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Summary Report of the Committee on Productivity of Marine Terminals
Pages 1-22

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From page 1...
... marine terminals handling containerized general cargo. The committee's report is presented in two parts "Workshop Reports" and "Symposium Papers." This section summarizes the committee's findings and presents its suggestions for productivity improvement in marine container terminal operations.
From page 2...
... the establishment of a profile of productivity measures, and the acquisition, dissemination, and use of productivity data as described herein; . the standardization of automated terminal container identification and management information systems.
From page 3...
... This section will summarize the state of the art in the United States, compare it with foreign marine terminals, and provide additional comments on the state of automated information systems in marine terminals, labor-management relations, and other broad issues and concerns. Marine Container Terminal Systems Engineering and Design The high fixed costs of marine container terminals impel attention to productivity improvement and most economic utilization.
From page 4...
... Operating Systems Marine Container Terminal Operations U.S. container terminal operating systems are almost evenly divided between chassis systems (46 percent)
From page 5...
... Some potential improvements are suggested by a railroad request that special lanes be set aside for volume movements between marine terminals and rail yards and also that marine terminals adopt more flexible working hours in response to user needs. Another suggested area for attention is the creation of neutral chassis pools to minimize fluctuations in chassis requirements.
From page 6...
... Solutions to improved on-dock transfer systems will depend on the incentives offered to the parties affected ocean carriers, port authorities, terminal operators, stevedores, Tongshore labor, truckers, and railroads. Any breakthrough to a new system is likely to become an innovator/follower situation.
From page 7...
... Information Systems in Marine Terminals As in many other industries, operational managers are becoming knowledgeable in modern computer systems. New systems typically are introduced into operations by means of a series of test programs and subsequent reviews.
From page 8...
... Impact of Government Policies on Container Terminals Government trade, political, and military policies all influence the maritime industries. Governments sometimes support or subsidize unproductive practices in foreign trade as matters of strategic concern.
From page 9...
... and Foreign Marine Container Terminals As observed previously, container cranes In European and Asian terminals today generally operate at a rate of 3~35 lifts per hour, which represents a productivity of about 30 percent over U.S. operations.*
From page 10...
... For the increased share of the work force under regular employment, the proper mix of individual responsibility, job satisfaction, information availability, clearly defined employment conditions, proper training, and safety procedures leads to proper motivation and increased productivity. The nature of the European traffic system is such that there are important considerations to be taken into account before any comparisons are made between their terminal handling systems and their U.S.
From page 11...
... No doubt these situations have helped improve safety standards for marine terminals. OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVING PRODUCTIVITY IN MARINE TERMINALS Efforts to improve productivity in marine container terminals must balance the needs of the many constituencies that affect the terminal.
From page 12...
... As a consequence the terminal must gear up to provide that service and incur more idle time for a possibly greater set of equipment and its underlying capital. Members of the collective bargaining units want job security and high pay, which may be at variance with the terminal operator's needs to improve productivity and to hire the number of workers that is economically justified.
From page 13...
... Thus, it is not clear that such monetary measures of productivity are either meaningful or useful when comparing different marine terminals. As a result, the profile of productivity measures developed by the committee involves physical quantities such as man-hours and crane moves.
From page 14...
... 14 al no ._ o o o m ˘ ._ ._ o o ~4 a?
From page 15...
... Collection of productivity data is a sensitive issue, particularly because of the extreme competition that exists in the industry and the overcapacity of the ports. Careful consideration needs to be given to ways in which the data can be presented anonymously, so that the competitive stances of individual shipping or terminal operators are not compromised.
From page 16...
... The sensitivities indicated by the data base together with the local costs can predict the financial impact of change in any of the primary aspects of terminal operations. Because local costs vary from terminal to terminal, the resulting optimal balance at one terminal is likely to be different from another terminal.
From page 17...
... Knowledge of these factors should influence the shipping line to develop sophisticated scheduling strategies to account for these possibilities and to minimize their influence on its operations. Improving Productivity Through Capital Investment The preceding section on the state of the art of marine container terminals explained that the marine terminal industry generally is using the latest available technology shown to be cost-effective.
From page 18...
... This effort on the part of the industry already is beginning to show that standardization of the electronic hardware and software is mandatory if terminal operators are to uniformly reap the potential benefits of this work. Improving Productivity Through Operations Research Since many marine container terminals tend to be underutilized, improvements in operating the existing plant must be the first order of business in the marine terminal industry.
From page 19...
... Improving Productivity by Improving Working Relationships Different marine terminals that use comparable equipment and systems have been observed to operate at significantly different levels of productivity. This has generally been attributed to the differences in fundamental management and labor practices.
From page 20...
... They have been tried successfully in other industries and have even been introduced into portions of the marine terminal industry. Particular labor-management practices with potential to improve the productivity of marine terminal operations are described in detail in the workshop report, "Issues in Improving Productivity" (in this volume)
From page 21...
... This can result in management abdicating its responsibility to supervise the work force. Upper management needs to direct greater attention to the problems of first-line supervisors in dealing with the labor force and in preplanning the work, as well as in improving productivity.
From page 22...
... A Process for Improving Productivity The marine container terminal industry is still in a growth mode. The wealth of information in this report and proceedings on improving productivity makes this a propitious time to formaTize a process for improving productivity before the inroads of competition make this a distressed industry.


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