Port Days event offered high-quality discussions and joyful reunions

The Port Days event was arranged this year in Turku. Due to the coronavirus pandemic the event had been postponed by a year, but it could finally be organised safely after the restrictions on gatherings were relieved. The joy of meeting people again and the possibility of genuine participation were seen in the event as lively and thought-provoking discussions.


The Port Days is organised annually by the Finnish Port Association, Finnish Port Operators Association, and the organising port. The programme comprises keynote speeches by experts, discussions, and free-form networking. The goal of the event is above all to support the operators of the port industry in their tasks and provide new points of view to current topics.

“The Port Days event was last arranged in Turku over 10 years ago. This year the programme included, for example, speeches about the future traffic and efficient transport chains, responsibility, and emissions of seafaring”, says Annaleena Mäkilä, Managing Director of the Finnish Port Association.

Towards an emission-free future

On the first day of the event, the discussions focused on greener sea transports, zero emissions, and legislation related to the subject matter.

”We talked above all about the role of ports as part of efficient transport chains. The reduction of emissions in the future will require the seamless transfer of cargo from one mode of transport to another. Ports are nodes where the smooth flow can be affected e.g. through timetables, services of operators, and automation”, Ms Mäkilä lists.

The second day of the event focused on the management of continuity.

”We reviewed the outlook for the development of the seafaring markets and the future of legislation. In addition, we looked into geopolitics and the changing operating environment. The participants considered it important to discuss the views of the future and how they can tell that the investments they make will be profitable”, Ms Mäkilä describes.

The Networking session generated thoughts about changes in decision-making. The effect of traffic on people was also discussed.

”I believe that in the future there will surely be more talk about the dialogue between ports and the communities that surround them. Traffic is a concrete factor that affects people, and its smooth flow and zero emissions status are important issues”, Ms Mäkilä ponders.

During the Port Days, there was a lively exchange of views on the energy revolution and the role of transport and logistics in society.

Ms Mäkilä is satisfied with the versatile offering of the Port Days.

”The feedback on the event was positive, and it seems that the participants returned to their everyday activities with new and interesting thought patterns. In my opinion, some great different views arose in the joint discussions, and I’m sure they provided all of us with good insights. And they can benefit each of us in our own work. I wish to thank all speakers and the many people who took care of the practical arrangements for the successful event”, Ms Mäkilä says.

Text: Hanna Alin
Photos: Aija Kallio

Port Days 15–16 September 2021

  • 160 participants
  • Around 20 speakers
  • Themes included environment, climate, emissions, efficient traffic, geopolitics, and changing operating environment.
  • Arranged by the Finnish Port Association, Finnish Port Operators Association, and Port of Turku Ltd.