The COVID-19 Pandemic calls for a multi-sectoral response in Asia and the Pacific to protect people and enhance resilience, support economic recovery and restore supply chains and support SMEs. Shipping and ports are a major part of such a response. For most countries in Asia and the Pacific, shipping represents a doorway to global economy. In many cases, especially in SIDS, shipping is a lifeline linking local communities to the regional and global markets and sustaining local social and economic development. Continued and efficient shipping and port operations are, therefore, crucial both for short term policy response to the Pandemic and for speedy and sustainable recovery.
Seamless and smart connectivity along the Asian Highway network in the time of COVID-19
Freight transport operations poses the risks during the pandemics, especially if it is not fully computerized. As documents and goods continue to be subjected to physical checks for customs and other regulatory purposes, crew members and staff at border-crossing points and control terminals are exposed to the risk of contagion by the nature of their work. in this context, the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) and intelligent transport systems (ITS) is directly relevant to the pandemic response and recovery policies.Optimization of automation and digitalization can reduce the need for human interaction, making cross-borders transport safer and more resilient to disruptions. In this context, this technical note aims to offer policy recommendations for policy responses using new technologies and smart road solutions to preserve the regional transport connectivity in the time of the pandemics and other similar disruptions.