VII – A Day on the Docks

Another super long day! Luckily today’s bus ride was a short one, so our first company visit came quickly. We first visited DP World, port company with multiple ports around Europe and other parts of the world, including part of the port in Limassol, the site we are visiting today. DPW has three primary port areas: one for commercial use (cruises), one for cargo, and the last for gas/oil. They were gracious enough to disclose the humber of ships they serve over the past few years, and I was not shocked to see that a lot of the numbers decreased during the time of the global COVID pandemic. However, I was supposed to find out that despite the massive decrease in the commercial part of the port, the revenue they saw out of the commercial side had not been dramatically changed. This is because, as they explained, cruises make most of their money off of the customers once they are actually on the ship, so the larges expenses are the purchases on board. Therefore, the main reason for servicing cruises is that it helps stimulate the local economy of the areas where cruises are served, so DP World is currently trying to gain government compensation for bringing in huge amounts of tourists through these ports. I thought this was a genius strategy because it helps them keep the commercial ports where they are already servicing customers, but brings in additional revenue for their services. 

Our second presentation was P & O Maritime, a company that helps dock ships coming into the port. I was surprised to find out, as this company mentioned, that the doing of ships is not actually done by the caption of the ship. Instead, a smaller boat known as a tug boat. These boats are mush smaller in size but have extremely powerful motors to help them pull massive cargo ships to dock. This process seemed strange to me, knowing that a third party boat was being used for the simple docking of boats, but with the high paced and extremely delicate process of getting boats in and out of ports, it made sense that an additional boat was needed to dock the larger cargo ships. 

Our final presentation at the port was from Eurogate, the company on the dock that specializes in moving cargo at the ports. The machinery that was being utilized at the ports were gigantic, with large crane-like cars ranging from 30 to 100 feet tall being used to transport cargo around the dock and onto and off the cargo ships. The most stunning thing to me was the amount of time they reported for the movement of cargo. Eurogate explained that with the advent of electronic signatures for COVID and new cargo mapping technology they developed in house, they can get cargo off the ship and onto a truck to wherever it needs to go in as little as 15 minutes. Along with the fact that some of the cargo ships can cary over to 20000 cargo containers, this time is extremely impressive and goes to show how efficiency in a supply chain is extremely important. They charge extra to store containers overnight, which goes to show how serious they are about the efficient of processing and sending out the cargo they receive. 

Overall, I think today was the most influential day to my learning about the supply chain. Getting to understand different industries that operate in nearly the exact same are, I was able to learn a little bit about oil, luxury travel, and the shipping industry without having to leave the port. I was impressed with the measures put into place to maintain high efficiency and stability, in order to keep the pace of the supply chain fast and mobile. I am glad to have gained such valuable insight about what goes into receiving the products that I use on a daily basis back home, and I am proud to know that even the produce I eat is getting here in a matter of a few days, even though halfway across the globe, because of the measures set up at these ports. 

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