• ITVI.USA
    16,350.840
    -55.350
    -0.3%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.731
    0.025
    0.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.660
    -0.160
    -0.7%
  • OTVI.USA
    16,343.200
    -45.660
    -0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    16,350.840
    -55.350
    -0.3%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.731
    0.025
    0.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.660
    -0.160
    -0.7%
  • OTVI.USA
    16,343.200
    -45.660
    -0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
American Shipper

Port execs: Preparing next generation of leaders ‘critical’ to continued success

The evolving landscape of the port sector in recent years necessitates a workforce that can adapt to and keep up with the changes, said panelists at the annual meeting of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA).

   The development of a young workforce that can take over the reins of the goods movement industry is critical to the industry’s future, panelists said during an Oct. 4 session at the annual meeting of the American Association of Port Authorities in Long Beach, Calif.
   “In my opinion, no topic is more timely or pertinent. It is relevant to all port authorities, regardless of volume, staff size or geography,” said Noel Hacegaba, the Port of Long Beach’s managing director of commercial operations. “Workforce development and succession planning apply to all port authorities and must be managed carefully and strategically in order to ensure a transition to a successful future.
   “In order to be successful in the future, we also have to focus on the human capital,” he said. “So preparing the next generation of port leaders is critical, it has never been more important, or more complex.”
   The reason why, Hacegaba remarked, is the evolving landscape of the port sector in recent years, an evolution that’s still in progress.
   “To say that there’s been change in the shipping industry is a monumental understatement,” he said. “The global roster of shipping lines has consolidating essentially from 20 to 12 in less than three years. Ship size has more than doubled in the last five years. There have been many actors that have been disrupting the supply chain and because of our reliance on technology and information systems, fiber security attacks are more prevalent. Security issues have always been an issue – especially after 9/11.
   “And consider the demographic shifts that we’re seeing in the marketplace,” Hacegaba continued. “Every day, an estimated 10,000 baby boomers are retiring as more and more millennials are entering the workforce. And as they enter the workforce, they’re introducing new trends. One of these trends is known as ‘job hopping.’ Millennials spend an average of two years in a job, meaning that they will likely hold 15 to 20 different jobs over the course of their working lives.”
   All of these factors, he said, are combining to drastically reshape the workforce, which in turn requires new approaches and strategies by port authorities.
   “One of the common themes and questions for all of us is, ‘how do we, as port authorities, attract talent to our sector?’ How do we expose young people to our industry, so that we can capture their attention before they go on to college and get their degrees?” asked Hacegaba.
   One thing that the Port of Long Beach has done, Hacegaba said, is partner with the local school district to form the Academy of Global Logistics, which introduces high school students to career opportunities in global trade and logistics and showing them how to prepare for those careers through a range of training and education programs.
   “We also need to start thinking about aligning academia and professional training to the evolving needs of the workforce,” he said, mentioning that over the years, the AAPA has contributed to the effort and need through its Professional Port Manager certification program, which helps public port authorities, marine related organizations and agencies in hiring or promoting qualified seaport managers and professionals.
   Another member of the discussion panel, Jim Quinn, president and CEO of the Saint John’s Port Authority in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, said that industry leaders’ fundamental role is that of a mentor.
   “We have to work with the future today. It’s our young professionals who develop and gain experience and will be leading our industry tomorrow,” said Quinn. “By actively supporting and training the development of our own workforce and helping them to build the skillsets and competency, it’ll help prepare them as our future leaders.”

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