Productivity Starts From Within: Ali

Nabeel Ali, the newly appointed operations manager for Ports Terminal Limited, is a man of commitment and conviction. He plays a big role in Ports Terminal from handling a team
31 Dec 2014 16:00
Productivity Starts From Within: Ali

Nabeel Ali, the newly appointed operations manager for Ports Terminal Limited, is a man of commitment and conviction.

He plays a big role in Ports Terminal from handling a team of stevedores, directing ship movements and berthing to loading and discharging cargo/passengers and the likes.

But above all, he is here on a mission to streamline the processes and help introduce systems that can best suit as well as customise systems to suit our ports.

Like many who have joined Ports Terminal from Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence, Mr Ali is equipped with an impressive background in port management.

He is from Colombo and has been in the shipping and ports trade for the past 10 years.

“My first experience in Sri Lanka (2005) was working as an agent. We were representing at that time Hyundai Lines,” he said.

“I was in the transshipment department and I was handling operations as well.

A year after that, he moved the ranks to the same line’s marketing team.

And it was in 2007 that they took on one of the world’s biggest shipping line, Regional Container Lines.

“It was like a taskforce where we go and set up everything and come back,” he recalls.

“My duty was to do the operation well, streamline the operation and through the documentation department.

“Soon after we came into the port management and I was involved in the port management as well and now I’m here helping to manage a good port.”

Why do you say a good port?

Fiji’s ports are good. The first reason is that the team I have, the people who work with me they are capable. They have a lot of potential.

The only thing they have not gained is guidance and that is the core element to achieving the organisation’s goal. At this stage we are working towards that.


What are the changes you’d like to implement in Ports Terminal from the what Aitken Spence is doing back in your home country to here?

Back home we’ve been working at Ports Authority and I have set up here some strategies similar to that of Port of Colombo.

For example we are focusing on the new Terminal Operating System which is basically a good system that is very straightforward.

Before going into terminal operation, we need to make sure that we feed in all our containers into the system.

My target is that by February we will be 100 per cent with the system which we are currently progressing into.


How is that coming along??

We’re progressing well at the North Gate. At this main point, containers need to be documented properly and we also need make sure the container is put into the system with the time frame and then back into the yard.

For the yard, we are now systematically doing what we call block stack, that is, for ships and storage there needs to be an area or segment allocated. With this, there must be an import and export block stack and empty container block stack. Block stacks are areas allocated for each ship in terms of port and berthing.

If we do the planning from the ship, it would be very quick from the yard. It goes as per the loading sequence.


But what was the situation before?

We found that Ports Terminal was not taking full use of the yard. There was no coordination of block stacks and berthing. So I’m glad the staff are welcoming of the new systems. What I want to point out too is that in order for these systems to be implemented properly, the staff should embrace it. We have a good team of keen learners and that’s our strength and what we want to build on.


What’s at the top of your priority list

My main priority is to improve the productivity levels up to International accepted standards.

Introduce global best practices for the following department & activities that is, for thos handling ship planning, container yard, transport and stevedoring.

Also, training all our staff to meet the set goals especially specially motivation, team work, Knowledge impart which is a huge requirement here.

And also to streamline the process of work department wise and to fully function with the newly introduced TOS system.


What’s at the top of your priority list

The staff of PTL is capable of achieving whatever the processes / targets introduced, but it’s just that they need to be guided and motivated.
And it is for this reason that I wish to share all my knowledge with the port staff and also with the industry in order to improve the trade as a whole.

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