At a press conference in Hamburg this week leaders from the Ports of Los Angeles, Busan, Felixstowe, Antwerp, Singapore, Shenzhen, Hamburg and the Global Institute of Logistics launched ChainPORT, a global initiative to connect and promote best practices between ports.

“The global platform shall connect important information of the respective partner ports on the one hand and create a basis that allows the joined development of new, future-oriented and innovative solutions on the other. In addition to the Port of Hamburg, the Ports of Busan, Singapore, Shenzhen, Los Angeles, Felixstowe and Antwerpen are the partners in the future-oriented network,” Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) said in a statement.

Back Row L to R: Gene Seroka, Port of Los Angeles; Ho-Chul Park, Port of Busan; Stephen Abraham, Port of Felixstowe; Luc Arnouts, Port of Antwerp
Front Row L to R: Goh Kwong Heng, Port of Singapore; Patrick Wong, Shenzen Port Association; Jens Meier, Hamburg Port Authority; Senatorr Frank Horch; Kieran Ring, Global Institute of Logistics

Jens Meier, Chairman of the Management Board HPA commented: “This is a great day. With today’s event we are able to lay the foundation to further improve our network and to learn from each other so that we can create innovative ideas and solutions that provide added value to the global flow of goods and the ports.”

HPA sees ChainPORT going beyond “traditional bilateral port partnerships” and establishing a global chain of smartPORTS. SmartPORT is a HPA initiative to connect the Port of Hamburg with other partners in the supply chain to aid the flow of goods through the port. “The objective”, HPA said of ChainPORT, “is to bring together the port managements and their stakeholders to share benchmarks and develop strategies together on how ports can and must work together in the future to reach common goals such as the globally necessary efficiency. The shared use of intelligent systems and data with other ports ensures sustainable growth”.

“Ultra Large Container Vessels are challenging conventional wisdom around port management, progressive Port Authorities are increasingly intervening in the container supply chain process to act in an overview capacity to provide visibility to all stakeholders, chainPORT enables PA’s to provide visibility at port of loading allowing more time to begin the planning process” Kieran Ring CEO Global Institute of Logistics

Senator Frank Horch from Germany’s Ministry for Economy, Transport and Innovation, said: “The enormous increase of the international division of labour, as well as the rapid growth of the global economy heavily depend on the international maritime transport. “The world is getting smaller and it shows in world trade. It has never been more important to learn from one another. Even if we are competitors and rivals, we are dependent on exchanging information.”

Hamburg says there is a lot to gain from the chainPORT network, including the shared use of intelligent systems and data with other ports, to ensure sustainable growth. In addition to digitalisation and networking, the network will handle the pressing issue of handling increasing container ship growth.

Networking and data exchange should also help enable with better planning of port calls. It will also allow for greater cooperation on environmental aspects, including the reduction of emissions and achieving greater sustainability.