Thirty-nine Diploma in Business Administration (DBA) students from the International Business & Trade Option and our Lecturer visited the Pasir Panjang Terminal operated by PSA Singapore Terminals on 12 July 2016. We enjoyed our learning journey tremendously, even though security and safety concerns meant that it was an on-coach guided tour once we entered the restricted FTZ (Free Trade Zone).
The Maritime Learning Journey is a programme that provides a glimpse of the maritime operations carried out in Singapore ports or shipyards to maritime students and non-maritime students. Singapore Maritime Foundation hopes to reach out to as many students, to interest them in maritime industry and highlight the exciting career opportunities that the industry has to offer.
TEU, FEU, CY, RO/RO, GP, reefers, flat-racks, etc., and other terms we had learnt in our module on International trade and shipping (PIET) came alive as we came ‘up close (quite) and personal’ to better appreciate the amazing mechanics and coordination within the port. The guide from PSA provided quick facts and figures. One of which is how its innovative Flow-Through Gate system is able to clear incoming trucks within 25 seconds! The terminal utilises a fully-automated yard crane system, along with automated guided vehicles, which are able to efficiently streamline and synchronise the operational processes, reducing the amount of human labour required.
We saw colourful containers neatly stacked up, as far as the eyes can see; bridge cranes and gantry cranes operating in a clockwork fashion; amazing vessels (from Maersk, Evergreen OOCL, Hanjin, etc) berthed majestically alongside being loaded/unloaded, prime movers transiting efficiently, etc. Also, the sight of the humongous RO/RO vessel and the countless vehicles (trucks and sedan cars) neatly arranged was a wonderful visual treat! Wish one of the cars was mine!
This trip has also helped us to appreciate the vital role our port contributes to global trade as a major transhipment hub, and also the importance of hardware and software in port operations, other than the need for trained/skilled resources. We are proud that our port is recognised as one of the best ports of call in the world, awarded with accolades through the years. It was a fruitful learning journey indeed!
Contributed by Edward Lim Shao Liang, edited by Ms Olivia Koh.