Back to work planning in updated WPSP COVID19 guidance document for ports

Fourth edition of the guidance created by ports for ports now available on WPSP COVID19 Information Portal

Busy cargo port

Fourth edition of the guidance created by ports for ports now available on WPSP COVID19 Information Portal

Active since March and with a dedicated information portal since early April, the World Ports Sustainability Program’s COVID19 Task Force has just released its latest version of its guidance document for ports. It can be found under the frequently asked question :


The Guidance draws on the expertise of WPSP COVID19 Task Force participants, who include specialists from the ports of Açu, Antwerp, Los Angeles, Felixstowe, London, Busan, Guangzhou, Mombasa, and Rotterdam. Additional valuable contributions have come from sixteen other port authorities, several regional port associations and Maritime Street, a consultancy specialised in digital trade logistics.

The latest version has added supplementary information sources on safe shipboard interface between ship- and shore-based personnel developed by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) as well as a 12-step framework of protocols on crew changes also compiled by ICS in coordination with the maritime industry and supported and published by the IMO.

In addition, a fourth section containing suggestions and best practices related to back to work planning has been based on input from various sources, including a guide prepared by the China Ports and Harbors Association based on their own members’ experience.

“We have endeavoured to create a short, practical guidance document for our IAPH members which draws on the experience of the Task Force members, whom we have been meeting online on a weekly basis since March”, commented WPSP Technical Director Antonis Michail. “It has been based on an original concept with content prepared by the Brazilian Port of Açu and has been elaborated upon with great inputs from the other Task Force members and our IAPH member colleagues.”

As the latest IAPH-WPSP Port Economic Barometer indicates, regional variations are emerging in terms of the challenges being faced by ports and their stakeholders. The broad guidance available provides advice and suggestions based on experiences gained by ports during the current crisis.

News release contact details :

World Ports Sustainability Program – Victor Shieh, Communications Partner :

Tel : +32 473 980 855

Technical enquiries:

World Ports Sustainability Program – Dr. Antonis Michail, Technical Director :

You can provide input on your port's response to COVID-19 and contact our Task Force experts by email on

About IAPH (

Founded in 1955, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) is a non-profit-making global alliance of 170 ports and 140 port-related organisations covering 90 countries. Its member ports handle more than 60 percent of global maritime trade and around 80 percent of world container traffic. IAPH has consultative NGO status with several United Nations agencies. In 2018, IAPH established the World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP). Guided by the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, it aims to unite sustainability efforts of ports worldwide, encouraging international cooperation between all partners involved in the maritime supply chain. WPSP ( covers five main areas of collaboration: energy transition, resilient infrastructure, safety and security, community outreach and governance.

Main photograph: chuttersnap | Source: Unsplash