International Association of Ports and Harbors convenes in LA

The biennial conference will bring together nearly 500 attendees, including executives and officials representing more than 200 ports and businesses throughout the global port and maritime industry.

By Patrick Burnson · May 3, 2013

The Port of Los Angeles is gearing up to host the largest-ever global gathering of port authorities, convening in downtown Los Angeles next week for the International Association of Ports and Harbors’ (IAPH) 28th World Ports Conference.

The biennial conference will bring together nearly 500 attendees, including executives and officials representing more than 200 ports and businesses throughout the global port and maritime industry.

“Los Angeles will be the stage for ports worldwide to convene, share best practices, advance our industry agenda and learn about the latest trends and issues facing our industry,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director and 2011-2013 IAPH President, Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. “I’m especially pleased that this is the first IAPH conference for almost half of our registered delegates and the conference program reflects the breadth and depth of IAPH as the voice of the global ports community.”

The week-long event will be a homecoming of sorts for Tokyo-headquartered IAPH, as Los Angeles in 1955 hosted the original meeting of 34 ports from 14 countries that led to the creation of IAPH.  Today the organization has nearly 200 member ports from 90 countries. IAPH member ports handle more than 60 percent of the world’s sea-borne trade and nearly 80 percent of the world’s containerized cargo.

Among the influential delegates are 88 port directors or board presidents from Asia, Europe, Africa, the Mideast, Australia and the Americas. The delegates will be attending sessions and discussing policy positions on issues that range from combatting maritime piracy and strengthening passenger safety protocols, to setting safety regulations for how ports handle liquefied natural gas (LNG) as both a cargo and a fuel for vessels.

Emanating from the Port Economic & Finance Committee established in 2012, one 90-minute session moderated by Goldman Sachs Investment Banking Chairman Kathleen Brown will feature ports from around the world discussing the latest trends in topics that include development of financing sources, port property valuation, alternative project financing, risk management/assessment and bottom-line investment assessment criteria.

Speakers include Richard Phillips, the captain of the hijacked Maersk Alabama containership who was taken hostage by Somali pirates in 2009, and Capt. Don Walsh, a renowned Arctic explorer and oceanographer. Click here for the complete agenda.

The 28th World Ports Conference starts Monday with committee meetings, officially opens and runs Tuesday through Thursday, and concludes Friday with a tour of the Port of Los Angeles, the nation’s busiest container terminal.  All other sessions will be located at the JW Marriott at LA LIVE in downtown Los Angeles. Hundreds of foreign delegates have arrived early and plan to stay after the conference to visit the Los Angeles region.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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