Policy brief: Port professionals validated policy recommendations to cope with pandemics

The strategies used by ports to remain operational throughout the COVID-19 pandemic provide useful lessons for policymakers and port communities.

UNCTAD’s new Policy Brief document (UNCTAD Policy Brief No. 93) presents policy recommendations based on port communities’ practical experience and the strategies they employed to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and support their staff and stakeholders while keeping import and export cargo operations moving.

The policy recommendations have been collected from the participants of a special course on Building Port Resilience Against Pandemics (BPR). TRAINFORTRADE developed this course based originally on several requests from members of its Port Management Programme.

Participants of the second BPR course session in June–July 2021 suggested over 250 policy recommendations, which were ranked by priority through online voting. Finally, eight policy recommendations were collated following discussion and analysis by participants of the course.

The policy recommendations highlight for example the importance of business continuity and contingency planning, communication strategy and education of port workers. Availability and management of appropriate technology and productivity tools is also essential. Designating transport and port workers as essential workers with particular responsibility should be considered as well.

Photo: Port of Valencia/Antonio Alcaraz

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