PORTS Australia has announced the agenda for its upcoming 2024 Biennial Conference in Hobart.

This year’s program is shaped around the theme of “navigating new horizons, adapting for tomorrow’s challenges”.

Ports Australia said attendees can expect “groundbreaking discussions” between maritime visionaries over the course of the event.

The conference kicks off on Tuesday 29 October with member meetings and a port tour throughout the afternoon and the official welcome reception in the evening.

The following two days are packed with sessions exploring regional maritime collaboration, international perspectives, port governance, green shipping, offshore wind and supply-chain efficiency.

Ports Australia CEO Mike Gallacher said the agenda looks at maximising Australia’s supply chain and at future energies in the port space.

“We are honoured to welcome global port community leaders who will share invaluable insights and experience,” Mr Gallacher said.

“It is imperative to foster collaboration and innovation to ensure a resilient and sustainable future for our ports.”

TasPorts CEO Anthony Donald said the conference is “a fantastic opportunity” to bring together the nation’s port authorities and operators.

“As Tasmania’s port authority, we look forward to welcoming delegates to Australia’s most southerly city,” he said.

“Hobart’s unique position as the gateway to the Antarctic adds a distinctive edge to the conference, and we look forward to sharing our insights and experiences with everyone.”

Among the highlights in the program is an update on the international maritime landscape, featuring International Association of Ports and Harbors president Jens Meier and managing director Patrick Verhoeven.

Mr Verhoeven said Australian ports and other ports throughout the region count among the global forerunners in terms of sustainability.

“Their mixed logistics and industrial profile and specific governance model make them well-placed to lead in areas such as energy transition,” Mr Verhoeven said.

“But ports cannot achieve decarbonisation and other sustainability targets on their own. That is why it is important that the broader maritime supply chain community, including ship and cargo owners, as well as energy producers and technology providers, are present in Hobart, to interact and discuss partnerships and innovations with port operators and port authorities.”

The program also includes a tour of the Australian Maritime College in Launceston on Monday 28 October (ahead of formal proceedings) and a gala dinner at Glen Albyn Estate.

More information on the Ports Australia 2024 Biennial Conference is available here.