About the guidebook


The guidebook presents a step-by-step approach to resilience building in the maritime supply chain. It sets out risk identification, assessment and management tools and techniques, and describes a resilience-building process for ports. The guidebook emphasizes lessons learned and good practices and highlights relevant measures that can be implemented to prepare, respond and recover from disruptions.

Three types of mitigation and response measures are identified in the guidebook:

  1. Before a disruption materializes (ongoing). Mainly strategies that aim to anticipate, plan, prepare, forecast, and integrate uncertainty through scenario planning, as well as invest in data and intelligence gathering for greater preparedness. Relevant measures include scanning and monitoring mechanisms to trace and track evolving risks and stay up to date.
  2. During a disruption (immediate). Such as protocols and emergency responses.
  3. After a disruption (medium to long term). Includes actions that seek to mitigate impact, enable recovery and ensure adaptation to an emerging “new normal”.

The guidebook is aimed at stakeholders across the maritime supply chain involved in building port resilience, and more specifically key actors and stakeholders participating in the port ecosystem while operating, managing or regulating port-related transport and logistics chains. These can be organized in layers representing their respective importance and level of intervention, and include:

                 (i) governmental planning and regulatory agencies;

                (ii) port authorities;

                (iii) port operators and port management companies;

                (iv) terminal operators; and

                (v) infrastructure managers.

Other relevant stakeholders include: (i) freight forwarders; (ii) customs authorities; (iii) carriers and shipping companies; (iv) shippers and cargo owners; and (v) inland carriers and inland logistics operators (e.g. dry ports, inland container depots, warehouses, logistics and distribution centres). Collaboration between each of these stakeholders is key to achieving resilience.

The guidance focuses on container ports. Although containerized shipments only represent about 16 per cent of world maritime trade by volume, they account for more than 70 per cent of its value. Container shipping and ports are particularly relevant to commercial and retail supply chains on which consumers directly depend upon. In this context, ports represent potential single points of failure in the maritime supply chain.

The guidebook is structured in four parts:

  • PART I. Sets out the key concepts and relevant approaches to risk identification, assessment, and management, including response and recovery measures. It addresses port disruption and resilience and features a stepwise methodology and a Toolbox for Port Risk Management and Resilience-Building.
  • PART II. Expands on Part I and further details the various hazards and risks that can disrupt port activity.
  • PART III. Presents case studies relaying port disruption experiences from different regions, a compilation of good practices and lessons learned.
  • PART IV. Features an Annex including definitions and concepts, a list of relevant resources and additional information on the Port Risk Management and Resilience-Building Toolbox presented in Part I.