The term "operational resilience" incorporates traditional risk identification and detection tools, e.g. as business impact assessment (BIA), horizon scanning (HS), scenario planning, risk management, and mitigation techniques, such as business continuity planning (BCP) and crisis management. These techniques are implemented in various ways and can each be of greater relevance before, during or after a disruption. "Operational resilience" needs to be combined with "strategic resilience," which entails value-adding activities, and a well-entrenched culture that supports risk management and resilience objectives. "Strategic resilience" also requires effective communications, including among decision-makers at the port level.

Thus, operational resilience relates to the port's capabilities, while strategic resilience relates to the culture in which it thrives. ‘Pro-resilience’ organizational cultures, including operational and strategic activities, are best set top-down and led by clear examples.

Two elements are crucial for successful organizational cultures that promote resilience:

  1. Whether the risk management capability is in the hands of individuals reporting directly to the senior port management, and whether there are sufficient and appropriately trained and competent staff, or advisors in risk management techniques.
  2. Whether performance measurement systems, such as key performance indicators (KPIs) (e.g. vessel time spent at ports), and key risk indicators (KRIs) (e.g. availability of the port’s main operational IT system) are in place.