The efficient and safe transportation of goods and people are key to APEC's goal of free and open trade in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Transportation Working Group (TPTWG) aims to achieve the liberalization of transportation services and works to enhance the safety of APEC transport systems to encourage economic development. It aims to balance security, safety and environmental requirements with trade facilitation.

The TPTWG has a clearly defined set of priority action areas based on Leaders’ declarations and transportation ministerial meeting statements as well as instructions from senior officials and the Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation.

The TPTWG’s priorities and project outputs respond to directives from APEC Transportation Ministers, APEC Economic Leaders, and the outcomes of APEC Transportation Working Group meetings. These priorities include:

  • Finding ways in which liberalization of transport can promote regional economic integration while ensuring economically productive and healthy competition
  • Responding to new and emerging transport challenges
  • Assisting in the formulation and implementation of standards and mechanisms that improve interoperability and sustainability of transport systems
  • Identifying opportunities to collaborate in maximizing the uptake, opportunities and benefits of technological developments and other innovations, and in mitigating any attendant challenges
  • Increasing the priority placed on transport safety, security, efficiency, and sustainability, while assisting in the development of comprehensive strategies for individual APEC Member Economies
  • Implementing projects

The TPTWG is composed of four expert groups and two affiliation networks.

  • Expert Groups
    • Maritime Expert Group (MEG): The MEG aims to promote an efficient, safe, secure and competitive operating environment for maritime transport, to increase the capacity of ports by improving their efficiency and through other related activities, to support member economies in developing and implementing measures to strengthen maritime security in the APEC region, and to achieve environmentally friendly development and operation. The MEG has one subgroup: the Maritime Security Subgroup (MEG-SEC).
    • Aviation Expert Group (AEG): The AEG’s scope comprises issues directly linked to air services, and aviation security and safety in the APEC region. AEG work programs relate to cooperation for aviation safety, security and facilitation in line with standards and recommended practices of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention). The AEG has three subgroups: the Air Services Subgroup (AEG-SRV), the Aviation Safety Subgroup (AEG-SAF) and the Aviation Security Subgroup (AEG-SEC).
    • Land Expert Group (LEG): The LEG is a forum for member economies to work cooperatively in developing measures to promote efficient, safe, secure, integrated, competitive and environmentally sustainable land transportation systems in the APEC region. In response to TPTWG priorities, the LEG also seeks to strengthen APEC Member Economies’ cooperation on human resources development and personnel training. The LEG has two subgroups: the Road and Rail Safety Subgroup (LEG-SAF) and the Vehicle Standards Harmonization Subgroup (LEG-VSHG).
    • Intermodal and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Experts Group (IIEG): The IIEG is a forum for member economies to promote the implementation of seamless, efficient, sustainable and integrated intermodal transportation systems to facilitate trade in the Asia-Pacific region. The IIEG also promotes the application of electronic commerce, global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), and other advanced ITS technologies. IIEG has one subgroup: the GNSS Implementation Team (IIEG-GIT).
  • Affiliated Networks
    • APEC Port Service Network (APSN): The APSN is a non-profit and self-funded organization, comprised of a council, advisory board, and members of APEC economies. The APSN aims to achieve APEC’s overall goals through economic cooperation, capacity building, and exchange of information and persons among ports, port-associated industries, and services. The APSN reports its work to TPT-WG annually or when required.
    • APEC Seafarers’ Excellence Network (APEC SEN): APEC SEN aims to seamlessly fulfill the demands of the current and emerging needs of the shipping industry and seafarers of the APEC region, by placing a strong emphasis on strengthening employability through strong online and offline networks to yield implementation of quality maritime education and training; attaining better welfare by providing collaborative supports; and career development and retraining for seafarers’ job transitions in the digital age. APEC SEN is comprised of a steering council, expert groups, associates and secretariat.

In recent years, the TPTWG has been exploring new topics for emerging technologies in the field of transportation has been restructuring its agendas to lead to thematically focused discussions.

Since the 45th TPTWG Meeting in Seoul, Korea, TPTWG members have discussed the future of transport in the context of a post-2020 vision for TPTWG as well as two new technology-related issues such as Autonomous Transport and Unmanned Aerial System (UAS).

