WCO to keep the Committee informed on the experience of the implementation. Similarly, under the agenda item on Port Community Systems, FAL 48 noted with appreciation the joint paper submitted by IAPH and the World Bank providing information on the report, Port Community Systems – Lessons Learned from Global Experience. This was followed by the finalisation and approval of the Guidelines on Port Community Systems (PCS) with reference to the crucial role of cybersecurity and the need to align terminology in all the guidelines relating to the Maritime Single Window (MSW) and electronic data exchange for harmonised implementation. Another key outcome at this meeting was the agreement to develop an overarching IMO Strategy on Digitalisation to ensure standardisation and harmonisation, as proposed by China and others. IAPH took the floor to express support for such a strategy, drawing attention to the need to consider the wider maritime supply chain, which was noted by the chair and included in the final report. Subject to approval by the IMO Council, the target completion date for this new output is 2027. IAPH also co-sponsored a paper by BIMCO and others providing a summary of the industry survey on digitalisation and the current state of digitalisation within ports. This was well received by the Committee and it was agreed that this item would be deferred to FAL 49 in March next year, to be considered under the new output to develop the overarching digitalisation strategy. Finally, on illicit trade and organised crime, the submission made with BIMCO, InterPortPolice and others, to establish a new output at FAL 49 to revise the ‘Guidelines on the prevention and suppression of the smuggling of drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals on ships engaged in international maritime traffic,’ was approved by the Committee with work due to commence at the next session. A full report detailing the outcomes of this meeting and follow-up actions for IAPH will be disseminated to the Data Collaboration Committee shortly.


IAPH’s Frans van Zoelen with WCO director Pranab Das at FAL 48, following the joint introduction of the IAPH WCO guidelines on cooperation between port and customs authorities.


IMO seminar on MASS challenges and opportunities

Last week IAPH participated in a seminar hosted by the IMO on the ‘implications, challenges and opportunities of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) operations for ports and public authorities’. Participants first heard from a panel discussing the different considerations of autonomous ship operations in port, including cargo handling, mooring and remote operations. Patrick Verhoeven then chaired a panel focused on port perspectives. This included remote presentations by, and a discussion with, Erwin Verstraelen, vice-president innovation at Port of Antwerp-Bruges, Robert-Louis Cool, CEO of SEAFAR, and Shiori Kondo, deputy director, Ports and Harbours Bureau, Japan. A recording of the seminar and the presentation slides can be accessed here.


Patrick Verhoeven at the MASS panel last week, with Julian Abril, head of the Facilitation Section at IMO


#IAPH2024: deadline Early Bird is fast approaching 

You have two more weeks to benefit from the best available price for this year’s IAPH World Ports Conference. The Early Bird rate, which offers a 20% reduction on delegate bookings, expires Tuesday 30 April, after which the regular pricing applies. We therefore recommend that you book your seats now via the conference website. The conference agenda is available online, with new speakers added every week. The agenda consists of three days of plenary and breakout sessions as well as our very first series of hands-on ‘port solution’ immersions, held this year at Hamburg’s cruise and container terminals, with a focus on onshore power supply. In addition, there will be a possibility to play the IAPH Port Endeavor sustainability business game. A general tour of the port of Hamburg is also on offer. Under the theme ‘Managing Risk – Building Resilience – Unlocking Opportunities’ we will be addressing resilience of maritime supply chains, energy security, geopolitical tensions, illicit trafficking and cybersecurity. Dedicated ‘IAPH Project Focus’ sessions will showcase the latest deliverables of our projects on supply chain resilience, clean marine fuel handling and future of work. C-level panel discussions will address port leadership in data collaboration and climate action. We will also dive into market developments, the regulatory agenda of IMO and port governance – with the introduction of the new World Bank Port Reform Toolkit as a highlight. Plans for social events are taking shape as well, with the welcome reception already booked at the Atlantic Hotel, one of the most resplendent maritime heritage hotels in the world.

Environmental Ship Index enters a new era

The Environmental Ship Index (ESI) entered a new era in March, with the confirmation of an expanded suite of performance modules to support ports and vessel owners on the journey to decarbonisation and lowering emissions. Coming online in 2026, ESI’s revised and expanded offering will take into account a range of potential emissions, introduce a new GHG methodology, and reward innovation and application of zero-emissions techniques onboard vessels. The decision to revise and expand ESI’s modules and formulae, and the introduction of the new GHG and innovation modules, came as a result of major developments in global maritime environmental regulation, which the scheme encourages ships to exceed. The transition process to the new suite of ESI modules will take place through 2024 and 2025, with support from ESI’s Board and administrator, as well as IAPH, ensuring that ample support and time is available to facilitate a smooth migration for the scheme’s Incentive Receivers and Incentive Providers.

ESI scores for April revealed

The latest scores of the IAPH Environmental Ship Index (ESI) were published on 1 April. The number of vessels with an ESI score above 20 is at 4,695, whereas the total number of vessels in the ESI database is at 6,409.The average ESI score increased slightly to 31.7. The number of incentive providers now stands at 74. Is your port ready to join ESI? If so, find out more on the ESI website or contact IAPH’s ESI Liaison, Takeshi Suzuki at : [email protected]

Open call for interested ports to receive support for JIT

If your port is located in a developing country, has at least one container terminal and is  interested in enabling Just in Time (JIT) arrivals then the Global Industry Alliance to Support Low Carbon Shipping (Low Carbon GIA) would be interested to hear from you. Low Carbon GIA is looking to select a port to provide support in enabling JIT sailing of ships. Low Carbon GIA is a public-private partnership, established under the framework of IMO GreenVoyage2050, with which IAPH is a strategic partner. Interested IMO Member States and their ports are invited to express their interest to participate by completing the questionnaire included in the Annex of Circular No 4860 and sending it to [email protected]. The closing date for receipt of Expressions of Interest is 15 May 2024.

