The expertise of PLA covers all aspects of port management, ranging from port policy making to developing a ‘strategy map’ for a port authority, the analysis of trends and developments that impact the port, identifying and developing business opportunities in ports and so on. See the different areas of expertise for details and our track record.
Entrepreneurial port development
Many port authorities gradually transform to business case driven port development companies. Some of the main elements of this transition are: from mainly dependent on public funding to business case driven, from mainly reactive to active in business development, from investing in infrastructure towards investing in synergies in the port complex and from a focus on ‘the port territory’ to a focus on networks. Centralizing in this transformation is the ability to identify business opportunities and translate these into concept and projects with a sound business case.
Relevant PLA experience includes projects at Port of Rotterdam as well as the port of New York & New Jersey.
Stakeholders are increasingly demanding a vision of comprehensive port development that reflects the direction in which the project is underway. PLA’s experience in the port vision for Rotterdam (www.portvision.nl) has led to a number of key insights and lessons learned. This experience can be useful for other ports that develop such port development plans.
Relevant PLA experience includes projects for Port of Rotterdam Authority (2010-2012) and the Brazilian Federal Government (2010-2012), both projects were done as employee of Port of Rotterdam Authority.
Performance indicators for ports and port authorities
Performance indicators, both for ports (externally) and for port authorities are increasingly used. We have applied the strategy map as a tool for developing goals and performance indicators, both for port authorities and for ports. We believe this tool can be very useful for workshops of senior managers of port authorities to define and prioritize their organization goals.
Relevant PLA experience includes projects for Port of Rotterdam Authority (2009-2013 -as PoR employee), and an European Port Performance project (2010-2012, see www.espo.be/pprism).
Long term cargo forecasting
Forecasting cargo flows is indispensable in the port / logistics industry. PLA uses an approach that combines models with industry analysis (the approach is published here). PLA strongly believes in co-creating forecasts with relevant stakeholders as forecasting models cannot capture (disruptive) industry trends.
The PLA experience includes projects for Rotterdam (2010-2012) and the Brazilian Federal government (2012). Both projects were done as employee of Port of Rotterdam Authority.
Cooperation between (neighbouring) ports
More cooperation between ports located in proximity to each other may be desirable from a societal perspective as well as a business perspective. See the book Ports in Proximity.
PLA has developed expertise on this issue both at port of Rotterdam and through consultancy projects, for instance an in-depth study of the success of the only cross border merger in the port industry, between the ports of Copenhagen and Malm, also a project for the ports of Ghent and Zeeland Seaports (2005-2006, at Erasmus University Rotterdam).
Corporatization of a landlord port authority
PoR’s performance has significantly improved following corporatization in 2004, in various aspects. It continues to operate as a landlord, but with an active commercial role. The PoR experience has led to important lessons learned concerning transformations of port authorities, the appropriate governance model of port authorities and the business model of landlord port authorities.
PLA has experience through various projects for Port of Rotterdam Authority as well as projects for Suape (Brazil) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Port policies need to deal with such issues as economic impact of ports, public interests in ports, the innovation performance in the port & maritime industry, and the international competitive landscape in the ports industry. These issues were analysed for the Dutch Ministry of Transport.
PLA experience includes projects for the Dutch Ministry of Transport (>5 projects in the period 2001-2006), while at Erasmus University Rotterdam as well a joint port policy document of PoR, and the Dutch Ministries of Economic Affairs and Transport.
The days when ports could afford to be focused on ‘the sea’ (maritime access, sufficient terminal capacity, availability and quality of nautical services) are over. Hinterland access is an increasingly important determinant of port competitiveness. So developing an ambitious hinterland strategy is vital for many ports. Our involvement in shaping the hinterland strategy of Port of Rotterdam Authority, and in key academic research in this area has led to expertise that may be valuable for customers involved in hinterland activities.
PLA experience includes projects for the Dutch Ministry of Transport (2005-2006, at Erasmus University Rotterdam) and the development of a hinterland strategy for Port of Rotterdam Authority (2010-2012, as PoR employee). PLA has in-depth knowledge of the hinterland activities of Barcelona Port Authority, the best case in the industry.
Port, maritime and logistics cluster analysis
The concept of a port/maritime/logistics cluster is increasingly popular. It helps in creating visibility for all port/maritime related activities in a country or region. Furthermore, it may help to enhance innovation and other cooperative projects in clusters. For the long term development, such projects are crucial.
Over the years PLA has developed many insights on clusters, for instance regarding how they emerge, their benefits, the role of leader firms in clusters and the challenges for developing effective forms of cluster governance. Relevant projects include projects for Rotterdam (2002-2003), Durban (2002) and the Lower Mississippi (2003), (as part of PhD research at Erasmus University Rotterdam) and a large research project dealing with Brabant, a key logistics cluster in NL (done at Eindhoven University of Technology).