Friday, 17 November 2017

Hutchison wins concession in Umm Al Quwain

UAQ is Hutchison's second UAE concession in a week


Just days after one Hutchison terminal in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) opened, it was announced that Hutchison had been awarded a concession to operate another terminal in the country.
The Hong-Kong based company will operate the Ahmed Bin Rashid Port in Umm Al Quwain (UAQ), in the north of the UAE.
The port is a key entry-exit point for container, general, ro-ro and bulk cargo. It is situated midway between Dubai and Ras Al-Khaimah.
Hutchison’s managing director for the Middle-East and Africa Andy Tsoi said: “The UAE economy is growing strongly and there is great demand for terminal facilities in the northern part of the Emirates.
“Our target is to improve the service level of the port to facilitate the emirate’s import and export trade. We look forward to contributing to the growth of the local economy.”
Sultan Saeed Al Ali, executive director of UAQ Ports, Customs & Free Zone  Corporation said: “The port in Umm Al Quwain has a long, rich history. With the presence of Hutchison Ports, we expect the terminal to be better positioned to serve the local community.
“This will help support our existing businesses while also helping to attract future investment into the emirate.”
Hutchison Ports UAQ is a four-berth facility with an 845 m long quay and a 23 ha yard.

One for the team


Motivating port teams is a worthwhile exercise, explains Felicity Landon
"Walking out of meetings is good for your health", proclaimed The Times newspaper recently. But before you make a swift exit and leave the others to get on with it, the suggestion is that you take your colleagues with you.
The story was about Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, who had been talking about the perils of sitting at your desk all day and how this practice is "haemorrhaging productivity". He called for employers to introduce "walking meetings" to reduce stress as well as back and neck pain in the workforce.
Workplace health experts were quick to agree, highlighting the benefits to both physical and mental health of a 30-minute walk. But the comments went further, highlighting how a walking meeting outside can be a great social leveller, helping to break down barriers between manager and employee, and enabling colleagues to reconnect.
Taking the meeting outdoors shakes things up, injects fresh life to the group dynamic and brings everyone onto a level playing field where rules around who sits where and how a meeting should be conducted are disregarded, says Louise Padmore, co-founder of Work Well Being. “Doing so gets you to the crux of the challenge or question you are debating faster.”
Mr Selbie said firms would benefit from getting their employees to spend less time sitting in a chair and more time moving around. It doesn’t sound a million miles from teambuilding.

Port angle
And what of the ports industry? Does it build teams? The answer is yes, in diverse ways, from PD Ports’ local ‘champion’ teams working on health & safety and environmental culture, to the UK-based Port Skills & Safety joining forces with the Health and Safety Executive and trade union Unite to develop leadership and worker engagement guidance for the ports industry.
“There can be a perception that teambuilding just means a jolly, and probably there has been an underestimation of its value by the ports industry,” says Richard Ballantyne, chief executive of the British Ports Association. “There can be a ‘silo’ mentality in an organisation. Yes, a teambuilding event can be partly a ‘treat’, but also something that develops relationships and brings people out of their shells.”
Teambuilding is a favourite topic for behavioural change specialist Will Sambrook, director of the business performance and engagement consultancy Akenham.
“Teambuilding is two things – actually building the team, by recruiting the right people with behaviours in line with that of the organisation, and then building it up in terms of the skills and abilities of that team to work effectively and efficiently and achieve the organisation’s goals,” he says. “To do that, you are trying to make sure people within the team are interdependent, so basically they can stand on their own feet and contribute as an individual team member, but when they come together with other people, they can split and share knowledge and communicate in a way that helps themselves and the rest of the team to operate.”
The key thing, he says, is to recognise that people have different personalities and different outlooks on the world. “Some are about getting results at a fast pace. Others are about overcoming obstacles, or coming up with new ideas or new thinking. Others are able to communicate and others are very precise and focused on attention to detail. It’s a matter of them all agreeing that each member has a very strong value to the team and that we need all these perspectives.”

Colour palette 
Akenham uses the Insights colour system to help team members to think about their ‘default styles’ and what they mean, and value the styles of others. Bringing together the sunshine yellow bubbly, ideas-generating person with the cool blue introvert focused on detail could clearly create a clash but they can also massively complement each other, says Mr Sambrook. The bubbly yellow comes up with a great idea but doesn’t think about how it would work in practice or how to implement it properly and nail it down. The cool blue would make sense of it and get to grips with the detail.
“Teambuilding is making sure you get the best of everyone in the team – getting everybody to bring their thoughts and ideas to the table and not blocking out those who may be a little bit quieter.”
He is not a fan of the activity teambuilding exercises that many obviously dread. “The more practical and lifelike you make a teambuilding exercise, the better. Humans are very bad at transferring learning from one situation to another. You can send everyone down the river on a raft, but the chance that they will take that learning and bring it into the office is very small. It's much more about getting the team to understand each other.”
In one exercise, he will split people into their personality types, then get them to walk across to someone in another group with a question or problem, to see how people work. “They always come out with amazing insights that they hadn’t thought about, because it isn’t their style to look at things in that way. Using an exercise in a work-based context like this is really helpful.”

