Once the BIA and the overarching BCM strategy have been completed and documented, the port should prepare its Business Continuity Plan (BCP).

A Business Continuity Plan aims to ensure continuity of business operations when an event disrupts a port and impacts its operations and activity.

A BCP is generally developed based on the priorities and requirements that evolved from the BIA process. The BCP should be a go-to, practical guide and be regularly maintained in anticipation of an unexpected disruption. Port personnel will use it to ensure that critical business operations, functions, processes and IT applications can quickly resume operations during and after a disruption. BCPs should include all the information the relevant people and teams in the port will need to assess and resume operations quickly and affordably. The plan is generally developed based on the priorities and requirements that evolved from the BIA process.

A typical port BCP should consider and potentially contain the following information on:

  • Roles, responsibilities, rules and structures to document/approve the plan.
  • Emergency procedures to ensure the safety of port employees, clients, customers, etc. present at the port.
  • Response procedures to bring the port back to a functional state and recovery procedures to bring the port back to its pre-incident state.
  • Activation and de-activation procedures, notably when the BCP should be put into action.
  • Coordination procedures with public authorities and other third parties, as appropriate.
  • Communication procedures and call trees (a telecommunications notification chain regarding the incident).
  • Contact information for the team responsible for enacting the BCP, port personnel, customers, suppliers, key third parties, etc.
  • Linkage to critical IT application programmes.
  • Off-site storage of critical back-up media (IT data storage), documentation and other pertinent resources.
  • Meeting locations for BCP or incident response teams and required software. Teleconferencing was particularly important during the pandemic.

These key areas must be appropriately covered in the BCP documentation.

Additional information about BCP is available HERE.