IAPH co-organised Pan-African ports conference

The 2024 Pan African Ports Cooperation Conference took place Thursday and Friday last week in Libreville, Gabon. The event was organised jointly by IAPH and the Port Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA). It included in-person interventions by IAPH director od strategy and communications Victor Shieh, Manfred Lebmeier of Hamburg Port Authority on the IAPH Environmental Ship Index, Luisa Antonia Rodriguez Ortega of UNCTAD on their Smart Sustainable Ports project with three African port authorities, and by Mark Wootton of Royal Haskoning DHV, who heads up the SSATP/World Bank project on the status of digitalisation of ports on the African continent. The ceremonial opening included a prime ministerial address, delivered in person. For the first time, many members who had attended IAPH Europe-Africa Harbor Café sessions in the past two years were finally able to meet colleagues from the IAPH delegation in person. Recorded interventions were delivered by IAPH president Jens Meier, Jarle Hauge of the Norwegian Coastal Administration, as well as senior representatives of UNCTAD, Port of Antwerp-Bruges, Port of Rotterdam. African delegates were presented with many of the tools developed by IAPH over the past two years in partnership with IMO, World Bank, UNCTAD, World Customs Organization and other partners. These tools can immediately be used to further advance their ports in digitalisation, resilience and energy transition.


(L-R) Manfred Lebmeier (Hamburg Port Authority), Victor Shieh (IAPH), Luisa Antonia Rodriguez Ortega (UNCTAD) and Mark Wootton (Royal Haskoning DHV) at the Pan African Ports Cooperation Conference


IAPH spoke at PorTech Asia conference

IAPH vice-president for Asia, Masaharu Shinohara, represented IAPH at the 2024 PorTech Asia Conference, which was held in Shanghai from 10-11 April. He delivered a keynote address on IAPH’s initiatives towards sustainable port development, in which he outlined the scope and projects of the World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP) and IAPH’s specific actions and initiatives in the field of climate and energy, data collaboration, and risk and resilience. You can download the presentation here. This year marked the 11th PorTech Asia conference, hosted by the Shanghai International Shipping Center Promotion Association. IAPH has been a regular contributor to the event, which brings together decision makers from port associations, local transportation authorities, port terminal operators, shipping and logistics providers and various industry suppliers.



Welcome to new members

We are pleased to welcome new associate members from the UAE and the USA. Amzone International Ltd is a comprehensive rigging facility and rope specialist. Based in the UAE, it provides industry-wide services that cater to the oil offshore, marine, ports, ship repair, ship chandler, construction, piling and foundation, elevator, crane, and general engineering industries and applications. A1 Auto Transport is a leader in the car shipping industry. Based in the USA, it is engaged in both domestic transport and shipping to foreign countries. It operates in over 190 countries, and owns and operates more than 30 modern car-carrying trailers, equipped with satellite tracking, through a network of more than 40 terminal facilities in the United States.



Member Port News

You can find the latest overview of news from IAPH member ports on the dedicated Member Ports News page on our website.


World Maritime News

These maritime news stories made the headlines over the past two weeks: 

  • Baltimore preps for limited port reopening by end of April
  • Remaining The Alliance partners set out stall
  • X-Press Feeders to kickstart European green corridors
  • APM Terminals steps up port efficiency drive as new alliance launch looms
  • Shipping’s choke points at risk from cyber attacks
  • Large shippers showing more interest in emission-reducing fuels
  • $100 green fuel levy would achieve highest emission reductions in 2030

For details of each story, please visit the World Maritime News section on our website.


Calendar of Events

IAPH events and events where IAPH is represented

  • 22-26 April – IMO Legal Committee (LEG 111) – London
  • 24 April – IAPH Board meeting (online)
  • 25-26 April – ESPO Conference – Paris
  • 7-8 May – GreenTech 2024 – Barcelona
  • 8-9 May – Green Ports & Shipping Congress – Singapore
  • 13-24 May – IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 108) – London
  • 21 May – Annual Lunch British Ports Association – London
  • 21-24 May – UNCTAD Global Supply Chain Forum – Barbados
  • 26-28 June – Maritime Silk Road Port International Forum – Ningbo
  • 5-7 June – GreenTech – Halifax
  • 2 July – IAPH Data Collaboration Committee – online
  • 9 July – IAPH Board meeting and Japan Seminar – Tokyo
  • September – IMO Intersessional GHG Working Group (ISWG GHG 17) – London
  • 30 September-4 October – IMO Marine Env. Protection Cttee (MEPC 82) – London
  • 7 October – IAPH Board and Council meetings – Hamburg
  • 8-10 October – IAPH World Ports Conference – Hamburg
  • 10 October – IAPH Annual General Meeting – Hamburg
  • 29-31 October – Ports Australia Biennial Conference – Hobart