SAGOV Interview Series-Part III/ Durres Port Authority CEO,Mr. Pirro Vengu describes measures adopted in light of COVID 19 on digital services and health safety

Currently the users of the Port of Durres can use our online platforms. We have especially focused on the online services in the Port of Durres due to the limitations and social distancing. This has enabled the port operators and our clients to receive services on time and at minimal cost.

We all need to understand that in this time of pandemic, health safety on which depends the economic security, port and client safety and the safety of the whole country will remain a priority for the next upcoming months.

There is no maritime trade without ship crews that make it possible. In this time of pandemic, crews, whether Albanian ones, regional or worldwide, have been put to test. Therefore it was important for us to adapt to this situation and to provide a way of operating and the smoothest transition possible for the crews, whose movement is limited, during the pandemic time.

We have implemented the European Commission’s guidelines of April 8th, 2020 for the ships security and crew safety.

Currently at the Port of Durres, in cooperation with the Health Authorities and the Maritime Directorate, it is possible to land Albanian crews and their replacement, surely respecting strict quarantine measures at the moment they land. Despite this, we have managed the landing and repatriation of other crews from the region, such as Montenegro, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, in cooperation with the Police, which together with the health authorities escort these crews to the border check point with strict health measures.

As the European Sea Ports Organization has stated, the health safety must remain a priority for the ports of the region and the entire Mediterranean.

We will continue to take measures for the personal protection of our staff, personal protection of crews. We will continue to maintain the social distances and we will continue to invest in the digital transition which will enable the cost reduction and a better adaption of the port operators to face this situation which will have consequences in the upcoming months.

What we know for certain is that the pandemic has made us understand the importance of the health safety, economic security and food safety in the processing of goods through ports.

The key role that these ports play, should continue to be supported by central authorities and the European ones.

We must continue to maintain the health measures by remaining open and by continuing to supply the local and regional market

Currently the Port of Durres is the place where is processed 60% of the food that supplies the Albanian market. There is no reason to be concerned regarding this matter, but our resistance must continue to remain the same and we must be patient to facilitate a return to normalcy and to the economic security of the whole country.