The Port Performance Continuum
The efficiency of a port is part of a continuum (a value
includes maritime, terminal and hinterland operations. These
dimensions are interrelated since inefficiencies in one
dimension are likely to impact the others. For instance, issues
in terminal operations are most likely to negatively impact
maritime and hinterland operations with delays.
While terminal operations are usually
concessioned to private operators, port authorities tend to have
a direct oversight of maritime operations and several elements
of hinterland operations, such as local roads directly connected
to the port terminals, some of which on land owned by the port.
Although cities are not directly involved in port operations and
commonly have limited, if any, jurisdiction on port land, they
commonly provide and maintain crucial road infrastructure
connecting the port with its hinterland. They also bear many of
the externalities of port operations, namely local congestion.
Therefore, the port authority and the city are important
stakeholders in the port performance continuum.
operations. The efficiency of the maritime access is a component
of port performance, which includes anchorage where ships are
waiting for an available berthing slot. Long waiting times at
anchorage can be the outcome of a lack of berthing slots able to
accommodate specific ship classes (e.g. draft and cargo type) as
well as terminal productivity issues. Ports, depending on their
site and configuration, can have complex in port navigation
requiring pilotage and tugs through access channels and turn
basins. The value of enhancing such a system is clearly to the
benefit of maritime shipping companies.
- Terminal operations. Represent the most common
performance indicator that is used to assess port efficiency.
For container terminal operations this commonly involve several
key operations. Crane performance (T1) is a common bottleneck in
terms of the number of movements per crane per hour and the
number of cranes available to service a containership. For
maritime shipping companies, this is a crucial factors since it
is related to the amount of time their ships is going to spend
at the port. The manner which cargo (containers) is brought back
and forth to the storage yard (T2) is also a component of port
performance. Many container terminals use holsters or straddle
carriers for such operations. Container storage yard operations
involve the organization of stacking and its related stacking
density, an important variable determining terminal capacity.
When trucks enter the terminal to pick up or drop off cargo (T3)
space and equipment is required to insure that this transloading
operation (yard to truck or truck to yard) performs well. This
is often a critical bottleneck for trucking companies since it
dictates the amount of time they will spend at the terminal.
Gate performance (T4) concerns the efficiency of tasks related
to document processing and security inspections so that a truck
is admitted and cleared to pick up or drop cargo at the
facility. Gates used above their capacity are characterized by
long truck lines waiting to be processed and enter the terminal
for cargo they are already chartered to handle. For terminals
having on-dock rail facilities, the performance of the rail
loading / unloading equipment (T5) is an important component of
the terminal’s performance.
- Hinterland operations. Can
involve all the transport and distribution activities servicing the port’s customers, such as an inland port.
However, for practical purposes, it generally focuses on inland
operations adjacent to the port area (often labeled as back of
port). The key factor in hinterland operations is the capacity
of the local road network in areas adjacent to the port.
Congestion and bottlenecks at street intersections impair the
port’s performance in many of the supply chain management
strategies of the port’s customers. Some ports have near-dock
rail yards that must be serviced through the terminals’ gates.
In many gateway ports transloading activities that are
transferring the contents of maritime containers into domestic
truckloads (or domestic containers), or vice-versa, are an
element of the performance of hinterland operations. Port
authorities have an oversight, either directly or indirectly, of
the port efficiency.