Mitigation strategies can also incorporate traffic diversion strategies which take into account the closure of certain parts of a port, e.g. a specific terminal or an access corridor. This can involve contingencies to use different terminals within the port if a disruption is only partial. For hinterland access, this can involve an alternative mode or corridor. This could result in higher transport costs and delays, but offers an alternative to route supplies.
The ultimate strategy is to consider a complete traffic diversion if the port is forced to close for a period because of severe disruptions and infrastructure damage. Short-lived disruptions can, on occasion, mean that a few ships will need to be diverted to an alternative port. Cargo can be diverted to other port(s) if the disruption is more extensive and lasts longer (i.e. more than a week). This will require the re-organization of shipping schedules and hinterland services. However, this comes with the risk that the diversion will promote a competing port that could retain the traffic once the disruption is over.
This approach may require more collaboration between port authorities and terminal operators. For instance, in case of disruption a share of a terminal’s capacity could be made available to another terminal on a reciprocal basis. Collaboration between terminal operators within the same port and in neighbouring countries could also support resilience-building. For example, by adopting mutual support agreements among terminals. Encouraging regional port cooperation across countries can also help port resilience. When an individual port is down, the solution could be the use of regional port and/or overland transport networks.