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Capt. Yoss Leclerc, Director Operations & Security and Harbour Master, Port Metro Vancouver, Canada discusses the new reality of ports and the evolving role of the Harbour Master. Port Metro Vancouver is one of Canada’s most important assets, trading $75 billion in goods annually and generating 129,000 jobs in the Port’s supply chain alone.
Capt Leclerc’s presentation at the 8th IHMA Congress will review the restructuring of the Harbour Master’s department at Port Metro Vancouver and highlight the advantages of adopting a holistic and integrated approach to port operations.
Having spent almost 25 years in the transportation industry, what are some of the most significant changes you’ve witnessed in port operations?
Nowadays, port operations have a broadened scope of responsibilities and are now looking after the whole supply chain. Moreover, environmental awareness has gained unprecedented focus as communities want to get involved in a port’s development projects. Hence, with community and public interest in port operations significantly increasing over time, media communications and public relations have also become very important aspects of port operations.
Port Metro Vancouver is proud of its history of commitment to the environment, its operating communities and to innovation. What examples of these initiatives were on display at the recent Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?
Port Metro Vancouver is always looking for new ways to reduce the impact of operations on communities and environment. For example, as the homeport of one of the world’s most popular cruises, Port Metro Vancouver is leading the way for other ports to address air quality and climate change. Shore power in British Columbia sets a new transportation and energy standard by being the first of its kind in Canada. This initiative has enabled the elimination of 3,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year (equivalent of 770 cars off the road for a year).
Shore power is a part of the Port’s overall Air Action Program, which also includes projects that minimize emissions of trucks, cargo handling equipment and trains.
Recently, the Air Action Program received an ecoFREIGHT Sustainable Transportation Award at the 2010 GLOBE Conference. The award recognized the Port for its leadership in addressing the impact of freight transportation on the environment.
Another example is our community engagement. Port Metro Vancouver takes a proactive role in its communities through a dynamic community relations program and generous community giving initiatives. We also work to develop community engagement opportunities that are defined by strong relationships, with a view of building sustainable futures together. Port Metro Vancouver’s jurisdiction covers nearly 600 kilometres of shoreline, bordering on 16 municipalities and intersecting the traditional territories of several First Nations. Within each of these communities, we make an ongoing effort to partner with these groups to strengthen relationships. These relationships were successfully put to test during the 2010 Winter Games as we worked in collaboration with the different groups to ensure minimal impacts of port operations on communities.
Security was also a critical aspect of the Games. PMV through innovative processes, protocols and technology (internal information systems as a platform for operational and security information sharing) was able to ensure full security throughout the entire period with minimal increase of resources.
As ports become more competitive and results-driven, how has the role of Harbour Master reflected this demand for continuous improvement?
The competition has driven focus on more areas than just safety and security. Today, as shippers’ priority is time (cargo moving from A to B), port productivity and efficiency are critical from a competition stand point. In order to respond to this ever increasing demand the Harbour Master has, through innovative and cost efficient ways, to:
– Continually review and enhance its operational processes and systems
– Enhance its understanding of the whole supply chain
– Augment its visibility on the supply chain
– Increase its control of the supply chain
– Have strong emergency and business recovery plans