Essay: Rail and Water or Maritime

Pages: 8 (2370 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 15  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Transportation  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] References

Rodrigue, Jean-Paul; Comtois, Claude and Brian Slack. (2009). The Goegraphy of Transportation Systems,

2nd Ed.. New York: Routledge.

Case Study (3 pages with 6 references)

As a government auditor, you determine a port has cargo handling issues. It takes too long to clear cargo through the terminal. What would you propose to the terminal manager to correct this problem in 90 days? Be clear and concise in your discussion.

Must include a strong introduction and conclusion.

Port operations can be a sticky matter depending on the specific complexities and considerations that managers are faced with. Adding to these complexities is the fact that many operations take place in countries and regions where labor and regulatory disputes take place on a frequent basis. The issue of cargo clearing a port is multi-faceted, and quite complex. However, there are a few major tools that a port manager or government auditor can use to help increase port efficiency and help speed up the process of cargo clearing. Often times the most obvious changes that can occur are not the most cost effective or ones that benefit the overall security of the port or transportation infrastructure.

Taking a look at a port that has developed cargo clearance issues is often useful. A port that can be examined in this way is the Panama Canal. This port has, over time, become less and less efficient as more and more ships have entered service. Also, the fact that many larger ships are being built and pressed into service has made the canal itself barely sufficient in handling large cargo ships. As a port auditor, the first action should be to examine the port's existing limitations relative to operations and size and determine how the port can be effectively maximized in these areas. Larger ports are often less efficient in clearing cargo because of their sheer size and number of operations. Also, multi-modal ports and cargo concerns add to the complexity of the issue.

The port should be organized into efficient pieces. This sort of organization, if it has not already occurred, should be the first priority of a government auditor. This is one of the most cost-effective solutions and often one of the cheapest as well. New equipment and man power are often not necessary when all it takes to increase cargo clearance capacity is a restructuring of the port and its operations themselves. While these solutions are effective, the fact that the port is looking to accomplish this task within 90 days severely limits the considerations of how and where the port's operations can be made leaner.

Beyond the basic restructuring of the port for maximization of cargo movement, there are other, more obvious and more expensive solutions. Wherever possible, ports can increase their labor force to help ensure that cargo functions are being handled properly and that there are adequate resources to deal with such inefficiencies. Often, the port equipment and resources are grossly outdated and the port would benefit from a technological update. Following a cost-benefit analysis, it can be quite lucrative for a port to upgrade their equipment, even given the high initial cost of this upgrade.

In order to correct this problem in 90 days, a strict timeline should be adhered to. Also, the development of specific and measurable efficiency goals needs to be a top priority in dealing with the issue of cargo clearance. It is also extremely important to understand that increasing the efficiency of a port's cargo clearance operations does not always translate to a safer port. As ports cut more and more corners to accommodate larger and more diverse cargo, they often lose valuable ground in the battle for effective port security operations as well. A 90 day plan should take into account security goals as well, and not eliminate security checkpoints or procedures in order to simply speed up the process of cargo clearance.

Since the 90 day goal is in place, another effective way of helping cargo clearance is to automate many of the processes and decisions that take place on every scale on a day-to-day basis. Port cargo clearance should follow a specific planned flow or process, which could easily be examined and modified to help increase cargo clearance speed and capacity. The best possibilities in port efficiency increases within the 90 day period is a close examination of the processes that define cargo clearance. These processes include ship berthing time, distance and time constraints and the process and plans that are major limiters in port operations and efficiency.


Feng, Cheng-Min and Yuan, Chien-Yun. (2007). "Application of Collaborative Transportation

Management to Global Logistics: An Interview Case Study." International Journal of Management. Vol . 32, No. 12.

Haibo, Kuang and Shuwen, Chen. (2007). "The production efficiency of Chinese ports: An empiracal investigation." Science Research Management Vol. 12, No. 7.

Port Reform Toolkit Lecture. (2010).

Rodrigue, Jean-Paul; Comtois, Claude and Brian Slack. (2009). The Goegraphy of Transportation Systems,

2nd Ed.. New York: Routledge.

Tongzon, Jose L. (2009). "Port choice and freight forwarders." Transportation Research: Transportation

Logistics and Review. Vol. 45, No. 1.

Tuttle, William and Wykle, Kenneth. (2003). "The… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Essay:

APA Format

Rail and Water or Maritime.  (2010, September 14).  Retrieved May 23, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Rail and Water or Maritime."  14 September 2010.  Web.  23 May 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Rail and Water or Maritime."  September 14, 2010.  Accessed May 23, 2019.