Day 4: On the Water

Today we learned a lot about the port of Limassol, which being the largest port in Cyprus makes it a crucial part of the country’s industry. We heard from three companies that operate the government-owned land and port: Dubai Ports World (DP World), Eurogate, and P&O Maritime. Each was responsible for different functions: DP World mainly deals with ships carrying general cargo, Eurogate handles ships with container cargo, and P&O Maritime assists the boats in successful pilotage and berthing in the Limassol port. We also attended a meeting with both the Cyprus Ports Authority and the Cyprus Shipping Agents Association, where we learned a bit more about how this works and why the processes of the port are not consolidated to one company.

Ultimately, the commercialization of ports as discussed by the Cyprus Ports Authority and the specialization of companies to perform the individual tasks required to make the port system efficient makes a lot of sense, especially in terms of the supply chain. The idea of having companies focusing on one specific area of the process allows them to get better at that specific area, and with all the companies in all areas getting better at their roles, the whole process improves as a result. This exact concept is the backbone of the supply chain itself. I found it very interesting that this very small sliver of the larger, overarching supply chain has its own sort of streamlined supply chain on a smaller scale.

Clearly situated as an intermediate step of transportation in the supply chain, all of these enterprises in some ways work together to achieve the same goal of optimization and efficiency so that they will be the ideal choice for any clients. In addition to taking in the many companies that have to cooperate to make just the transportation element of the supply chain tick, taking a tour of the port terminal and getting to see the heavy machinery first-hand demonstrated to me just how complex every step of the supply chain must be. The intricacies of just this small sector of the supply chain interested me much more than I would have anticipated. My biggest takeaway was definitely that it is a wonder (and super impressive!) that we are able to accomplish something with as large of a scope as the global supply chain.

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