Port operations resilience

Port operations are often a complex process that is highly reliant on systems and people working together 24 x 7.  Being aware of security and continuity risks, preparing for threats and having systems in place to respond to changing circumstances is vital for a secure and resilient operation. 
port operations resilience
Port and terminal operations are conducted in challenging environments and impacts to performance can be experienced when equipment breaks down, systems fail, adequate staffing levels cannot be achieved, if vessels arrive or depart late, or when power outages occur. Concurrent events will intensify issues, so having resilient plans and strategies in place to manage operations during adverse incidents is critical to ensuring the impact on operations is minimised.

Understanding and reducing risks, both physical and technological, is a key task where our Smart Ports team can support ports & terminals, especially where increased technology adoption leads to more focus on systems and data network reliability.

Business Continuity Planning

The Smart Port team support our global clients to improve their organisational resilience with the creation of Business Continuity Plans (BCP), in line with ISO 22301 requirements. The purpose of a port BCP is to identify threats and vulnerabilities to the port, and to mitigate risks by having plans in place to protect resource that are vital for the operation. The primary purpose of developing organisational resilience is to maintain critical tasks and recover as quickly as possible to normal levels of operations.

We work with our clients to identify the risk and threats to their port, from extreme weather, utility reliability, staff or equipment availability and external threats from crime or unrest. We then engage through workshops to create a detailed business impact analysis, which assesses and quantifies the impact of threats on key services. Once the risk and vulnerabilities are fully understood we develop appropriate mitigations and responses plans and procedures to maintain a minimum level of core service with alternative resources.

Exercising, testing and updating the plan annually is critical to sustaining resilience within the port organisation. Our team can conduct annual reviews of the plans and develop tabletop exercises to test and train the nominated resources and stakeholders involved.

Port Security & ISPS

Every port needs protection from security risks, whether to defend against low level theft, vandalism or full-scale terror threats. This starts from perimeter fencing and guard patrols in traditional ports, up-to the adoption of site-wide camera and sensor systems for monitoring the estate centrally in smarter ports.
Our team can provide a security vulnerability assessment for all types of ports and terminals, with reference to the International Ship and Port facility Security code (ISPS) to which all ports trading across borders should adhere.

We can provide recommendations and design for fencing and gates, but also for an integrated approach to security with perimeter intruder detection, CCTV, smart video analysis, use of radar for perimeter scanning. Modern ports are often targets and key parts of a nation’s critical infrastructure, so a robust approach to security preparation is vital.

Royal HaskoningDHV has decades of experience in vulnerability assessment and risk mitigation. We design security measures to protect the entire asset including the perimeter, gate complex, internal operations and coastal areas. We have specialists to conduct port security vulnerability assessments, in line with the ISPS requirements, or any other relevant local guidelines.

Cyber Security in Ports

Smarter Ports are often adding new technology to data networks, including deploying edge computing, IoT devices and mobile operations, as well as opening up to greater port community interaction. These approaches bring a need to enhance the port-specific approach to cyber security. An attack can close-down entire terminals for significant periods, causing financial, reputational and logistical damage.

Our team of cyber security specialists work across all industrial sectors, so bring a rounded and robust approach to reviewing port cyber security. We can provide physical and network scans for weak points and recommend on strategies to improve security and resilience.
Physical and cyber-security are inter-related, and we adopt a joint approach to advising clients and designing robust ports for the future.

Get in touch with our team today to discuss your needs.

Mark Wootton - Director for Terminal automation


Director for Terminal automation