The role of ports in supply chain disruption management
Loh, Hui Shan
Date of Issue2015
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
The function of a port has evolved from a platform providing simple loading and unloading activities to a gateway that opens up numerous opportunities that proliferate economic benefits. Despite recognising the fact that ports have increased their significance in supply chains, little is known about the deficiencies in port operations or events originating from ports that threaten supply chain continuity. Addressing the vulnerability of ports helps to ensure ports’ functionality and enhance supply chain resilience. This calls for contemporary studies on supply chain management to address the management of supply chain disruptions that originate from port operations. Therefore, this study has two main purposes: to study the magnitude of port-related supply chain disruption (PSCD) threats; and to examine the application of a management model which could minimize the disruptive potential of ports on supply chains. This research has identified PSCD threats and synthesized the current literature into a management model that seeks to target operational deficiencies at ports. The management model is operationalized in three tiers, from the top management level to the front-line employees, with characteristics from risk management, business continuity management and quality management theories. The management model serves as a universal guide in assisting port management in managing port-related disruptions and seeks to reduce the occurrences of PSCD threats. In-depth interviews have been conducted with senior managers from port operators and port users’ entities to preliminarily substantiate the 19 identified disruptive port-related events and management model. Through the interviews with the management of industry players, the factors affecting the occcurrences of the PSCD threats as well as the implementation of the management model were analyzed. Subsequently, two surveys were conducted. The first survey collected primary data from port users, port operators and port authorities on the frequencies and consequences of PSCD threats. The purpose of the second survey was to gather primary data from port operators and port authorities to provide empirical evidence of the effects of the mangement model on port performance. From the first survey, risk matrices were generated to compare the perspectives of port operators and port users. Data collected from the second survey was analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM) with AMOS 22.0. The main conclusions of this research are that threats which require a higher level of attention are those related to the planning of port resources while threats that require a lower level of attention are those related to port security. The SEM results indicate that managing PSCD using the proposed model contributes positively to the identification of internal and external opportunities and, through that, to port’s resilience of internal operations. This, in turn, positively influences the port’s financial health and market reputation. This research fills the literature gaps by providing a risk assessment of port-related threats that have adverse effects on supply chain continuity from the perspectives of port operators and port users. Its findings highlight the areas that port management should focus on as well as the measures of managing PSCD holistically through strategic internal and external collaborative efforts.
DRNTU::Engineering::Maritime studies::Maritime management and business