Ports

Port systems provide a vital link for the transportation of goods and passengers. The development and operation of ports provide a number of economic benefits, in particular direct benefits for small and medium enterprises who depend on ship transportation to distribute their products or provide raw materials. As a point of intersection between a country’s rivers, waterways, inland and deep-water areas, ports are vital to economic activity and are significant sources of jobs. Port systems include commercial ports, harbors, and terminals for cargo and passengers transfer and can have different types of ownership and operation schemes. Facilities related to shipping operations include the repair and maintenance of ships, fuel terminals, and transportation of goods to and from the port. The development and operation of ports can pose potential environmental risks, such as air, water and solid waste pollution affecting both public health and local habitats and wildlife. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to minimize these potential negative environmental impacts and risks and to promote more environmentally sustainable port development and operations and ship transportation. For example, the use of cleaner fuels, upgrade/retrofit of cargo equipment, improved water quality by better storm water management, improved infrastructure connections, minimized noise and light pollution by use of alternative equipment/technologies, enhanced biodiversity and ecosystem preservation, and greater energy efficiency. This can help contribute to a better, faster, cheaper and greener way of operating ports while improving the benefits for all stakeholders.