In a statement, the IAPH said stakeholders do not always
realise how challenging it is to improve maritime infrastructure, which
involves complex planning procedures, including environmental impact
assessments, extensive stakeholder dialogue and complex government approval
During the closing session of the IAPH World Ports
Conference, Karuppiah said, “We cannot overlook the fact that the lead time for
building new port infrastructure is much more complex and costly – and
therefore takes much longer – than that of building a new ship.
“Especially when it comes to ships with new fuel
requirements, such as LNG, methanol and ammonia, much higher and more complex
investments will be required on land than in the shipyard.
“As mentioned by several port CEOs during the conference,
achieving this in a sustainable manner – both economically and from an
environmental standpoint – will require much closer cooperation between
shipping and ports than we currently see, and will also require working closely
with the energy majors and future providers of bunker fuel for these new
IAPH’s outgoing president Santiago Garcia-Milà also
commented, “Some shipowners mentioned that the disruptions that we have seen
lately are due to infrastructural bottlenecks, some which were present already
before the pandemic.
“As we have seen during the conversations this week, I do
agree optimising port operations through better data collaboration and ensuring
24/7 operations are certainly priorities we should work on collectively.
“However, the scale of funding that is needed to expand
physical infrastructure is in a different league to shipping, also requiring
complex public-private partnerships.”