Ports paying price of extreme weather

extreme weather A new survey is assessing how ports are affected by extreme weather. Image: WPSP
Industry Database

A new survey has found that ports have seen an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events and that these have had a serious impact on infrastructure, operations and cost.

More than one in five respondents reported clean-up, damage repair and extra maintenance costs of between US$100,000 and US$10,000,000. In addition to these costs, issues covered by the global survey include the consequences of closures, downtime and delays.

The survey has been organised by the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) on behalf of the partners of the Navigating a Changing Climate (NaCC) initiative, established by The World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC).

Jan Brooke, PIANC lead coordinator of the survey, commented: "Last year, the NaCC partners identified that a lack of data on the consequences of inaction is a potential barrier to justifying investment in improving climate-resilience. So we devised this survey in order to gauge just how much impact extreme weather and oceanographic events are having on ports around the world."

Significant downtime

Nearly two thirds of over 50 ports so far have reported downtimes of between one six-hour shift and seventy two hours. More than half of respondents consider the effects of these extreme-weather induced closures and downtime to be ‘significant' or 'critical’.

The survey also “also deals with the question about how ports can step up their plans to minimise the impact of these events, and how ports can share their experience on how to cope in the aftermath of a specific event,” said Dr Antonis Michail, technical director of the IAPH World Ports Sustainability Program.

The survey remains open for all ports until 20 December.

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