The deadly spread of Covid-19, and the economic and trade disruption the pandemic has caused, is prompting port managers to examine new ways to improve risk management and digital processes, according to the latest biennial global ports survey conducted by Remy InfoSource.
The 2020 iSpec Ports Industry Survey was undertaken during the height of worldwide economic lockdowns in the second quarter of 2020.
It revealed that more than half (51%) of port executive respondents identified risk management as the key area they would like to improve on in the future, up from 32% in the previous iteration of the survey undertaken in 2018.
In that year the top two areas for improvement noted by ports and terminal executives were ‘shorter lead times’ and ‘more standardisation’.
‘Risk management’ was also the leading reason pinpointed by respondents when asked to identify the most problematic issues they had encountered when managing complex outsourced projects. In 2018 ‘tracking project compliance and delivery’ was the most problematic area identified by respondents.
“I think it’s no surprise that in such an uncertain world the importance of risk management has increased dramatically,” said Pieter Boshoff, CEO of Remy InfoSource.
“Disruption to supply chains has increased across the globe, causing operational and investment uncertainty, with social distancing rules also changing the way we all conduct our business.
“Managing that risk has become a major challenge at ports, particularly when it comes to managing outsourced equipment tender and procurement projects that are often complex in nature and frequently involve multiple vendors.”
71% of the respondents this year were port operators, up from 58% in 2018, with over two thirds responsible for the procurement of quay cranes, reach stackers and trailers.
Remy InfoSource is the lifecycle contract management specialist behind iSpec, a web and mobile-based software procurement solution for buyers of capital-intensive outsourced projects such as ports.