We continue with our review of the essential principles involved in managing ports and trade transport with a discussion of some vital considerations investors, consultants and managers must seriously face:
1. Understanding the different types of ports and access to ports (natural, man-made, river, estuary) and the diversity of specialist port operations
The type and purpose of the port facilities will determine one's level of financial exposure and managerial approach. Ports dedicated to dry bulk will have a different configuration to those designed for liquid cargoes. Some countries might prevent the use of certain natural waterways for transporting such products as crude oil or natural gas. Hence, if inland sources of such products are only available by land, it will mean providing for port facilities that will cater only to land transportation. Conversely, using only barges to ferry products will entail another set of support facilities.
2. Understanding the highlighted role of ports in a through-transport context – hub ports, feeder/transhipment ports, intermodal interfaces
Specialist port facilities consist of facilities that support the overall port system through auxiliary services, for instance, hub ports that serve as intermediary access-points to other major facilities or provide linkages for other parts of the entire system. These intermodal ports allow movement of products and goods through various modes of transport (land-to- water interface, water-to-land interface or air-to-land interface, etc.) until the final delivery or transfer of goods to their port of destination is accomplished. Movement of materials or goods must follow strategic routes that comply with financial, technical and time constraints to achieve efficient and profitable results.
3. Being aware of the role of national and regional local government institutions in port design, management and operations
Recognizing the primary role of national and regional government agencies play in the construction and operations of part facilities will give a company the advantage of acquiring a thorough understanding of one's corresponding role and duties. Various taxes and fees are required throughout the process of acquiring a license to operate, using and developing of real estate, practicing one's profession and obtaining environmental requirements, for example, will involve coordinating with officials who grant the necessary permits and approvals. The upkeep of infrastructure as well as its day-to-day operations will fall under the legal supervision of these agencies tasked to ensure safety, legality, tax compliance and other technical and administrative standards provided for by law.
4. Understanding the different forms of the ownership structure of ports and of port services; that is, public or private, landlord only, full or part-service provider, including terminal facilities within ports
Various conditions will determine and even complicate the form of ownership of port facilities and the kind of services that will be provided. Leasing the land upon which the port is located will be the best option compared to owning it. Some country will not allow full ownership and will require a local partner to own majority of the land as well as the improvements (usually 60%). How the arrangement will end up will determine the total investment required for the port terminal as well as how it will be operated. For those who have local partners already engaged in some aspects of the operations, one might provide auxiliary or support services that will reduce one's level of investment.
5. Appreciating the use of Free Port/Free Trade Zones as an economics tool
Countries have gained the benefits of opening up Free Ports and Free Trade Zones to allow foreign investors to establish operations in regions where labor and raw materials are cheap and readily available. This has allowed port operators to take advantage of such ports and zones while enjoying the tax relief afforded them as well as their manufacturing partners. Commonly, these zones, however, have a short or limited life expectancy as many companies that use up their tax-holiday contract period move to other regions or eventually pay required customs, thus, losing their advantage over their competitors. A long-term view of entering into such an arrangement is needed to assure that port facilities will have a long duration of operation and continuing profitability.
Gulftainer has for many years actively participated in several social and charitable initiatives within the UAE and particularly Sharjah region. A number of sport and educational bodies in the region have benefited from Gulftainer sponsorship of new equipment and uniforms. Gulftainer also encourages its personnel to donate some of their time in coaching local sports teams of various ages to improve not only their skills in the sport, but also their confidence and social interaction skills.
SOME OF THE ORGANISATIONS WE WORK WITH IN OUR COMMUNITIES ARE:
Within our operations in Iraq’s Al Basra and Umm Qasr regions, where the vast majority of our employees are Iraqi nationals, we take a special interest in supporting the local community’s activities. Notable examples include sponsoring the Al Mina Football club in Basra. Also, the company has donated water purifiers to residents in Umm Qasr last Ramadan, to help with the lack of potable water.
To support its ambitious 2020 growth plans; port management and logistics provider adopts IT analytics solution.
The leading port management and logistics company Gulftainer today announced that it has selected Nexthink through its partner Anzema to support its ambitious growth targets by enhancing its IT infrastructure.
Gulftainer aims to grow its global footprint to reach 35 terminals across 5 continents and handle 18 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) by 2020. Such an ambitious plan requires secured and streamlined IT operations. With Nexthink, Gulftainer will have complete visibility of its IT environment and will be able to monitor daily changes in the development of its IT activities to ensure safe and efficient port operations and third party logistics. Furthermore, Nexthink will help Gulftainer to reduce the large number of PCs and applications currently being used in its business, thereby offering significant cost savings to the company.
“Real-time analytics from Nexthink brought significant benefits to Gulftainer and facilitated us to establish a more proactive IT support system, that we did not have before,” said Vinay Sharma, Group IT Manager at Gulftainer. “We are able to implement compliance standards, IT governance, application standardization, application use and real-time visibility of our IT infrastructure. Nexthink allows us to strengthen internal security, identify problems quickly and help support teams to provide faster response, lower-cost support while improving end-user satisfaction,” Sharma added.
“At Gulftainer, we prioritize efficiency and security compliance in our Global IT operations,” said Ramesh Shivakumaran, Group Director Business Services. “To consistently achieve best-in-class performance, our IT infrastructure and endpoints must be permanently available to ensure the continuity of business services delivered to our end-users and customers around the world.”
Ahmed Seleem, Regional Manager at Nexthink said, “An efficient and robust IT infrastructure is crucial for complex operations such as those run by Gulftainer which has a large number of end-users in various locations, such as administration or customs. With Nexthink, Gulftainer has the advantage of being able to monitor each and every IT activity from a single interface in real-time. This offers Gulftainer significant cost savings and reduced downtime, ensuring that its customer service outperforms competitors.”
Esslam Ibrahim, Vice President at Anzema said, “We are proud to support Gulftainer’s vision to achieve best-in-class performance and expansion. The visibility and real-time IT analytics provided by Nexthink allows Gulftainer to easily detect the issues in its IT environment and prevent problems even before they are reported.”
Gulftainer’s recent efforts to increase its recycling efficiency have been rewarded as senior management welcomed a delegation from Bee’ah, who presented a certificate to recognize the Company’s ongoing commitment to improving the environment.
Bee’ah is the Middle East’s largest and award winning waste management company, also based in Sharjah, and their team, Saif Abdulla Al Sharif, Director of the Recycle Business & Collection, Muhammad Musa and Hasim Kathiri, met with Gulftainer’s Managing Director, Peter Richards, Director of Business Services, Ramesh Shivakumaran and Group QHSE Manager, Magimairaj Bose, to present the award and discuss further initiatives.
Some of the initiatives now in place within the Gulftainer workplace include: recycling paper, plastic, e-wastes in the offices and oils, batteries and tyres in the engineering departments to name just a few. The company no longer disposes of any of its wastes into landfill.
Peter Richards, Gulftainer managing director said: “We are delighted to accept this certificate from Bee’ah and to be able to play our part in making the Emirate of Sharjah a greener environment. As a company we believe it is our responsibility to lead by example and to increase awareness of the impact of using the 3 R’s (reduce, re-use, recycle) in the work place and beyond. We hope that these initiatives will highlight just how easy it is to make a difference.”