Captain Vic Justice, MBA

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					Captain Vic Justice, MBA
Graduated AMC 2006
Job hunting at ports with a new MBA, or, beware
what you want – you might get it…
Regional port versus capital city port
The CEO of a Regional port –
    During the first few weeks
    Working with people
    Providing leadership, growth, stability & planning
    A breakdown of roles & responsibilities
    Planning to work, and working to plan
    Job rewards
Challenges in 2009
(or other tertiary qualification)

   May be an essential job requirement
   May be desirable, and add weight to a job application
   The qualification must be relevant to the job
   It’s a means to an end, not an ‘end to having no means’ i.e. $$$
   The person as a total package is what job interviewers look at
AMC management note – (It’s)The art of getting
things done through people
Truths: Henry Mintzberg (1980) study of
managers concluded:
          They perform great quantities of work at unrelenting pace.
          Work is typically varied, fragmented, brief.
          They prefer to deal with current, specific, ad hoc issues.

AMC’s Management lectures might also throw in
a little of ‘chaos theory’ – for when things go
Diverse backgrounds and qualifications,
however a Master’s degree is usual –
  In WA our CEO’s include mariners, engineers, and

Commercial experience is very useful.

When applying for any position: ADDRESS ALL
An interview consists of an interviewee and a
selection panel (i.e. two sets of fibbers)
 Be dressed in a smart outfit but not flamboyant – it
may be the last time you wear a suit, but you are
thereby showing respect for the panel
Be prepared - read annual reports, statement of
corporate intent, and Google relevant news items
Have good examples ready of how you put essential
job criteria into effect elsewhere
When you ask questions, don’t emphasize what the
port can do for you; this comes after a job offer is
Regional ports generally
have fewer staff with
consequent multi-
task/skilling – more
interesting work
Some regional ports ship
very large annual cargoes,
e.g. Dampier and Port
Hedland are world’s largest
iron ore ports
A regional CEO does not
have extensive support staff
– much DIY work (or hire
expensive consultants and
upset the Directors)
A regional port can provide a
very satisfying career and a
great family lifestyle.
Remember the selection process and those two
sets of fibbers?… you may not have been told
during recruitment about one or two skeletons
rattling in the cupboard…
Sometimes a new CEO discovers unresolved
issues, e.g. innovative uses of credit cards, or
folders of urgent correspondence that had to be
answered months ago.
First priority is to become familiar with finance
and make sure that the port is and remains
financially viable.
Second job is to meet and greet the full
Don’t make any snap decisions, and keep in
very regular touch with your Chairman for the
first 6 months.
A new CEO has a ‘honeymoon interlude’ where
problems are expected to be found and
Honesty here is important, e.g. tell the Directors
‘I’ve found the following problem & I need four
months to fix it’.
This is the time when you establish your
reputation, not when you blame your
The Chairman and
Directors are the CEO’s
They entrust the CEO
with managing the port
The Chairman is
responsible to the
Minister (or to the
shareholders if a private
• Recruitment - normally done only
with board permission, must
accurately define the person and

•Usually complies with state
government recruiting policies

•At regional ports the CEO may be the
HR Manager – must be aware of law
and regulations re recruiting, industrial
relations and personnel management

•Team building is very important –
ideally develop every person to the
maximum of their capability and their
will to advance

•Multi-skilling – look at previous
qualifications and experience
What Ports should do:

•Promote local jobs and expenditure;

•Insulate local business against downturns;

•Create long-term training, employment and
business opportunities

•Provide/promote safe recreational boating

        Profitability                                          Productivity



 Information                       Output
Management &                      QCEOity                               Efficiency


            HR                                                  Customer
        Development                                            Satisfaction          From Sayareh &
                                                                                     Lewarn –
                                                                                     (Melbourne 2006)

•Every new CEO should have a broad
understanding of managerial finance

•If finances are healthy, odds are that
everything else will function well

•A good aim is to widen the gap
between income and expenditure

•The Operations and Finance
managers must work closely together
to keep the port business on track, on
budget, and in accord with Directors’
strategic requirements

•A new CEO should bring fresh eyes
and a renewed enthusiasm to the port
towards achieving better results
PROBLEM: Jan 2008 Broome wharf reached100% utilisation
      Our Solutions:

Faster turnarounds (commensurate with safety) for extra berth availability

Upgraded berths to receive all visiting vessel types (flexibility).

Worked the berths 24/7 expand the operational window (availability).

Improved road traffic management scheme (shore logistics).

Better communications e.g. for berth bookings – fill any empty berth slots

Recruited & trained sufficient workforce for 24/7 shifts (capability)

Upgraded equipment and facilities (capability)
•CEO at a regional port should work
closely with customers

•Customers normally quickly advise
of any issues

•Ports are intermodal hubs and
regional ports are frequently
maritime gateways to a region

•Risk Management and Business
Continuity are integral to sound
logistics operations –these are very
useful management tools

•Customers demand surety – in
safety, availability of services, costs,
and quality
•Sound governance and ‘doing the right thing’ is
essential at a port, and involves relationships
with customers, employees, government and
the community. CEO is under a spotlight.

