SDG 11: Cities SDG 12: Commerce SDG 9: Infrastructure

Port managers: time to act, learn from ‘notable few’

What are they waiting for? A new study reveals that most have not awakened to climate risks and offers key recommendations.

The Entry

That’s Ane Mærsk Mc-Kinney Uggla in the photo, the youngest daughter of late Maersk owner and CEO Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, when she unveiled the company’s first Triple-E post-Panamax mega ship in 2013.

The Triple-E, then the largest cargo ship ever built, marked a dramatic innovation in logistics sustainability, as it features fantastic green advances on several fronts.

From a resilience perspective, ships built with circular-economy reuse and recycle of parts and those that slow steam for higher energy efficiency, help insulate supply chains from climate events that disrupt shipbuilding and energy sources.

Tech-based and biofuel innovations hold even greater promise, for a segment that was actually excluded from the Paris Agreement.

More resilient shipping is one of the many recommendations of a landmark recent study reported last month by WIREs Climate Change on ways to make ports and logistics more climate resilient. The big take-away: most port managers have not gotten the memo and must wake up and get with it, FAST.

The Story

Implications of Climate Change for Shipping: Ports and Supply Chains

By WIREs Authors, Advanced Science News, 2 March 2018


  • “This ‘inter-connectedness’ means that even a short-term loss of port capacity (e.g., due to a natural disaster) can cause local and global ripple effects in logistics and trade-dependent industries, such as imported food, energy, and assembled products.
  • “About a third of the world’s ports are located in areas prone to tropical storms. There has already been major damage and disruption to ports from climate-related hazards, and such impacts are projected to increase in the years and decades to come.”
  • The study found, though, that this is “generally not being factored into port management. Only a notable few have actually made the next step toward implementing adaptation strategies.”

Related video: thinking “decades ahead” and worst case on ports resilience

Long-time green-economy and business journalist, sustainability analyst and communications executive, including 14 years as reporter and editor of Caribbean Business in Puerto Rico, five years as Sustainability Director at two banks on the island, general manager of a green marketing agency, and since 2014 independent strategist, blogger, consultant, freelance writer, and now Editor-Publisher of The Resilience Journal and Founder-President of COMMON Future, a climate-adaptation studio scaling game-changing Next Resilience with communications, construction and culture. Alex is also communications adviser to the American Society of Adaptation Professionals and resilience lead at the Puerto Rico chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.

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