Captain Yoss Leclerc is delivering his presentation, ‘The Harbour Master as a Systems Manager’ at the 8th IHMA Congress on Monday 14th May 2012.
How can harbour masters contribute to a port’s operational efficiency? Aren’t operating costs and customer service needs functions of other port departments?
Harbour Masters are the corner stone of port efficiency as they have the regulatory powers and operating involvement that impact directly on port operations (i.e movements of vessels and trucks within jurisdiction) and hence, port operating costs.
Furthermore, the HM realm of responsibilities includes customer service as part of its day to day service delivery to port industry and community. The service is often provided (as in PMV’s case) through a 24/7 Operations Centre that offers knowledge, expertise and dispatching capabilities.
Looking at your experience, what has motivated your continuous professional development?
The continuous evolvement of the marine industry generally, and the port in particular coupled with the broadening scope of my activities has encouraged constant training and professional development. Today with the evolution of port operations and technology, a Harbour Master needs not only to be a marine expert but to also to be very familiar with several traditional and non-traditional disciplines.
What has always amazed me is the fact that I have been learning something every day! The agility and continuous changes to the port industry (new trends, technologies and demands), pushes for more adaptability and awareness from individuals working in the field. I am very interested in anything related to the port industry and enjoy reading articles and other publications to raise my knowledge and understanding of this broad industry. Furthermore, being also a manager, you need to perfect your soft skills (people, communication, engagement) to rally and get the best of your team in order to deliver the finest service to your customer.
In spite of the wealth of experience in the industry, a number of Harbour Masters are operating with often reduced budgets. What potential is there for sharing common solutions and information?
Every port has its own particularities and ways to provide services. That said there is a lot of common solutions and information that can be shared among Harbour Masters. These common solutions include best practices, new programs to enhance safety, security and environmental protection and also information that address specific demands (lessons learn).
We have, through the IHMA, a way to interact with other Harbour Masters and get useful and timely information. The Association is providing a valuable service and we need to build on what is already in place.