•Ports are required by regulatory bodies to
comply with governance regulations and
policies – much of a CEO’s time is spent in
formulating, revising, and implementing
governance documentation

•Misconduct occurs if a port official obtains a    Trust me – I’m a CEO…
benefit for him/herself or causes a detriment to
others. The minimum penalty for misconduct is
two years' imprisonment.

•In WA the Corruption and Crimes Commission
must be notified if misconduct occurs
•All ports in WA reviewed their
environmental management plans and
systems following lead concerns at the
Port of Esperance in WA’s SE                   Esperance - town & Port

•Broome conducted a detailed audit of all
activities ashore and afloat, with a follow-
on audit to ensure that any concerns
were addressed, e.g. sufficiency of
bunding at the fuel tank farm.

•Broome Port supports environmental             Broome: ▲ Groundwater    Coastline
programs e.g. seagrass and wildlife
monitoring, benthic algal studies,
migratory bird studies on the Asia-
Australian flyway.
•A port must compete to both attract
and retain business

•To compete your port must meet or
surpass the services provided

•Broome specifically benchmarks
itself as an oil/gas support base
against Darwin, Dampier, and
globally, against Aberdeen

•Broome generally benchmarks itself
against all Australian ports
Broome is an oil & gas (O&G) support base
                                                •Industry Analysis
– i.e. it is a Niche Port:                      •Target Market
                                                •Market Segments
•Port primarily handles O&G cargo and           •Branding
market segment.                                 •Points of difference
                                                •The offer
•Port has made a strategic decision to invest   and promotional
in assets suited to targeted customers to
capture a return on its investment.
•Broome is a ‘services model’ port rather         COMMUNICATIONS:

than ‘landlord model’ – but landlord              • Wide range of
component is increasing.                          communications
                                                  •Manage strategically
                                                  and holistically
                                                  •Based on market
•The Port handles and controls cargoes at         research
                                                  •Focused on target
the wharf.                                        markets
                                                  •Consistent message
                                                           S. CAHOON,

•The Port owns and operates the wharf.
•Ports today rely on information
technology for finance & accounting,
record keeping, communications,
safety & security, operations &
conservancy, record keeping,
engineering & maintenance

•All audits today embrace the port’s
observance of sound IT compliances

•Business continuity plans are
centered on regaining an IT capability

•E-commerce is vital to a seaport’s
CEO’s at a regional port must prepare many of the
port’s publications him/herself
A consultant may charge around $100K to
produce a comprehensive study or handbook
Some typical publications:
  Strategic development plan, statement of corporate
  intent, half yearly report, business continuity plan,
  environmental management plan
  Emergency response manual, port & terminal
  handbook, development guidelines, mooring handbook
  Policies on every management topic known to mankind
                          State                        Chairman
                       government         Minister

•Chairman & Directors are appointed by
the Minister

•CEO is appointed by the Board, with
Minister’s approval
                                            Staff        CEO
•The State government typically is the
‘port owner’

•Any major decision, event or financial
approval must receive the Minister’s
sign-off, e.g. lease documents
Ports Australia is the peak body representing the
interests of port and marine authorities in
Western Australian Port Authorities Association
is the peak body representing state port
authorities and associated agencies.
Other organisations on tap – e.g. CCI, Australian
Logistics Council, APPEA
  Q.    Which Australian port received the following awards?
        2002 Premiers Excellence Award
        Winner in the Economic Development Category
        2002 National Case Earth Awards
        Civil Contractors Federation
        Projects over $10million Esperance Port Upgrade
        2002 Institute of Engineers WA Division
        Engineering Excellence Awards
        Environmental Category
        Esperance Port Upgrade
        2002 Dept of Minerals and Petroleum Resources
        Golden Gecko Award
        Environmental Excellence
        2001/02 The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport
        Transport Achievement of the Year Award
        2003 Australian Shipping and Transport Awards
        Australasian Port of the Year

Maintaining port standards and reputation is an ongoing and very fragile affair…
The Port Authorities Act 1999 (WA)
requires WA ports to:

 Facilitate trade and to plan for growth and
development of the port (i.e. expansion);
 Control business and other activities in the port;

 Be responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the port;

 Maintain and preserve property controlled by the port;

 Protect the environment in which the port operates; and

 Use port assets for profit.
Directors meet around September each year to map
strategic and commercial plans for the next FY
The CEO takes these directions and produces:
  Port Strategic Development Plan (SDP)
  Port’s Statement of Corporate Intent (SCI)
  Capital and Operating Expenditure Budgets (CAPEX &
The Board and the Minister must approve the SDP
and the SCI – the SCI is then tabled in Parliament
and made available for public comment
The CEO must ensure that the management team
follows the SCI and SDP blueprints.

The Chairman follows progress on a daily or weekly

Internal and external auditors provide impartial
advice on port’s well-being (not just financial)

An Interim Financial report (Half-yearly results)
provides feedback to the Minister.

The Annual Report is the ultimate scorecard.
Doing a job well
Making a difference in the community –
providing jobs, ensuring commodity flow,
providing business and training opportunities,
supporting local organisations
Being a ‘big frog in a small pond’
Achieving a year without any lost time incident
Envisioning a project, taking it through to
completion and then seeing others claiming
In closing:

The Year
2009 –
there are
‘no problems,
only challenges’
      Theodore Stern, Academic - 2006

                                        Cartoon from 1933, height of Great

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