chainPORT concludes its 4th Annual Meeting at the Port of Barcelona
ChainPORT – the multilateral partnership of the world leading ports – has just concluded its 4th Annual Meeting which was hosted on December 4 & 5 by the Port of Barcelona, Port of Hamburg said in a press release.
chainPORT was initiated in 2016 by the Port Authorities of Hamburg and Los Angeles in collaboration with the Global Institute of Logistics with the goal of raising awareness of the key role that Port Authorities play in the emerging digital maritime supply chain and the resulting benefits that accrue to all stakeholders in the process. Currently the partnership is supported by the member ports of Antwerp, Barcelona, Busan, Felixstowe, Indonesia, Montreal, Panama, Singapore, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Rotterdam.
In Barcelona the group continued its work of reinterpreting the environment that today’s Port Authorities operate in. In particular, discussions centered on the megatrend which is seeing the manufacturer and consumer move closer together, causing disintermediation and radically disrupting the existing supply chain. This closer relationship - according to McKinsey and TT Club who briefed delegates from their “Container transport in 2043: Brave new world?” report - will lead to higher expectations directly from consumers on matters such as product variation, sustainable production, just-in-time availability and lower costs.
chainPORT delegates discussed what role the Port Authority will play in the process. Much of the discussion was centered on digitalization and smart ports which were agreed as being central to the drive for data exchange and integration. To meet future demands of customers, chainPORT members agreed that a ports capacity is no longer only measured physically but also digitally. This change is transforming the ecosystem from what was once a supply chain to a supply community of which Port Authorities as nodes are key members and indeed advocates.
Jens Meier President of the Port of Hamburg, speaking after the meeting said: “Ports have for a long time considered “capacity” mainly in terms of physical infrastructure. Traditionally this meant having enough physical space and adequate superstructure to accommodate the demands of port customers. However, in today’s era of digitalized industries, we need to see “capacity” in a new light and respond to future demands with smart and digital capacities. The 5 G test field at the Port of Hamburg is an example of this”
The consensus arrived in Barcelona was that today’s Port Authority needs to broaden its understanding of who its customers are, to not only include its traditional shipping lines, terminal operators and other maritime stakeholders base but to look further to its customer’s customer, the beneficial cargo owner and finally to the end-consumer.