Today, we started off with a meeting at Dubai Ports World, a company that runs a section of the Limassol Port that is leased through the Cyprus government. They offer services such as docking and unloading for oil ships, general cargo ships, and cruise ships. Additionally, they have some storage options for cargo. In terms of the supply chain, DPW works as an intermediate in the shipping of products. They remove cargo off ships and transport it to the next step in its journey, on the back of a truck that can drive across the island of Cyprus. Other times, they transfer the cargo- unloading it from one ship simply to load it onto a new ship traveling a different route. The most interesting conversation was how this company stays competitive with other ports and services in Cyprus, and especially in larger countries like Greece. DPW focuses on four main principles to gain customers: finding a competitive price for the market, ensuring they are quick during unload/load, quality of their service, and customer satisfaction.
Additionally, we visited Eurogate, a company that also runs a section of the Limassol Port through the Cyprus government. The difference, however, is that they focus on loading and unloading container ships. They own 5 container gantries to do the heavy lifting of moving containers on and off lifts, while smaller lifts move them around the large storage area, as well as loading them onto trucks. During the tour of the facility, we were able to see the machinery in action. The sheer size, and the singular worker operating the system at the top of the giant container gantry, was a shocking sight. I truly have respect for the workers and engineers who have the courage to take on this task as their daily work. Furthermore, due to their similarity, Eurogate and DPW both fall along the same place in the supply chain. The Cyprus government strategically split the roles of the companies into separate areas of port management to make sure that they were not negatively competing against each other and would both have success in their own markets.
Lastly, we had a meeting with several important representatives from Cyprus Ports Authority (CPA), Cyprus Shipping Agents Association (CSA), and Limassol Chamber of Commerce. This meeting was a culmination of everything we had learned about the Limassol Port throughout the earlier day. One of my favorite parts of the conversation was learning about their sustainability efforts and their passion for turning their market into one that will eventually be environmentally friendly. A lot of European companies have been commenting on real sustainability efforts and change, along with concrete knowledge of the dangers of global warming and the CO2 emissions. Sadly, people in charge of American companies often seem to lack this passion, and sometimes even this knowledge. It is something that I hope that the United States can change in the future, and look to other countries, such as Cyprus, as an example for future change.