Seaport management deals with the management of harbours. It includes the study, assessment, and design of seaports and related infrastructure, as well as providing services related to these in-land ports. Various international and maritime organizations deal with seaport management, requiring various approaches in this field of expertise. In general, a seaport management expert is responsible for analysing seaports, designing port facilities that meet international standards, managing licensing regimes and organizing technical meetings as needed.
The first step toward seaport management is to determine what kinds of activities are conducted at sea. These may include petroleum and other liquid chemicals, telecommunications, fishing and related activities, tourism and related activities, and so on. Once this has been established, the seaport will then be studied to determine the best locations for these activities, as well as for port facilities such as warehouses, terminals, and associated equipment. In some cases, the owner of a specific seaport may be required to provide financial, scientific, and management assistance to a local, regional, or global organization handling the seaport’s development or maintenance.
The seaport owner typically maintains the seaports, pays for maintaining them, and takes care of the required infrastructure. If the owner is not connected to the seaport system directly, he/she will have to hire an indirect seaport manager who will do most of the responsibilities. International maritime organizations need seaports for international shipping, so they have long had agreements with owners to maintain these structures. It is important to note that these arrangements may vary according to each seaport’s circumstances, location, and owner, so it is best to contact a knowledgeable seaport management firm to discuss your seaport’s needs. Some seaports have special needs such as dredging, whereas others may be more flexible in terms of fuel sources and operations.
Most owners of seaports own multiple assets and investments, including ships, property, and other depots. A seaport management company can advise an owner of how to best use his seaport to benefit from its potential, as well as its maintenance and repair. They can advise on the best use of an existing seaport, where it could benefit most from modifications, and what could be done to preserve or enhance its value. This may include removing obstacles, including excess weight, debris, or unwanted objects. They can also counsel owners on when it would be most cost-effective to make needed improvements, and when it would be wise to let the structure deteriorate rather than attempting to repair it.
The role of a seaport management company is to protect the interest of the seaport’s owner. They do this by making necessary arrangements to ensure that the owner receives fair compensation for using his or her seaport, while also providing necessary services to help facilitate the needs of the community. For example, seaports are managed to prevent against environmental damage caused by excess boating and maritime shipping traffic. Part of this responsibility includes insuring the structural integrity of structures at seaports, as well as ensuring that the seaport is able to handle larger ships. This can include offering services to perform dredging to remove excess sediment, or to create channels to allow for more efficient shipping traffic.
In addition to providing services to help owners deal with seaports, these companies may also provide support in other situations. For example, they may be hired to assist in creating the master plan for any new seaports. This plan would prepare the vessel, including its name and address, to be registered in a port. It may also be responsible for managing dredging and surveys as required and for creating licensing programs to allow for operators to utilize a particular seaport. Many of these companies are highly specialized and work primarily with just one or two types of seaports, but may provide other specialized services, as well. They are often the best choice for small and limited-service businesses seeking to protect their investments and manage seaports more effectively.