An Introduction to the Inter-American Committee on Ports

The Port of Seattle on a clear Spring day

The modern world couldn’t function without global trade and shipping. International trade unlocks economic opportunities and gives billions of people access to the items they need at prices they can afford.

International shipping can’t take place without organized ports to help move cargo in and out of a region. Unfortunately, ports have a bad reputation in some circles—they’re undeservedly associated with corruption and inefficiency. The Inter-American Committee on Ports (CIP) is working to change this mindset. It’s the only organization that brings the national port authorities of 35 member countries together to improve shipping and logistics for everyone.

The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States founded the CIP in 2005. It’s primarily concerned with collaboration in the fields of navigation and port sector development. Though CIP’s work focuses on countries in the Western Hemisphere, people around the world feel the impact of its efforts.

What the CIP Is All About:

1) Helping Port Cities Win

The goal of the CIP is to make each port a model of inclusive, secure, and sustainable operations. The organization assists with port development projects in service of this goal. When port cities win, it’s good for everyone.

2) Policy Dialogue

Before policies can change, people need to talk about them. The CIP is committed to fostering a dialogue between different governments and trade organizations in its sphere of influence.

3) Increasing Capacity

Economists expect the importance of global shipping to increase. The CIP is preparing for this by working to enhance the capacity and capabilities of ports around the world. Improving port infrastructure is the best way to achieve this goal.

4) Technical Assistance

Computers and other technology have revolutionized nearly every industry, logistics certainly included. Technology can make ports run more smoothly and efficiently, but only if shipping professionals know how to apply it. The CIP supports programs to educate port employees about new technologies.

5) Cooperation with Private Sector

All too often, the public and private sectors are at odds with each other. Private sector entities would prefer to be left alone to work, while public sector entities are tasked with protecting people, facilities, and the environment. The CIP facilitates communication between members of the public and private sectors and helps them come to an understanding.

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