The International Association of Ports and Harbors
On 7 November 1955, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) was founded in Los Angeles, U.S.A., where 126 delegates from 38 ports and port organizations in 15 countries gathered to celebrate the birth of this worldwide body of ports and harbors. We owe a debt of gratitude to the founding fathers of IAPH for their farsighted recognition of the need for ports in the world to be united. The past four decades and a half have seen IAPH steadily grow and develop as a truly leading organization of the global port community representing, if not all, a majority of ports and harbors in the world. It is a non-profit-making and non-governmental organization (NGO) headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.
World Ports Association
Since its inception, IAPH has served the global port industry and formed a global alliance of ports and harbors over the past decades. Being the World Ports Association, IAPH comprises now some 230 Regular Members - leading ports in 89 countries and economies, who are public port authorities, private port operators and government agencies. In 2000, a total of 7.1 billion tons - accounting for nearly 60% of the world sea-borne trade - was handled by IAPH member ports, and over 95% of world container traffic was handled by them. In addition, more than 100 shipping, stevedoring and warehousing businesses, national and regional port associations, port and maritime research institutes, and manufacturers of port-related products are represented as Associate members.
Though "unity" characterizes IAPH, its membership is in reality diverse. In terms of port operation, we have landlord ports, operating ports, and a mixture of both. As to ownership, we have public port authorities - national, state, municipal - and private port/terminal operating companies, and a joint venture of public and private sectors. IAPH seeks ways and means to harmonize such diversity, but at the same time diversity is often our strength and assets! We in IAPH are united in a spirit of friendship and cooperation to help one another, large and small, developed and developing.
Mission Statement and Motto
IAPH is often referred to as the "United Ports of the World", in which active players in the global port community, namely Port CEOs, Port Directors and Port Managers are represented to promote and advance their common cause and interests. To accomplish its goals, IAPH strives to achieve the following mission; to promote the development of the international port and maritime industry by fostering cooperation among members in order to build a more cohesive partnership among the world's ports and harbors, thereby promoting peace in the world and the welfare of mankind; to ensure that the industry's interests and views are represented before international organizations involved in the regulation of international trade and transportation and that they are incorporated in the regulatory initiatives of these organizations; and to collect, analyze, exchange and distribute information on developing trends in international trade, transportation, ports and the regulations of these industries.
IAPH's motto is "World Peace Through World Trade - World Trade Through World Ports". As clearly stated in its constitution, IAPH is committed to "promoting peace in the world and the welfare of mankind" as its ultimate goal.