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Logistical Ports: Critical Connection Points in the Supply Chain

The recent wave of consolidation in the shipping line industry set in motion a series of realignments across all sectors of the supply chain. Marine terminal operators, railroads, trucking companies and port authorities are adapting to working with fewer ocean carriers concentrated in fewer but larger and more powerful alliances. As the shipping lines attempt to optimize their networks, ports, in particular, are under pressure to upgrade their infrastructure, drive operational efficiencies and leverage technology in order to stay competitive. 

However, these improvements can no longer be done in isolation. As intermodal gateways, ports must ensure that their operations and infrastructure are in alignment with the business models of the broader supply chain and the needs of the customer. This requires ports to think ‘outside the docks’; that is, to look beyond the port’s borders in order to add value to the entire supply chain.

Author(s): Dr Noel Hacegaba, Deputy Executive Director/COO, Port of Long Beach

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