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 the 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  meetings. The 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 ports’ capacity by improving the efficiency of ports and related activities in the APEC region, 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. MEG has one Sub-group: the Maritime Security Sub-group (MEG-SEC).

Aviation Expert Group (AEG): AEGs 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). AEG has three Sub-groups: the Air Services Sub-group (AEG-SRV), Aviation Safety Sub-group (AEG-SAF), and Aviation Security Sub-group (AEG-SEC).

Land Expert Group (LEG): 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 TPT-WG priorities, LEG also seeks to strengthen APEC Member Economies’ cooperation on human resources development and personnel training. LEG has two Sub-groups: the Road and Rail Safety Sub-group (LEG-SAF) and the Vehicle Standards Harmonization Sub-group (LEG-VSHG).

Intermodal and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Experts Group (IIEG): 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 sub-group: the GNSS Implementation Team (IIEG-GIT).


Affiliated Networks

APEC Port Service Network (APSN): 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 on its work to TPT-WG annually or when required.

APEC Seafarers’ Excellence Network (APEC SEN): APEC SEN is comprised of the Steering Council, Expert Groups, Associates and Secretariat. 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 re-training for seafarers’ job transitions in the digital age.

The TPTWG is actively involved in cross-forum collaboration with the Tourism Working Group, Energy Working Group, Business Mobility Group and Automotive Dialogue. The working group also collaborates with the International Air Transport Association and the International Maritime Organization

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

In early 2018, the TPTWG endorsed a new terms of reference (TOR), a work plan for 2018 and a Strategic Plan for 2018-2020. At the 48th meeting of the TPTWG held in Moscow from 18 to 21 November 2019, the group revised its TOR to integrate all four TORs of its expert groups into an overall TPTWG TOR. On 25 March 2020, the Steering Committee on Economic Cooperation (SCE) approved this revised TOR.

The TPTWG’s members endorsed its work plan for 2020 on 24 January 2020. The SCE approved it on 27 February 2020.

As COVID-19 has impacted many of APEC’s planned activities, senior officials mandated all working groups, including the TPTWG, to actively respond to the virus’s effect on the region. To honor this mandate, TPTWG members agreed to revise its work plan for 2020.

TPTWG members agreed to convene the 49th Meeting of the TPTWG in a virtual format and adopt a thematic approach to spread the following thematic virtual meetings over the coming months from June to November 2020.

  • Meeting of the Heads of Delegation and Management (24 June 2020)
  • Four Expert Group Meetings (July to August 2020)
  • Two Affiliated Networks Meetings (July to August 2020)
  • Thematic Meetings 1 (September to November 2020)
    • Autonomous Vehicles
    • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
    • Impacts of COVID 19 on Mobility and Connectivity, including Global Supply Chains
    • TPTWG Structural Reform
  • Thematic Meetings 2 (Project Workshops) (September to November 2020)
    • APEC SEN Seafarers On-Board Training (TPT 03 2019A)
    • Combating Human Trafficking (TPT 04 2019A)
    • App-based Mobility (TPT 07 2019A)

The TPTWG will continue to promote two existing initiatives—women in transport and transport education—bearing in mind that they substantively mesh with the Malaysian Host Year’s three priorities. The TPTWG will encourage the APEC Port Services Network and APEC Seafarers’ Excellence Network to build their respective activities in line with the Malaysian Host Year’s three priorities. 

In recent years, the TPTWG has actively explored new topics for emerging technologies in the field of transportation. Simultaneously, the group has made the utmost effort to restructure its agenda in a more efficient manner that will 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 systems (UAS). The TPTWG will also advance the focused thematic discussions in a constructive way that will substantively contribute to identifying new priorities in the Strategic Plan for the TPTWG for 2021–2025. The group will ensure that these discussions will lead the full alignment of these new priorities with the APEC Vison Statement.

Last page update: June 2020

Current Activities

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

Maritime Expert Group:

  • Connectivity
  • Capacity building of maritime workforce
  • Green port/shipping
  • Maritime safety/security

    Aviation Expert Group

  • Connectivity
  • Unmanned aerial system (UAS)
  • Security culture & insider threats
  • Women in aviation
  • Aviation skills training & workforce planning

    Land Expert Group

  • Major developments in land transport (infrastructure projects, supply chain connectivity projects, etc.)
  • Innovative and emerging technologies in land transport
  • Safety in land transport
  • Vehicle standards harmonization


  • Intermodal/multimodal logistics
  • Supply chain resiliency and connectivity
  • Emerging technologies
  • Cross-cutting theme of accessibility and mobility.

The 48th TPTWG Meeting was held in Moscow, Russia, from 18 to 21 November 2019. TPTWG members agreed to endorse a revised terms of reference. This revision aimed at subsuming all the TORs of four experts groups and their respective sub-groups into the TOR of TPTWG. The revised TOR were tabled at the SCE meeting and the SOM for their respective endorsements at SOM 1 2020.

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

The four expert groups had the following discussions:

MEG members welcomed the valuable outcomes of a 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 by 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 discussed reports by five economies and the International Transport Forum (ITF). A report by China and New Zealand focused on intermodal/multimodal logistics. One by the ITF focused on supply chain resiliency and connectivity. A report by Korea and the US focused on emerging technologies and a report by Malaysia, Chinese Taipei, the US 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 US, Korea, Japan and the ITF. 

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The Transportation Working Group (2017-2020)

The TPTWG has successfully implemented a significant number of projects.