The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) have joined forces to call for swift action to support global supply chains from the impact of Covid-19.
In an open letter to G20 leaders, the two organisations said: “In this time of global crisis, it is more important than ever to keep supply chains open and maritime trade and transport moving. Leadership from the G20 in calling for a coordinated approach by governments, working in conjunction with the UN International Maritime Organization, WHO, and other relevant agencies is therefore of the utmost importance.”
The letter also highlighted that around “90 percent of global trade is transported by commercial shipping, which moves the world’s food, energy and raw materials, as well as manufactured goods and components – including vital medical supplies and many products sold in supermarkets, items that are necessary (due to complex supply chains) for the preservation of many jobs in manufacturing – without which modern society simply cannot function.”
Guy Platten, secretary general of ICS, added: “We need nations, led by the G20, to work together to provide coordinated rather than knee-jerk restrictions to protect us all from Covid-19. We need pragmatic, science-based and harmonised guidance for the global maritime sector that ensures the safe delivery of the goods that we are all going to rely upon in the coming months.”
Patrick Verhoeven, managing director of the IAPH, commented that ports must remain fully operational with all their regular services in place to guarantee complete functionality of supply chains.