Seaports Magazine - Summer 2016 - (Page 8)
FRoM tHe PResIDent's Desk
Ports as Good Neighbors
By Kurt J. Nagle
President & CEO
American Association of Port Authorities
y the very nature of the work they do, ports cannot and
do not exist in isolation. Many port cities are some of
the western hemisphere's oldest cities as well, as communities grew up around places where people could
trade goods and have access to other parts of the world via oceans,
rivers, bays and the Great Lakes. Many port cities remain popular
tourist destinations and desirable places to live, as population
density and trends in migration to the coasts have continued to
place pressure on waterfront property.
AAPA member ports in all four of our delegations recognize
and embrace their responsibilities when it comes to being key
partners in their communities. While individual ports and individual communities each have their own specific sets of priorities,
constraints, goals and limitations, there are consistent values and
themes that emerge throughout the hemisphere.
Ports recognize the need to conduct business in an open, transparent way. Whether for the benefit of customers and business
partners or communities and other stakeholders, port authorities
understand that they occupy a unique space as public entities
that are often expected to perform financially like private ones.
It's that public role that drives ports to open their doors, their
meetings, their books, their processes and their decision-making
to members of the public and the media.
Ports also understand that their operations and expansion
projects often have impacts on nearby communities, and those
impacts must be mitigated.
But mitigation efforts must not hamper ports' abilities to be
economic engines for their cities and regions. For many ports,
this role of job creation and economic activity was the driving
force behind their creation decades or even centuries ago. So
ports must always be mindful of contributing to the prosperity
of their communities.
While individual ports and
individual communities each have
their own specific sets of priorities,
constraints, goals and limitations,
there are consistent values and
themes that emerge throughout
AAPA SEAPORTS MAGAZINE
The best supply chain strategy in
the business doesn't stand a chance
of being effective if community
groups block projects, speak out
against operational changes or
challenge port business decisions.
This issue of Seaports focuses on the theme of Ports as Good
Neighbors. It's intended to provide a look at this idea from the
executive office down to the community relations manager.
Some of the toughest decisions that ports deal with include
changing landscapes when it comes to balancing human capital
with technology or being forced to be a part of conflicts over
energy cargoes and policies. They must constantly try to determine
what their responsibilities are to themselves, their stakeholders
and their communities.
The big picture philosophy of a port's relationship with its community has to come from port leadership - a strategic direction
set by the port director, the port commission or the combined
work of both. Articulating the organization's commitment to the
community is important so neighbors understand that they are
important to the port authority - not just to a particular staff
member or port department.
But it is those staff departments that ultimately must carry
out the vision of the executive or board - spending time in the
community, building relationships, participating in events and
creating programs that provide visibility to the port and value
to its neighbors. With that work in mind, this issue includes a
Community Outreach Toolbox that showcases some of the many
best practices in use in our industry today. I think this portion of
Seaports will be of particular value to our members.
This topic will be discussed in more detail at the AAPA Cargo
Optimization Seminar, June 7-8 in Jersey City, New Jersey. This
new program aims to meet the needs of both container and noncontainer ports and cover supply chain optimization as well as
community relations. After all, the best supply chain strategy in
the business doesn't stand a chance of being effective if community groups block projects, speak out against operational changes
or challenge port business decisions. For a port to be effective
at moving cargo, it needs to have both sound infrastructure and
operational efficiencies as well as the support of its neighbors. ●
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Summer 2016
From the President's Desk
Ports Strengthen Partnerships Via Community Outreach
The Slippery Slope: Ethical Considerations in Port Business Decisions
Community Outreach Toolbox
Symbiotic Cooperation Leads to Success for Everyone
Community Relationships: Build Them Now
Port Community Outreach: A University's Role
Index of Advertisers
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2016