TrainForTrade e-learning course: Building Port Resilience Against Pandemics

28 June - 30 July 2021

Rapid outbreak of a pandemic changes our behaviour and modifies the context in which economic sectors operate. It is crucial to keep countries’ borders open for all forms of freight transport, in particular ports considered to be essential national assets.

Governments need to ensure that health measures are implemented in ways that minimize unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade; in particular, by respecting the requirements of “free pratique” for ships under the International Health Regulations (IHR).


The target of UNCTAD TrainForTrade’s Building Port Resilience Against Pandemics (BPR) special course is to support the implementation of measures and to prepare for and alleviate contingencies related to a pandemic in a port, port terminals, and other seaport actors.

The main objectives of the course are to guarantee the health of port workers and users, to keep ports safe and operational during pandemics, and to facilitate implementation of protocols to ensure health and safety.

Target groups

The course is addressed to all actors involved in international trade, especially those involved with port operations. The course primary and secondary target population are representatives from the following organisations:

Primary target:

  • Port authorities (those include middle and senior managers)
  • Private port management companies
  • Port community operators (those include freight forwards, hauliers, customs agents, ship agents)
  • Port agents (those include pilots, harbour masters)
  • Line ministries staff: Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Commerce 

Secondary target:

  • Trade facilitation committees
  • Port safety and security officers
  • Trade unions
  • Stevedores
  • Local authorities 


Register using the link provided and passcode BPR2021 until 25 June 2021.

Course structure

The course will be delivered in English from 28 June–30 July 2021. It consists of a two-week online course followed by simulation exercises and a webinar. The estimated time needed to complete the course is about 20 hours in total.

The online self-paced moderated course is structured in four sections, giving a precise and ordered view of the different aspects to be taken into account by a port or port organisation in a pandemic situation. It considers both a general vision and specific actions, the psychological and emotional part related to workers, the technological tools, and also considers actions related to ensuring the main activity of a port in the management of the flow of goods.

A set of common recommendations will be developed after the course, to mitigate impacts of the current COVID-19 and future pandemics in port communities around the world. This policy advice will be reflected in UNCTAD 15 deliberations work and related mandate.

Sponsor / funding:
UN Development Account and Irish Aid

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