TrainForTrade’s Port Management

PTP_portaaThe UNCTAD TrainForTrade Port Management Programme supports port communities in developing countries in quest for efficient and competitive port management. In order to increase trade flows and foster economic development, the programme creates port networks bringing together public, private and international entities. The aim is to share knowledge and expertise between port operators and strengthen talent management and human resources development in port communities.

Why are ports important for development?

In many developing countries, ports play a key role in connecting them to international trade. Furthermore, 80 per cent of international trade is channelled through ports. Hence, the way the maritime sector is organized has a profound impact on trade volume and transport costs, and therefore is largely affecting a country’s and businesses’ competitiveness. To stay competitive is vital to sustain and create jobs, which again affects people’s well-being directly. The trade and maritime transport sector is subject to constant regulatory changes and port officials must be able to grasp the growing complexities of port management.

Comprehensive solution oriented training adapted to local conditions

The Port Management Programme targets port managers and the main features of the programme are the following:

  • Worldwide network-based structure;
  • Public-Private-Partnership model;
  • Human Resources empowerment tool for talent management;
  • Powerful scheme to induce value-added solutions in port communities;
  • Robust methodology for knowledge sharing and ICT advancement;
  • High-end course on “Modern Port Management”.

The Modern Port Management consists of 240 hours of instruction over a two-year period. Participants must successfully complete eight modules and defend a final dissertation in order to obtain the UNCTAD Certificate in Modern Port Management. The course content is adapted to local contexts, and the the final dissertation identifies challenges within the participants’ respective ports and propose concrete management solutions.

TrainForTrade’s Port Management Program

Topics covered by the 8 modules
    1. International trade and transport
    2. Organisation of a port system
    3. Functioning of a port system
    4. Future challenges to ports
    5. Methods and tools of port management
    6. Economic and commercial management
    7. Administrative and legal management
    8. Technical management and human resources development
Local delivery creating sustainability and ownership The Port Management Programme operates through four language-based networks (English, French, Portuguese and Spanish) in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Training in the beneficiary ports is delivered by local instructors from the port community, supported by experts from UNCTAD and European ports associated with the program. Senior managers from the participating ports are trained to serve as local instructors in order to ensure programme sustainability and local ownerships. The European port partners include Ghent (Belgium), Gijon and Valencia (Spain), Marseille and Nantes (France), Belfast, Cork and Dublin (Ireland) and Leixoes (Portugal).
“TrainForTrade programme is putting ports around the world in one village where information becomes power and tools for development and modernization of our ports.” Hebel Mwasenga (Tanzania Ports Authority)
South-South and North-South collaboration promoted Partnerships have been developed with European ports that are sharing their knowledge and expertise through the UNCTAD Port Training Networks in Asian, African and Latin American port communities. Annual regional meetings bring together port officials from different countries, promoting sharing of experiences and expertise. South-south exchange of instructors is encouraged in order to increase instructors’ exposure to different port set-up, as well as to facilitate the transfer of knowledge.


Port Management StatisticsFrom 1998 to 2017 in figures about:
  • 1746 port operators trained and certified
  • 1082 senior managers trained as trainers
  • 95 national cycles in 25 countries
  • 65 workshops of for training of trainers

Benin 275 12 196 24%
Cameroon 293 12 241 28%
Haiti 48 2 18 25%
Gabon 120 6 76 38%
Guinea 138 7 70 17%
Senegal 187 12 163 20%
Togo 148 9 103 20%
Côte d'Ivoire 66 3 44 23%
Djibouti 49 2 33 37%
Cambodia 52 3 45 12%
Comoros 5 1 5 0%
Tunisie 25 2 25 48%
Mauritania 27 1 11%
Total 1433 72 1019 24%
Ghana 108 4 72 18%
Indonesia 93 4 60 9%
Philippines 49 2 45 31%
Nigeria 46 2 16 23%
Namibia 23 1 11 43%
Tanzania 51 2 29 29%
Maldives 37 2 19 17%
Malaysia 24 1 1 25%
Total 431 18 253 21%
Guatemala 34 2 24 29%
Perú 122 4 41 0%
Republica Dominicana 86 2 11 27%
Bolivia 27 11%
Argentina 22 1 32%
Total 291 9 76 25%
Angola 48 2 11 16%
Cap Vert/ Praia 36 2 34 36%
Cap Vert/ Mindelo 35 2 32 23%
Total 119 6 77 29%
Overall Total 2274 105 1425 24%

last update: 6 april 2018

Best Practice in Development Cooperation

The 2008-2010 pilot phase for the English-speaking Port Management Programme, was positively evaluated by the stakeholders and by Irish Aid (the programme’s main donor). Irish’s Aid’s Review Team concluded that “the partnership between Irish Aid, Dublin Port Company, UNCTAD and the participating ports is an example of best practice in development cooperation”. In November 2011, Irish Aid signed a new agreement with UNCTAD/TrainForTrade, reaffirming the Irish government’s commitment to support the programme’s second cycle (2011-2013).

Contribution scheme

The beneficiary ports are contributing financially to the Port Management Programme. This self-sustaining aspect indicates the level of commitment and interest from the national port authorities. As an example, over the last 10 years the French network has been self-funded by the ports and by their developed-country partners. This clearly underlines the importance the port industry itself puts on TrainForTrade’s Port Training Programme.
UNCTAD TrainForTrade Port Management Programme renew it's collaboration with Belfast, Cork and Dublin.
PTP Philippines 2015 Testimonials PTP Philippines 2015 from TrainForTrade on Vimeo.
English-speaking Network Testimonials PTP.Belfaste.videoClick on the image above to see a video on the programme's impact and successes.Slide1

TfT Port Management Programme impact ESP, FRA, ENG
    The testimonials are given in English, French and Spanish

Click on the image above to see TfT Port Management Programme impact


Port Performance Newsletter (2)

This publication presents UNCTAD's Port Performance Scorecard 2018 of the TrainForTrade Port Management Programme. 2018.Newsletter.PPS

Port Performance Newsletter (1)

This publication presents UNCTAD's Port Performance Benchmarking: Linking Performance Indicators to Strategic Objectives of the TrainForTrade Port Management Programme. 2017 Newsletter PPS

PMS Vol5

Port Management Series, Volume 5

This publication presents Port Management Case Studies 2015-2016 Cycle of the TrainForTrade Port Management Programme English-speaking Network (UNCTAD/DTL/KDB/2017/1)English,

Port Management Series, Volume 4

This publication presents the Port Performance: Linking Performance Indocators to Strategic Objectives of the TrainForTrade Port Management Programme (UNCTAD/DTL/KDB/2016/1) English, Spanish, French
Port Managment Vol 3

Port Management Series, Volume 3

This publication presents the dissertations from the 2010-2014 cycle of the Spanish-speaking network of the TrainForTrade Port Management Programme (UNCTAD/DTL/KDB/2015/3) (in Spanish) Port Management Vol 3

Port Management Series, Volume 2

This publication presents the dissertations from the 2012-2014 cycle of the French-speaking network of the TrainForTrade Port Management Programme (UNCTAD/DTL/KDB/2015/1) (in French) Download PDF

Port Management Series, Volume 1

This publication presents the dissertations from the 2011-2013 cycle of the English-speaking network of the TrainForTrade Port Management Programme (UNCTAD/DTL/KSTCD/2013/1) Download PDF