Human capital toward ensuring port sustainability

Razali Yaacob, Tomingan Kamaron, Mansor Abdul Rahman, Pandiyan Vadivelu


Asia is a home to many world-class mega ports. 9 out of 10 largest container ports are located in this dynamic continent.  With more than 1000 ports in this region, port competition is getting very stiff. However, the world had recognized Asia and South East Asia (SEA) as the new economic powerhouse.  SEA alone has a population of 622 million of which 50% are below 35 years of age, signifying potentially huge demand for goods and related services. This is supported by the anticipated economic growth rate of between 5 – 6% in coming years. Nevertheless, ports in SEA are still characterized by low efficiency and high indirect cost according to World Bank study (2017). This requires private sector involvement to increase efficiency and greater governance to ensure efficient port management.  Ports in this region,apart from being the engine of growth have extended responsibilities of not only in cargo handling but transportation, logistics and even manufacturing.The increase trend in container vessel sizes had reduced ship calls while demanding deeper draft-berths, state-of –the-art equipment and facilities with changing pattern of shipping schedule of hub and spoke network, and pendulum services. Smaller ports will then play feedering to the mega ports in the region. The strategic alliances by container lines had put them in control on users’ decision and logistic movement, thereby demanding operational efficiency and above all cost effectiveness. Hinterland is an essential element to be considered for a particular port. Our experience shows that port sustainability rest greatly on the strong development and relationship with the surrounding area.  Future expansion and improvement in this respect will have to be in synchronization with the concept of ‘One-Belt-One Road‘ to increase efficient movement of cargo in the global supply chain network. Malaysia’s economic plans also include the development of various industrial corridors to create supportive hinterlands for our ports – Port Klang (11th) and Port of TanjungPelepas (PTP) (19th).  In this regards a portion of the Johor region with a landmass of 2,217 square kilometer is now being developed and will be fully ready by 2045, to become the ‘Southern Logistic Corridor’ of West Malaysia.  This covers development and expansion of Port of TanjungPelepas, oil terminals in Pengerang and IRDA Commercial Zones.  This development alone is anticipated to generate about 1.3 billion tonnes of cargo or approximately 50 million TEUs.Existing trend indicates a tremendous growth of port activities within the country and the region. Johor is also bordering rising Indonesia and spirited Singapore. In tandem with this phenomenal progress there is a critical need for human capital development. The knowledge institutions need to collaborate with the port industry and its strategic partners to ensure the harmony of operational excellence by all parties involved.This paper in particular will address the impact of recent and future trends in port operations on education and training needs of port workers in Malaysia. The paper emphasis will be to specifically assess the role of knowledge institutions in the port sector to uncover academic-industry relevant areas where knowledge institutions can make a difference interms of performance and operational improvement along the lines of human capital development.

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The International Maritime Transport and Logistics Journal (MARLOG)

E-ISSN: 2974-3141
P-ISSN: 2974-3133

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Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT)

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