Case Study: Malaysian Ports

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Diplomas in Port Management

We have done programmes in two of Malaysia's main ports – Westport and Northport. Both programmes were 15 months long and led to a Cambridge University (UCLES) Diploma in Port Management. The technical team who delivered this programme and put together the state of the art materials covering all aspects of port management included consultants in port management from organisations such as Belgium's International Port Consulting, Holland's Container-Terminal Advisory Group, Cetima Consulting B.V., the National Sea Training Centre UK and academics from Cardiff University School of Maritime Studies.

Management in these container ports recognised that management practice had to become more professional, strategic and marketing orientated and old norms of hierarchy and centralisation had to give way to more co-operative relationships combined with decentralisation. In particular they had to achieve best international standards in areas such as cargo-handling and overall cost of operations to justify capital expenditure on new plant, equipment and facilities.

On both programmes participants came from all disciplines in the ports. Their group projects focused on improving the total factor productivity (TFP) of key parts of each port and how the business strategy could be improved. Individual projects focused on how the performance of each department represented on the programme could be improved.

  • An evaluation of the effectiveness of the current port operations, its added value services and future business potential.
  • How to improve the performance of the straddle carrier section with emphasis on equipment performance measures.
  • A study of the capability of the yard planning department to handle transhipment containers.
  • How to improve the breakbulk terminal operations.
  • How to improve the management information system in the port.

The workshops were based on the customisation to each port of best international practice in port management. State of the art materials were produced by the faculty and the participants covering;

  • The learning process.
  • Business strategy; basic concepts; world trade; logistic integration; privatisation; port capacity etc.
  • Operations management; background to containerisation; operations strategy; the terminal as a system; terminal design and layout; equipment selection; performance measurement; how to improve.
  • Managing people and quality; HR strategy; leadership perspectives; HR business partners; organisation design; reward system; performance management systems; appraisals; TQM.
  • Finance; terminal costs; budgeting; planning; working capital; fixed asset utilisation; reducing operational costs.
  • Business information systems; electronic data exchange; internet applications; electronic commerce; radio frequency identification.

Following the success of these programmes the faculty of CBS decided to feature port management in their global activities. To help develop this approach CBS invited Nigel Nixon to join the faculty. Nigel is Chairman of Nigel Nixon and Partners Inc; Chairman of Nigel Nixon Consultancy Ltd and Managing Director of Martindale McAndrew. He specialises in ports globally and has advised on more than seventy wet and dry ports worldwide. He also manages and assembles teams to carry out bespoke developments throughout the UK and Europe. A chartered civil engineer and PE in the USA, Nigel has particular experience in procuring project finance, asset management, construction and infrastructure procurement, having managed small to multimillion projects for over 42 years and is fully conversant with planning, designing, managing, constructing, value engineering and commissioning.

Nigel's technical expertise has enabled CBS to develop its programmes which integrate the latest approaches to the technical and managerial aspects of Port Management. Each programme will be targeted to implementing the Government's national infrastructure strategy and how this is cascaded to influence behaviour of the management of each port.

This integrated technical and management approach will be delivered through action learning 'envelopes' consisting of customised workshops, group and individual projects and personal development plans.

The purpose of each programme will be to ADD VALUE to the process of implementing each port's strategic plan leaving those officials involved a legacy based on best practice, global experience and expertise and, in addition, valuable input on 'how not to do it'.

The range of subjects covered in the workshops on each programme could include subjects such as redevelopment, green field development, efficiency improvements, repair and renewals, densification, equipment, system and infrastructure procurement, IT, environmental impact, climate (tidal, wave, current), geology and soils, ship to shore interfacing, approach channels (dredging and maintenance), safe berthing, handling equipment, civil and electrical engineering infrastructure, port interconnectivity by road, rail and barge, skill training, contract procurement, financing and PPP.