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Port of Açu leads global task force of IAPH on exchange of best practices towards COVID-19

04/03/2020 | 18h37

A major gateway for international trade in Brazil, the Port of Açu, located in São João da Barra (Rio de Janeiro state), is taking on a strategic leadership role with important national and global partners in the discussion of measures in the fight against Covid-19. As the virus was spreading within Brazil, Açu reached out to ports around the world to share and map the challenges and solutions implemented. This benchmark was carried out in record time and encompassed data collection, processing and distribution of an analytical report with the best adopted initiatives.


The result was recognized and distributed by the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH). Tessa Major, the Director of International Business & Innovation at Porto do Açu Operações, was elected IAPH’s vice president for South and Central America in January. Port of Açu’s initiative on the Covid-19 benchmark inspired IAPH to create a dedicated task force for this virus, invitingMs. Major to chair this committee, whose mission is to analyze the coronavirus’ impacts on the international port industry and gather best practices based on success cases in other ports.


The group is composed of specialists from ports of international reference, such as Antwerp, Rotterdam, London, Felixstowe, Los Angeles, Guangzhou and Busan. Based on their reports, the Port of Açu together with IAPH will propose guidelines and best practices for ports to fight the coronavirus. “We believe that collective and collaborative actions will be key to maintain security and fight the spread of this virus. The combined strength of a group of professionals located in different parts of the world will allow us to have proactive, agile and excellent communication, with a flow of information focused on the constant improvement of security measures in the Port of Açu and in the community where we operate,” says Ms. Major.

Among the practices that were observed and encouraged, the report concluded that most ports activated crisis committees to monitor the progress of Covid-19 and propose mitigation guidelines. Home office and changed shifts for operational workers have also been implemented by all ports associated with IAPH. Another important action involves transparent dialogue with employees and the community through daily updates with educational content in order to disseminate the health agencies’ recommendations for mitigating the coronavirus.


In practice, the task force will encourage ports around the world to share knowledge, so that they can safely continue their operations during the pandemic. Given theimpacts caused by Covid-19, it is vital to keep ports up anddrunning to ensure that countries are supplied with materials and goods essential for their populations. The task force also studied measures to keep all employees and communities around the ports healthy and safe. The conclusion is that collective and collaborative actions will be key to maintain safety and to hold back the spread of this new virus.


To read the document that Açu developed in partnership with 11 ports around the world, please visit


About IAPH

The International Association of Ports and Harbors is a non-governmental and non-profit organization that enjoys global recognition and respect, representing 200+ ports in approximately 90 countries. Its members are responsible for 60% of the world's maritime traffic and its mission is to promote the interests of ports worldwide through strong relationships between members, collaboration and shared strategic information.


About the Portof Açu

Operational since 2014, the Port of Açu has great vocation for the O&G segment due to its strategic location, near the main offshore basins in Brazil, and handles oil, iron ore, coal, pet coke, bauxite, general and project cargo etc.


The private port has an area of 130 km², out of which 40 km² are occupied by an environmental protection reserve. There are currently 14 companies installed on the enterprise: Porto do Açu Operações, Açu Petróleo, BP Prumo, B-Port (a company belonging tothe Edison Chouest Group), InterMoor, NOV, TechnipFMC, Wärtsilä, Ferroport, Anglo American, Dome, GNA (Gás Natural Açu), Estação Açu andAeródromo Norte Fluminense.


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