Preparedness ensures operating also in exceptional conditions
Around 90 per cent of Finland’s foreign trade is carried by sea. The importance of maritime routes is further emphasised in exceptional conditions, when the emergency supply for the whole of Finland mostly leans on functioning transports and logistics.
The Port of Turku has been determined a critical port in terms of emergency supply, which requires a high level of preparation of the Port in case of various disturbances and exceptional conditions.
The contingency programme guides preparations
”The Port of Turku has for a long time been preparing for the prevention of various exceptional situations and operations during them. For that purpose, the Port has clear contingency plans which are consistent with the Port’s own safety programmes and those determined by the international ISPS code. Contingency plans always involve a recovery plan as well. It will enable us to restore operations to normal as soon as possible after the exceptional situation is over. The programmes related to preparedness and safety have been audited and they are reviewed regularly”, says Erik Söderholm, Managing Director of Port of Turku Ltd.
Right now, current issues in Turku as well as other ports include e.g. ensuring the electricity supply of the Port and questions related to cyber security and hybrid influencing. Various risk scenarios are also prepared for by looking into the use of digitalisation e.g. to prevent the passage of unauthorised passengers and dangerous goods. The port area is an area subject to restrictions of access and stay in accordance with the decree of the Ministry of the Interior which provides the Port with expanded rights to guarantee security in the area.
Co-operation plays an important role in the operations
The preparedness to respond to the challenges of exceptional times is developed together with various authorities. The Port of Turku is also part of the National Emergency Supply Agency’s Port Pool which supports the preparing of critical ports in terms of emergency supply.
”The forms of co-operation include various exercises as well as studies and plans conducted together. The most recent large preparedness exercise took place in September when the Port participated in the Aurora22 exercise that covered all of Southwest Finland. The purpose of the exercises is to develop the co-operation between different authorities and other parties, the flow of information between the participants, and management at exceptional times”, Antti Pekanheimo, Chief Operating Officer of Port of Turku Ltd says about the goals of the exercises. At the same time, the exercises develop the relations between different operators also at a personal level, which is very significant in terms of contacts in exceptional conditions. In addition to national networks, the Port operates as part of international networks.
Personnel and organisation in a key position
Professional, competent, and reliable personnel also plays a key role in preparedness. The Port of Turku’s entire organisation has been trained for and committed to operating accordingly. The requirements for preparedness are taken into account in such a way that the operating can be secured in exceptional conditions, too.
Text: Kari Ahonen
Photo: Markku Koivumäki