The pandemic situation has highlighted the relevance of digitalization and new ways of working, which should continue beyond the immediate crisis situation, said speakers during a webinar on ship-shore relations.
The webinar ‘Ports and shipping working together on decarbonisation, trade facilitation and automation’ was organized by the IAPH World Ports Conference 2021 and brought together IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, Ley Hoon Quah, Chief Executive, MPA Singapore, and Guy Platten, Secretary-General, ICS.
As noted, the pandemic has led to intensive collaboration on a digital and virtual basis between the shipping and port communities, as well as with and between Governments and international organizations.
One example of digitalization is electronic data exchange, for information which needs to be exchanged between ship and shore.
Electronic data exchange is mandatory under IMO’s FAL Convention and is a significant focus by IMO who is looking at ways to support countries to fully implement electronic data, exchange and the recommended single window approach, whereby all data is sent through a single portal.
During the meeting, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim also stressed the importance of collaboration between all maritime sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic and even more for the recovery phase.
Mr. Lim highlighted ongoing challenges, including the need for crew changeovers for some 150,000 seafarers who need to leave their ships.
Many Governments had acted in collaboration with shipping and ports to address crew change and other issues, but more needed to be done.
I would like to encourage all Governments to pay attention to these issues, which impact not only on shipping but also the global economy and the global supply chain,
…Mr. Lim said.