IAPH World Ports Conference 2021

Address: Antwerp, Belgium

The port landscape is transforming. A changing of the guard is upon us almost everywhere that meets the eye.

Ports can no longer afford to deal only with their land users and attract shipowners. They are finally bidding to offer long-term value to cargo owners.

​Influential cargo owners and charterers are now demanding shipowners to decarbonise and digitalise to keep up with their own customers’ needs. Ports will have to respond. COVID19 has forced through port community innovations in the digital sphere that were otherwise unthinkable one year ago. Paper is making way for data.

The United States is re-emerging from protectionism. Africa is becoming an epicenter of growth. Regional superpowers in Asia and Latin America are vying with traditional global regulators for a seat at the top table. Europe has a new ambitious climate agenda.

#IAPH2021 will explore the players who are shaping the new, complex environment in which ports operate. What they think. What their plans mean for ports.

In partnership with IHS Markit and Port of Antwerp, a new IAPH offers you a world-class experience of virtual and potential live, face-to-face interaction with the people who run and influence the world’s ports.


Business Innovation

The next era for ports will demand a changing of the guard. A new generation of leaders with quite different leadership qualities are needed to match the challenges ports face in the future. What does that profile look like? What role does diversity have to play in this? How can new leadership thrive from an organizational perspective? How can ports ensure they deploy technological innovations successfully? What sort of innovation leadership is needed to create a truly value-creating port cluster?

Climate and Energy

The transition of ports towards generating renewable energy and providing alternative bunker fuel for shipping is underway. But is it ambitious enough? How can both ports and shipping communities combine forces to fast track this transition? Which decarbonized bunker fuels of the future can be realistically deployed at scale on the landside? Can ports truly spearhead onshore power, energy regeneration and circular economic activity from its supply chain, passenger traffic and industrial activities?

Data Collaboration

To date, only 49 of the 174 Member States of the International Maritime Organization possess functioning Port Community Systems. How can the rest of the world’s ports catch up with high-profile “Smart Ports” and not be left even further behind? Should cyber-safe data collaboration and standards be agreed to or enforced? How can ports create an atmosphere of trust between private enterprises and public authorities to improve efficiencies and reduce overall turnaround times of vessels calling at their berths?

Risk and Resilience

COVID19 has propelled port resilience and risk management to the top of board agendas, not just against future pandemics, but also business continuity as a strategy for ports. In this heightened era of risk how can ports prepare themselves for the unexpected but inevitable disruptive event? Industry experts will offer you crucial insights and guidance into this emerging hot topic, including ports’ use of virtual digital twins, how to prepare for exceptional weather events, and putting port risk management into practice.

The Century of Africa

This is the Century of Africa. Its 3,000+ communities now have 1.3 billion people, of which almost 60% are under the age of 25. By 2100, 40% of the world’s population will be African. With such cultural diversity and rich natural resources, Africa has unlimited growth opportunities. Yet connecting countries digitally and with continent-wide hinterland infrastructure remains problematic. How can Africa’s revitalised ports sector act as hubs for end-to-end multi-modal solutions help unleash the continent’s true potential? Can ports help convert Africa from a natural resource exporter and low-value import trader into a new China?

For more information or to register visit World Ports Conference 2021