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The Certainty of Berth Uncertainty

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Author(s): Manuel Perez, Director of Product Management, XVELA, Oakland, US

As a result of increasing pressure to improve supply chain predictability, uncertain containership berthing times in ports is one of the main challenges the industry is facing today. Innovative ways of providing visibility and transparency to port operations, along with the various initiatives from port authorities and other governmental entities, are accelerating the process towards new ways of doing things in the berth management field. So let’s start with who’s who in the berth management game. Although there are different models, we will focus on those ports with one or more container terminals, where the terminal is the entity dealing with the different ocean carriers to assign priorities and allocate the berth position on a day-to-day basis. This happens regardless of whether the port authority eventually controls the standard berthing windows or approves individual berth positions, which is more of a formality than an operational acting role. This scenario is also applicable to the port authority that owns and controls the terminal, but where the internal roles are somehow separate. 

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