One Port, Plenty of Teamwork

Today we spent the entire day in Limassol, visiting several companies and organizations involved with the city’s port.

These companies included Dubai Ports World (DPW), P&O, and Eurogate. Their operations at the Limassol New Port are overseen by the Cyprus Ports Authority (CPA). It was interesting to see how all of these companies work together in one area to make the port run efficiently.

To further explain, each of the three companies has its own role at the port. DPW manages general cargo and passenger vessels. Their facilities include different terminals and security stations to process the recently rising amount of tourists from cruise vessels. P&O is responsible for the marine services of the port. A large part of this is guiding the vessels safely into the port. They use tugboats and pilots to position ships correctly. Finally, just down the port is Eurogate, which is responsible for handling the shipping containers coming off of vessels. They use impressive machinery like gantry cranes, which lift containers off the boats, and straddle carriers, which pick up and transport containers from the cranes to trucks.

The relationship between these companies was already interesting to me, but it became even more complex as each company explained how they are overseen by the CPA , working extensively with the government of Cyprus. They referred to this as commercialization. These private companies have a concession agreement with the government which will keep them in partnership at the port for the next 15 -37 years, depending on the company.

Listening to each company’s presentation and seeing the port in person, I was struck by how complicated the operation is in a business sense and with the number of moving pieces at the port itself. This is just one port on a small island, and they still have several companies and organizations working together with vehicles and vessels constantly moving. This further emphasizes the complexity and importance of supply chain. Transportation is only one part of the supply chain, and shipping is only one form of it. The global supply chain has countless moving parts that all need to operate at near perfection to keep everything running.

Each company and the CPA talked briefly about digitalization and improving sustainability at the Limassol port. While we did not go too in depth in this discussion I thought it was interesting to consider how autonomation and changing environmental standards may impact the port as well as the transportation section of the supply chain as a whole. The autonomation aspect specifically may take longer to reach Cyprus, but maybe by examining other countries we may see a trend for the future.

Being from Pittsburgh, I don’t usually consider the importance of the shipping industry, but after seeing the complexity of the operations today and listening to the factors which may influence it in the near future, I have a much greater respect for how the industry keeps the supply chain and the world running smoothly.

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