Members of the Port Authorities Roundtable (PAR) have called for ports to collaborate and share best practices in order to ensure that operations remain undisrupted amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

20 PAR members from Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America signed the declaration to ensure that merchant ships can continue to berth at port terminals to carry out cargo operations and keep the global supply chain going; best practices are adopted, according to national circumstances, including precautionary measures for the shipping community, advisories and assistance for shore personnel and ship crew, and safe handling of cargoes during this period; and port authorities continue to share experiences in combating Covid-19 while safeguarding unimpeded maritime trade.

Representing the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Quah Ley Hoon, chief executive, said: “As the world battles with the Covid-19 pandemic, it has never been more critical to keep our ports open and goods moving. Shipping is chartering into many unknowns and new challenges. Port authorities have to take enhanced precautions for their ports and on ships, as well as manage the stress faced by our seafarers and maritime personnel.

“We have come together to make a declaration of our commitment, exchange experiences and share best practices. This virtual declaration by member countries across different geographical regions is also a first for the PAR. We came out of the session gaining more valuable knowledge to ensure that necessities and essential medical supplies continue to be transported seamlessly across the world and into our respective countries.”

A list of the 20 PAR members that signed the declaration can be found here.