Today was a packed day filled with lots of information about Cyprus’s main source of revenue, the shipping industry! Because of the location, Cyprus is in a prime location to easily receive and transport goods. We began our day at the Limassol New Port security checkpoint where we were able to see Dubai World Port’s state of the art terminal. Our tour guide explained that the terminal is mainly used for tourists leaving a cruise ship that is docked at the port. Next, we were given a presentation that explained the business behind how the port was operated. The port itself is owned by the Cypriot government, but they wanted to commercialize the port in hopes of bringing in more revenue. Several companies such as Dubai World Port are in a twenty-five year deal with the government to use the port for their shipping business. This deal can be renewed for an additional twelve years if it is found to be mutually beneficial. The government generates revenue by charging a fee to the shipping company. Furthermore, the shipping company is able to make money by charging boats for refueling, berthing the ships, using their pilot and tug boats, etc.. The employees compared their shipping company to a hotel in the sense that the hotel doesn’t own the guests; they just get to direct them where to go. In return, the guest pays the hotel to stay the night. This explanation made me understand how both the government and the shipping companies can both benefit from this deal. After learning about the business, we took a tour of Eurogate which holds a container terminal and loading/unloading facility. It was truly fascinating to see the massive crates being picked up by these cranes and placed perfectly onto a truck. These workers must go through months of training to be able to operate this machinery because dropping a container could be a potentially fatal accident. The crew members were all very knowledgeable and made the job seem effortless.
Afterwards, we listened to presentations by representatives from the Cyprus Port Authority which is an autonomous agency of the government. Throughout their talks, they emphasized the importance of continuing to improve their sustainability efforts. Specifically, they discussed combating climate change and decreasing their greenhouse gas emissions. It was refreshing to hear company representatives speak about the importance of preserving the environment. Another goal that they discussed was optimization and moving to a more digital interface. In order to continue to improve efficiency within the ports it is essential to continue to optimize equipment and processes. However, their goal in being more efficient and sustainable was halted by the pandemic. The pandemic greatly disrupted the shipping industry and interrupted their business plans.