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The Impact of Changing Ship Technology on Ports Development

Essay by   •  October 15, 2018  •  Case Study  •  3,648 Words (15 Pages)  •  102 Views

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The Impact of Changing Ship Technology on Ports Development

  1. What is port?

A port is a maritime commercial facility which may comprise one or more wharves where ships may dock to load and discharge passengers and cargo. Although usually situated on a sea coast or estuary, some ports, such as Duluth, Hamburg and Manchester are many miles inland with access from the sea via river or canal. A port is a facility for receiving ships and transferring cargo. They usually situated at the edge of an ocean, sea, river, or lake. Ports often have cargo –handling equipment such as forklifts and cranes (operated by longshoremen) for use in loading and unloading of ships, which may be provided by private interests or public bodies. Often, canneries or other processing facilities will be located nearby. Port which handle international traffic have customs facilities.

The terms ‘ports’ and ‘seaport’ are used for ports that handle ocean-going vessel and river port is used for facilities that handle river traffic such as barges and other shallow draft vessels.  Some ports on lake, river, or canal have access to the sea or ocean and sometimes called inland ports.

2.0 The impact of major technologies advanced and changes in the shipping environment on port functions and activities

 Port and shipping have been key factors in the ESCAP region’s extraordinary economic growth and development. A port is not just a linkage between land and sea. It can accommodate industrial complexes, cities and warehouses in order to meet the growing demands of customers. In many countries, ports will in the long term play a key role in efforts to achieve harmony among cities, industrial complexes, logistics facilities and gateways to markets.

2.1 Changing business practices: globalization in and distribution

Most experts expect the global business environment will undergo greater change over the next ten years than it did over the last one hundred. These changes will precipitate a radical shift in the business operations of global firms, especially with regard to the role of logistics. As a global firms strive to attain a competitive advantage I the marketplace, new distribution system will emerge. Trade liberalization and information technology are continually advancing, national borders are increasingly disappearing and barriers to global trade are falling. As a result, global manufacturing and marketing are becoming increasingly organized. To cope with this operational environment, global firms have been searching for new production and logistics architectures as a way of gaining the advantages that come with standardized global production.

        In developing a global operation strategy, however, a number of issues arise which may require careful consideration. First, since world markets are not homogeneous, there is still the need for local variation in many product categories. The growth of global brands and the growing convergence of customer preferences would enable standardized products to be marketed in similar fashion around the world. However, the reality of global operations is that there are significant local differences in customer preferences and product requirements. As such, though certain brands and preferences may be global, individual products may be global, individual products may require varying levels of customization in order to meet the specific country needs.

        Second, as there is a high level of uncertainty involved in coordinating a global operations strategy, the complexity of managing global supply chains may results in higher costs. With the trend towards globalization gaining speed, the complexity of the logistics task is increasing exponentially, influenced by factors as the increasing range of product life cycles, marketplaces growth and the number of supply chain.

2.2 The Development of Information Technology and Its Impact on Ports

Nowadays, time-based competition is intensifying. Any delays to the ship and its cargo are costly to everyone in the supply chain. The creative use of information technology will create a benefit comparable to that of containerization or the construction of the Suez and Panama canals. Information technology, especially Internet-based systems, is increasingly being employed in all transport services. As shippers become more attuned to sophisticated supply chain management, ports will be faced with both opportunities and threats.

IT has transformed ship owners into value-added logistics service providers. Electronic commerce will spur demand for shipping services by increasing trade volume in general. Shipbrokers and other intermediaries will have to adapt to such changes, by offering one-stop freight services, including arranging ocean carriages, port handling, storage, insurance and inland transportation. Ship owners and their suppliers also may soon use the internet for innovative purpose such as bunker auctions, ship inspections using electronically transmitted data and Internet-based classification society records.

        The leading area for shipping-related information technology is in ports, particularly in terminal operating systems and intra-port communications, among other things, data communication system can handle customs filings, transmittal of manifests and processing of bills of lading and other documents. The growing power and speed of information processing is reshaping the shipping and port industry.

  1. Recent shipping development

The extensive changes that have recently occurred within the maritime industry have received widespread publicity. For example, the rapid growth in the size of oil tankers and bulk carriers, the introduction of Marconaflo system (a slurry process for the loading and discharge of iron ore), the development of the first Lash ship followed by the SeaBee system, and the introduction of gas turbine powered container ships, have all captures attention. These innovation are for the most part related to the trend towards the application of the system approach, they reflect an awareness that the ship is only part of broader transportation system. A comprehensive summary of modern developments in sea transport is given by Stevens (1971)

Underlying many of the cargo handling changes which have occurred within the general cargo trade is the unitisation concept. Unitisation being the combining of individual packages of goods into larger, more compact units, which can be handled as one. This concept is based on very simple notion; the more times a product is handled, the greater is final price will be. If this handling, which is an expensive, labour intensive process, can be reduced, then should the commodity’s final price will be. If this handling, which is an expensive, labour intensive process, can be reduced, then so should the commodity’s final price. It is relatively cheap to move goods in large and uniform quantities, but when cargoes of assorted shapes and weights are moved from a number of origins to a number of destinations, the opposite is the case.

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