AAPA Seaports Magazine,September 2019: Revolutionary Ports

FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK: Revolutionary Ideas Shaping the Future of Ports

By Kurt J. Nagle

As I reached out to Siri the other day for directions to a meeting, I was stunned by how quickly “she” knew what I was asking and spit out the directions. After I arrived without incident to my destination, I was struck by how much times have changed. Even just 10 years ago, heading downtown for a meeting involved printing directions, high hopes for not getting stuck in traffic and the fear of not finding a parking spot. Today, I just manage all of these things on my iPhone.

This is my last Seaports “From the President’s Desk” message before I retire on October 16. It is bittersweet in that revolutionary changes are not just happening with our smart phones but to everything – including ports operations. While I look forward to the next chapter in my life, I will miss the everyday excitement and explosive growth of the port industry.

Thirty-four years ago, when I first started working for AAPA, I would not have been able to conceive of the kinds of things that are revolutionizing this industry. The port industry, to me, has always been remarkable and has had an incredible impact on our quality of life; but the pace at which these things are evolving is astounding.

Seaports are exciting, vibrant and have a significant impact on the economy and to the communities that they serve. However, ports are also leaders and facilitators of more than just goods movement. Our port members are setting the trends and raising the bar when it comes to so many critical issues – from the environment to data management.

This issue of the magazine is dedicated to the topic of revolutionizing ports and centers around four areas including data informed decision making, sustainable operations, new equipment driving drastic operational changes, and digital transformation. In all of these areas, innovation is driving smart solutions and clear results. From drastic reductions in air pollution emissions to the transfer of data both quickly and seamlessly, revolutionary innovations are driving significant results. I encourage you to take the time to read each of these articles – not simply to stay informed but to avail yourself of the expertise and best practices available this issue.

As I leave my post as president of AAPA, I will continue to watch with awe how well our members lead dynamic change and add value to the communities and nations they serve. It makes me even more enthusiastic about ports. I have loved the opportunity to be a “voice” for the industry to those that don’t know or understand ports and to have the opportunity to tell remarkable stories like what is included in this issue of the magazine.

I am proud to have served the industry for so long and honored to have been entrusted with leading this remarkable association.

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