From Good to Great – Making the TOS Leap 2.0
Guiding a company from good to great demands intense discipline and dedication in its drive towards maritime and terminal excellence. Beyond just mere profit-generating, the best combination is for a company passionate enough to produce tangible positive outcomes for their business and the industry at large.
- Great People
People is the backbone to the success of an organisation and the maritime industry is no exception. Research indicates that high employee satisfaction rate encourages an intrinsic desire to give one’s best at work which would eventually lead to high morale and motivation. Managing Director of Drewry, Arjun Batra1, says that “human capital is more important than hard physical assets in the uncertain world of shipping, especially those professionals capable of managing vessels technically and commercially.”
Indeed, the industry faces a continuous issue of attracting a younger workforce because of the traditional characteristics the industry displays where many are still family-owned businesses. However, the terminal industry has become highly unpredictable and to survive, businesses need to realign itself to be relevant especially since, the industry sees a lot of millennials who now set to enter the workforce. A good set of skills and shipping experience will come in handy coupled with the ability to react to external factors. As shipping is affected by the macro side of things, the great differentiator will have to be human capital.
- Great Partnerships
The true value of shipping can no longer be centred on size, but players across the industry must be better connected in order to address the existing challenges and drive growth. Over the past two years, the industry has seen a trend toward market consolidation. Container lines were merged and acquired and shipping alliances has been shuffled. Terminal operators are also seen to be partnering major shipping lines to secure volumes. Singapore terminal operator PSA has seen throughput grow 9% to reach 33.35m TEUs, a result attributed to PSA’s partnering with French ocean carrier CMA CGM.
The expanding size of ships are a positive factor for ports because they have the capacity to handle mega ships, whilst smaller neighbouring terminals can partner to meet the demands of shipping alliances through merger and acquisition activities. On the port level, two main Hong Kong terminals, ie Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) Trust and Cosco Shipping Ports (CSP) have merged to form the Combined Terminals creating for themselves better economies of scale in resources and capacity, and giving themselves increase flexibility in berth and yard planning.
Guiding a company from good to great demands intense discipline and dedication in its drive towards terminal excellence. Companies need to exist beyond just mere profit-making company, but a company passionate for a higher purpose and producing tangible positive outcomes for the company and the industry at large. There is indeed, a premium tag for first movers who are determined to be a change agent and be the ones who set the standards, that will establish great terminal operations.
As companies make decisions and take meaningful steps to affirm their core competencies, they inevitably kickstart a positive momentum that can lead to greatness.