Business Continuity Management is the management capability that identifies risks that threaten the port, analyses their potential consequences if they were to materialize, and supports efforts to prepare for and recover from the impact.

The first step of a BCM plan is to obtain a clear understanding of the business requirements of port operations. The following should be considered:

  • Are there any port regulatory or compliance BCM requirements?
  • Are there any port user demands or expectations relating to the BCM?
  • Do the port’s charter or insurance policies require a BCM?
  • Are there any new developments that may oblige a port to design, review and implement a BCM?
  • What are the capital requirements that are needed to protect a port from financial challenges caused by a disruption?

There are many benefits to having an effective BCM programme. One benefit is that ports are assured that they will be better positioned to keep their business operations running during and after an incident. Other benefits include:

  • Ability to resume operations more quickly due to clear plans being available.
  • Lower disruption costs due to quicker or reduced recovery costs.
  • Greater trust from port users and stakeholders.
  • Safeguard a port’s reputation by having a good record of maintaining operations in the face of disruptions.
  • Better insurance terms, coverage and benefits.
  • Potentially save lives and reduce injuries in the event of hazardous incidents.

Effective BCM requires collaboration across an entire port’s organization and its multiple stakeholders across the maritime supply chain, including with respect to shipping and hinterland operations. The participation of all port business units and departments is required, and employees should be well-trained and equipped to respond to an emergency. An effective BCM programme also requires continued maintenance and testing as well as investment.

BCM is about keeping critical activities available in case of an interruption to port operations. As this risk management strategy is deployed and tested, it enables a port to become more resilient to a wide variety of incidents which could impact its infrastructure, equipment, personnel, superstructures, information technologies and suppliers.

Additional information about BCM is available HERE.