At the 47th TPTWG Meeting in Vancouver, Canada, TPTWG members agreed to restructure the existing agenda into the following themes:

  • Maritime Expert Group: 1) Connectivity, 2) Capacity Building of Maritime Workforce, 3) Green Ports/Shipping, 4) Maritime Safety/Security
  • Aviation Expert Group: 1) Connectivity, 2) Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), 3) Security Culture & Insider Threat, 4) Women in Aviation and 5) Aviation Skills Training & Workforce Planning
  • Land Expert Group: 1) Major developments in Land Transport (infrastructure projects, supply chain connectivity projects, etc.), 2) Innovative and Emerging Technologies in Land Transport, 3) Safety in land transport, 4) Vehicle standards harmonization
  • Intermodal and Intelligent Transportation Systems Experts Group: 1) Intermodal/Multimodal Logistics, 2) Supply Chain Resiliency and Connectivity, 3) Emerging Technologies, 4) Cross-cutting theme of accessibility and mobility.

In January 2020, TPTWG members intersessionally endorsed the Work Plan for 2020. By carrying out the Work Plan for 2020, the TPTWG will continue to promote two existing initiatives: Women in Transport and Transport Education, while bearing in mind that those initiatives substantively mesh with the Malaysia host year’s three priorities. The TPTWG will encourage the APEC Port Services Network (APSN) and APEC Seafarers’ Excellence Network (APEC SEN) to plan their respective activities in line with the Malaysia Host Year’s priorities. 

TPTWG will continue to strengthen cross-fora collaboration with relevant APEC fora such as the Human Resources Development Working Group, the Energy Working Group, the Counter Terrorism Working Group and the Automotive Dialogue (AD). In addition, the TPTWG will promote stronger engagement with the private sector in the field of transportation. 

The TPTWG will advance the aforementioned focused thematic discussions in a constructive way that will substantively contribute to identifying new priorities in the Strategic Plan of TPTWG for 2021–2025. The TPTWG will ensure that these discussions will lead to a full alignment of these new priorities with the APEC Vison Statement, which will be adopted at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting 2020.

Last page update: January 2020

Current Activities

The 48th TPTWG Meeting was held in Moscow, Russia, from 18 to 21 November 2019.

TPTWG members agreed to endorse the revised terms of reference of the TPTWG. This revision aimed at subsuming all terms of reference of four experts groups and their respective subgroups into the terms of reference of the TPTWG. The revised terms of reference will be tabled to the SCE and SOM for their respective endorsements at SOM 1 2020.

TPTWG members agreed to continue discussions about TPTWG structural reform at the upcoming meetings in 2020. The conversations on this initiative seek to adapt the current TPTWG activities to better reflect and respond to the technologically disruptive environment of transportation.

MEG members welcomed the valuable outcomes of the project on slow steaming by Chile. APEC SEN reported its official launch, recent activities, and plans for 2020. In addition, security-related issues were discussed under the MEG–SEC, including the maritime security initiative updates and economy reports on ISPS Code (International Ship and Port Facility Security Code) implementation.

AEG members had meaningful discussions and shared experiences related to the following main themes: connectivity, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), security culture and insider threats, women in aviation, and aviation skills Training and workforce planning.

LEG members discussed 14 presentations on major developments in land transport, innovative and emerging technologies in land transport, safety in land transport, and vehicle standards harmonization. LEG members reviewed its Work Plan 2019 and decided to include the draft concept notes tabled at the meeting.

IIEG members presented nine economy reports. Two (China and New Zealand) focused on intermodal/multimodal logistics; one (ITF) focused on supply chain resiliency and connectivity; two (Korea and the United States) focused on emerging technologies session, and four (Malaysia; Chinese Taipei; the United States and the ITF) focused on the crossing-cutting theme of accessibility and mobility. The IIEG and LEG held a joint session on the topic of autonomous vehicles, with presentations from the China; the United States; Korea; Japan and the ITF. 

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The TPTWG has successfully implemented a significant number of projects including: