UNCTAD urges govts, operators to improve port performance, upgrade connectivity
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has called on governments and operators to expand and upgrade port infrastructure, transport connections and accelerate trade facilitation reforms.
UNCTAD also urged developing countries to improve port performance, productivity and upgrade capacity as well as strengthen regional transport connections,
UNCTAD, while reviewing maritime transport in 2022, also called for stronger support to help developing countries adopt smart maritime logistics and digital technologies, as well as implement measures to improve port, road and rail connections.
The Secretary-General, UNCTAD, Rebeca Grynspan, while projecting the outlook for 2023, said ports, shipping companies and transport operators need to expand capacity, renew and expand fleets and equipment, ensure adequate and skilled labour, improve connectivity and performance, reduce emissions and safeguard competition to ensure maritime transport can weather the next storm.
She said port operators and shipping companies need to invest in increasing storage facilities, reducing equipment shortages, as well as sustainable shipping and deployment of necessary ship-carrying capacity.
She said to prepare for the future, the world needs shipping and supply chains to be more efficient, resilient and far greener.
Grynspan canvassed for investment in energy-efficient shipping technologies and an accelerated shift to alternative, low-carbon fuels to cut the carbon footprint of maritime transport.
She also called for a predictable global regulatory framework for investing in decarbonisation and increased support for developing countries in the energy transition.
Grynspan also called for stronger support to help them adapt ports to the impacts of climate change, especially in small island developing states.
She urged port authorities to reduce labour shortages by attracting more women workers and increasing female participation in the sector.
Grynspan also emphasised stronger international cooperation on cross-border and anti-competitive practices in maritime transport, based on the United Nations Set of Competition Rules and Principles.
She also charged governments to monitor trends in maritime industry structures and services to ensure level playing fields, especially for smaller shippers in developing countries.