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Accelerating digitalization: Critical Actions to Strengthen the Resilience of the Maritime Supply Chain

Autor Institucional

Banco Mundial




The COVID-19 crisis has emphasized the critical role of seaports in keeping supply chains moving and economies
functioning across the world. A great variety of business and government actors interact in port communities
to ensure multimodal flows of vital medical and food supplies, critical agricultural products, energy streams, and other goods and services reach their intended destinations in time. Their interactions comprise physical interactions, such as cargo handling operations, vessel-related services, and multimodal transfers, along with exchanges of data that facilitate clearance of cargo between jurisdictions. When it comes to digitalization, the COVID-19 crisis has painfully demonstrated the heterogeneous landscape that currently exists across ports worldwide. While some port communities have seized the opportunities found in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and have developed into full-fledged “smart” ports, many others have barely grasped the essentials of digitalization and continue to struggle with larger reliance on personal interaction and paper-based transactions as the norms for shipboard, ship-to-shore interface, and shore-to-hinterland
based exchanges. In producing this report, the authors reveal a keen willingness to action the message of the initial policy statement in practice, outlining in concrete terms short- and medium-term measures to accelerate digitalization
that will improve resilience and efficiency in port communities around the world. The report is also intended to facilitate the necessary policy reform in these areas, as digitalization is not just a matter of technology but, more importantly, of change management, data collaboration, and political commitment.

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