Next generation
And how do the Millennials – looking for more flexibility and more likely to job-hop – change the mix? “For millennials, communication is very different,” says Mr Sambrook. “They don’t call their friends, they text. And that definitely has its challenges; it is easy to misunderstand and misinterpret what is going on, and easy to block people. If they are not particularly loyal to an organisation, then maybe they are not going to invest in being part of the team. However, others argue the other way – because their career life is transitory, because they are moving on, naturally their network is everything to them.”
John McGuire, chief innovation officer of Aurecon, in Australia, says diversity is the key. “I have a belief in diverse teams and being able to blend wisdom, knowledge, risk, the ‘been there, done that, know the traps to fall into’, with new ideas, new energy and enthusiasm,” he says. “There is no doubt that people with years of experience will know the traps, the mistakes and the problems. Yes, ports are very conservative – but I don’t think anyone can deny that things are changing around us, and I have been pleasantly surprised by the level of creativity that comes out of people of all ages.”
Statistics show that when people retire, they frequently take up woodwork, art and other creative pursuits, he points out. “Perhaps we have to find a way of helping people to be creative in their work domain. It can be a problem being able to make time to come up with ideas and experiments. The more you can embed that as part of the process of work, rather than separate to work, the more you will have an innovative workforce.”
Jackie Anderson is director of HR for Forth Ports, one of the UK’s largest port groups with seven ports in Scotland and Tilbury on the Thames and with around 1,060 staff. As such, the business has a clear view on the importance of teambuilding in ports as an enabler of performance and continuous improvement, she says.
“We also drive leadership programmes, multifunctional project teams, project management and teambuilding interventions to provide the skills and assist the understanding of team roles and draw on their experience. We are endeavouring to create highly functioning teams across our business with a core underpinning of collaboration.”



BRINGING ENGAGEMENT TOOLS TOGETHER
The leadership and worker engagement guidance launched by Port Skills and Safety (PSS) with the Health & Safety Executive and Unit recognises that achieving an effective health and safety culture is as much about human factors, relationships, trust, communication and behaviours as it is about risk assessments, procedures and controls, says PSS chief executive Richard Steele.
“It is about the whole process of engaging and empowering your people to work towards common goals safely,” he says. “Teams need leaders but they also need all the members of the team to work together, with common goals and agreed values – and that means teams that are engaged on health and safety issues as well.”
PSS in itself creates ‘teamwork’ between its members, he points out. “Ports that in everyday circumstances could be competitors are able to come together and we focus on very practical, pragmatic topics such as confined spaces, timber handling or safe handling of containers. As a result, we have created guidance that gives everyone a common understanding, good practice and practical solutions to the real-world challenges that all ports will face.
“This comes from within the industry; it isn’t a group of academics coming together, but is bringing together what amounts to hundreds of years of experience. It is a different type of ‘team’ but it is serving a very important purpose for the benefit of all.”

UK haulage fury as Whitehall scraps lorry park plan to replace Operation Stack


© Sue Martin
The UK government has returned to the drawing board after scrapping plans for a £250m lorry park in Kent, intended to deal with road congestion around the Channel Tunnel and Dover.
Industry bodies greeted the withdrawal with strong criticism: the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and Road Haulage Association (RHA) slammed the decision as “beyond belief”.
Reaffirming its commitment to a “permanent alternative” to Operation Stack – a procedure operated by Kent Police and the port of Dover during times of port congestion when lorries are parked along the M20 – the government said it would no longer defend a judicial review of the park, called by protesting residents.
Today, Highways England project director John Kerner said severe disruption during the summer of 2015 had exposed the need for a long-term solution to congestion when cross-Channel services are interrupted.
“Improvements at the port and changes in traffic management on the A20 near Dover have shown real improvements and helped prevent Operation Stack being implemented,” said Mr Kerner.
“Now [lorry park] plans at Stanford West have been withdrawn, we’ve been asked to immediately develop interim and permanent solutions to reduce traffic impacts from cross-Channel disruption.”
Roads minister Jesse Norman said an arrangement with Manston Airfield and the Department for Transport had been extended to allow for continued use during severe disruption.
Highways England said it was working on several interim options, including continuing to hold HGVs on the M20, but allowing non-port traffic to travel in both directions.
One method would be to hold lorries in the centre of the motorway rather than on the coastbound carriageway.
FTA spokesperson Natalie Chapman told The Loadstar this would not solve the problem, as it still removed capacity for driving and would hinder HGV driver welfare.
While longer-term options were not specified, Highways England said it hoped to submit a planning application in 2019 after consultations early next year. These would likely coincide with a decision on an interim option, with implementation complete by March 2019.
But with the UK’s withdrawal from the EU expected that month, the FTA has said any failure in the solution could lead to “increasing problems” for Kent “in the years to come”.
Head of national and regional policy Christopher Snelling said: “As always with Stack, the best solution would be not to need it. With Brexit on the horizon and all the other issues that can occur on the Dover-Calais route, we simply won’t be able to guarantee that.”
The government abandoned its defence of 2016’s judicial review – called on the grounds that it had not properly accounted for the environmental impact of the lorry park – after deciding it couldn’t defend its own plans.
After that, transport secretary Chris Grayling announced the DfT would “immediately” start the process to promote a lorry park through the normal planning process.
“This will include a full environmental assessment and we will reassess the scope, scale and location, considering changes since the original lorry park concept was promoted,” said Mr Grayling. “In particular, the UK’s exit from the EU but also the need for ‘business-as-usual’ lorry parking in Kent.
“This demonstrates that the government is still serious about finding both interim and permanent solutions to tackle traffic problems occurring from disruption at our busiest border for lorry freight,” he added.
However, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said he found it “beyond belief” that an environmental assessment was not undertaken, “simply on the assumption that it was not needed”.
“This red tape debacle is a complete disaster for hauliers coming over from the continent; can you imagine Operation Stack becoming a daily way of life?” asked Mr Burnett. “Two years ago we saw the misery of operators who, for many days, were caught up in the gridlock.
“Even the most basic requirements for HGV drivers, such as toilet facilities and drinking water, were non-existent; and for the people and economy of Kent, the cost was enormous.”
Mr Snelling added: “Whatever the solution, everyone from the hauliers to the residents of Kent all agree a better solution for Operation Stack is needed.
“The withdrawal of this application is a major disappointment and means proper management of a Stack situation may be many more years off”.