Saudi Arabia: AASTMT Workshop Concluded

AASTMT Workshop Concluded

The workshop of “Technical and Management Standards for Commercial and Industrial Ports”, which was inaugurated by H.E. Saudi Minister of Transport, Chairman of Saudi Ports Authority, concluded on Sunday 6 May 2012.

The two-day workshop discussed in seven sessions, 14 research papers and attended by more than 200 participants from various sectors.

At the closing day, the research papers tackled topics related to the operational performance of ports, including administrative and technical standards and absorptive capacities for terminals and ports and developing the financial performance in addition to planning and development of human resources.

It should be noted that many of the specialized sectors in the kingdom involved in research papers including Jeddah Islamic Port and Saudi Aramco, along with Petro Rabigh.

The workshop came out with the recommendations as follows:

At the level of operational performance of the ports:

The recommendations confirmed to develop strategies for the development and operation of ports according to the standards to achieve goals in light of the huge investment needs in ports.

The workshop recommended conducting various studies to assess the capacity of the terminal or the port and analyzing the different components of the port, starting from berths and shipping facilities passing through the evaluation of metadata infrastructure, and administrative, operational systems, and defining its impact on performance levels in the port or the different terminals.

With regard to the operational and financial performance assessment, the workshop recommended that to be within the framework of the performance management system and not as a stand-alone system.

Recommendations also focused on the care of the human elements working in the ports through training and development in all aspects related safety, security and control of pollution, with using computer technologies and the creative abilities development of the employee, taking into account the approved sessions by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to ensure good knowledge of international legislation and national requirements.

The recommendations also mentioned to establish a company concerned with preparing and crewing naval ships with national cadres.

Container Terminals:

About 90% of the international maritime trade is done through the use of container ships, the recommendations indicated to select handling equipment for high quality containers, with attention to the good training elements for the team, trainers and applying the strategic planning, coupled with using the modern information technology systems in all operating activities and control container terminals to obtain a clean environment.

At security and safety level:

It is recommended to coordinate and cooperate in the development of strategies for risk management between the government and security authorities to confront the threats and weaknesses of the port as well as developing and supporting complementarity relationships and partnership between operators of ports and the relevant security sectors to take advantage of their potential to improve the security work.

It is also emphasized the importance of maintaining effective and efficient programs and security plans through the review and revision continuously on the basis of continuous assessment of security threats and incidents and to apply requirements and new international standards, taking into account the interest of governments toward the national legislation and programs that achieve the balance and integration between the security measures and the free trade requirements as one of the most important challenges of maritime security.

Safety and Pollution Control:

The recommendations emphasized that the port activity has no impact on the sea areas such as tourist beaches and fishing areas and natural communities, in addition to establishing specialized units for separation and waste recycling resulting from the activities of the port. So that it’s financial revenues returned to the port to maintain clean environment and free from waste.

In addition, the role of the state in controlling over the port and ships and applying the legislation and regional and international treaties in this regard, as well as making time plans for the periodic detection of ships and the equipment of port and following the safety and security rules.

Finally, Aspects of Ports Development and Strategies:

The workshop recommended conducting studies and research to define the elements of the Saudi ports to meet the needs of customers in line with the external threats and challenges in this sector, including optimal utilization of Saudi Ports and the global competition.

The workshop also discussed in its proposal to develop a time plan for implementing a series of workshops in Saudi ports to exchange experiences and in this vital sector.


Dredging Today Staff, May 14, 2012; Image: aast