Ports are a hive of activity, with a number of different tasks being undertaken at any one time, often 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Aside from the tasks of loading and unloading ships – an activity which in itself involves a great deal of organisation – there is also the consideration of cargo storage, organising tug and pilot services, meeting regulations and determining berthing schedules. Profit and loss will also need to be tightly managed, as will the large numbers of people employed in this busy commercial environment.
A Port Manager usually oversees and co-ordinates all these activities and more at one port, or sometimes even a number of ports. At other ports, these same managers might be expected to take on the responsibility for just one aspect of the port’s operations, such as logistics or sales.
While there are no official qualifications needed for a port manager, a business- or maritime-related degree is often desirable, indeed many of the major port operators run graduate schemes where newly qualified intakes get involved in all areas of the port before taking on a senior role. If not entering through such a scheme, experience of the specialist nature of port operations is usually essential.