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IAPH Secretary General Speaks in Shanghai

At the invitation of CPHA(China Ports and Harbopurs), an IAPH Associate Members, Secretary General Susumu Naruse made a presentation at the ‘International Ports & Shipping Development Forum 2010’ , in Shanghai ,September 27, organized by CPHA, China Shipowners Association, Europe-China Commercial Union, Shanghai Municipal Transport and Port Authority and Shanghai Hongkou People’s Government.


"International Port & Shipping Development Forum 2010" 
 Shanghai, China
 September 27th, 2010

Susumu Naruse
Secretary General International Association of Ports and Harbors
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am honored and privileged to deliver a  speech on behalf of our association,
IAPH (International Association of Ports and Harbors) at this outstanding Forum.
Year 2009 was an exceptional year for global container transport. Movement of
international containers, thus container throughput of ports in the world,
experienced a decline for the first time in its over 60 year history. It was reported
that the total number of containers handled by the major container ports in the
world had declined on average by around 10% in 2009 compared to the previous
year. Although the Chinese economy  had been robust during the period, the
throughput of the Chinese ports declined as well since the global trade shrank to
a great degree during the  period. The situation,  however, has been changing
from the latter half of last year. Actually, the container throughput of the major
ports during the first half of this year has shown a strong increase, for instance,
15% in Hong Kong, 14% in Singapore, 23% in Busan, 18% in Rotterdam, 16% in
Antwerp, and 15% in Los Angeles. As the world economy is projected to grow by
4.5% this year, it may be expected that container throughput of world ports will
be bouncing back to almost the same level of 2008 at the end of this year if no
other global financial difficulties take place in the second half of this year.
It is true that we have come across bewildering fluctuation of the international
trade, but when we consider port development we have to be mindful of the fact
that it needs a lot of time, a few years or sometimes more than a decade, to
develop port infrastructure. We have to recall the challenges ports faced in 2008,
when port congestion became almost a global crisis. As the volume of world
trade will definitely bounce back to the normal level albeit slowly, the continuous
need for systematic enlargement of container handling capacity guided by
prudent assessment of the future demand should not be forgotten. The stance of
IAPH on this challenge is very clear. We adopted the resolution in May last year,
which stated, in short, IAPH urges the world’s ports, though in the midst of
economic difficulties, to move ahead with continued investments to improve
productivity and expand capacity. As now China has become the second largest economy in the world and the growth  engine of the global economy, Chinese
ports need to continue to develop their  infrastructure from a long term
Now, let me touch on IAPH a little bit. More than 200 port authorities in the world
have joined IAPH and the member ports cover nearly 80% of global container
throughput. We have biannual World Port Conference, one of which was held
here in Shanghai five years ago, where nearly 1,000 port people in the world
gathered for networking, sharing experiences and discussing various topics. We
have 10 regular members in the mainland China, but I would like more Chinese
ports to join us to share experiences and also like to urge the current members
to be more active in our association.
The reason why I emphasized this is that the leading ports in the world are now
seeking a way to strike a balance between infrastructure development and the
other issues such as environmental challenges. They have been embarking on
huge development projects, in particular, those in Northwestern Europe, but at
the same time they are very keen to preserve and control environments around
ports and keep their port safe and secure. I believe that Chinese ports have
successfully developed huge infrastructure such as Yanshang project in
Shanghai and improved port efficiency partly by introducing global terminal
operators, but I am afraid that they may lack experience in environment, logistics
and security considerations. 
IAPH and major member ports have been working very hard on these issues.
We have created WPCI (World Ports  Climate Initiative) to tackle the
environmental challenges, in particular, reduction of green house gases
emission. Six projects have been set up to study mitigation measures of global
warming. On Shore Power Supply (OPS) is one of such projects, which is aimed
at providing electricity to ships from the landside while they are on berth, thus
eliminating emission of green house gases as well as usual exhaust gases
associated with burning oil at ports.  Sometimes it costs more than usual
practices but remember that  in Californian, for instance, burning oil in a ship
while being on berth shall be prohibited by the year of 2014. We have studied
other mitigation measures including Environmental Ship  Index, Carbon
Footprinting, and so forth, but I cannot touch on them here because of time constraints. It has to be emphasized that environmental control has become high
on the agenda of modern ports in the world. And I think Chinese ports need to
follow suit because they shall take a leading position in the global port industry in
Logistics and security issue is another big challenge facing the global port
industry. IAPH technical committees are reviewing best practices in this field,
including intermodal transport systems, planning and development of dry ports,
port communication systems and biometric  security systems. For instance, as
China is a huge country in land area I think a dry port concept will work very well
in establishing an efficient cargo distributing system  in the country. Imported
goods unloaded at sea ports are firstly transported to dry ports, preferably by rail
or inland ships, and then distributed to  individual importers  from the dry ports,
thus streamlining land logistics in an environmentally friendly way. I believe that
establishment of efficient total logistics systems will become a big challenge to
the Chinese port industry in near future. 
In conclusion, I am of the opinion that Chinese ports have now entered the
second stage of the development after having successfully met vigorous
demands in a very skillful way. At the second stage, it is important for ports to
consider externalities of their activities, typically environment and safety and
security of logistics. I am sure Chinese ports will be able to effectively go through
this but it would be much easier to do so by learning the best practices of some
preceding ports. I am sure, with this respect, IAPH can be of great help to
Chinese ports and in return the Chinese experiences would provide great
guidance to other ports to follow. 
Lastly, I sincerely wish you a successful forum here in Shanghai.

(November 16,2010)

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