Delays in port with the MV Odin
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Delays in port with the MV Odin
In this research report a port delay-analysis was created that showed the different ports where the Odin loaded and discharged. MV Odin is a general cargo ship which always sails in liner service. This means that MV Odin always loads and discharges in the same harbours. These harbours are in Oxelösund (SE), Västeras (SE), Södetälje (SE), Hull (ENG), Velsen (NL) and Antwerp (BE). The ship mainly transports steel plates, steel coils, wooden boards and containers. The dockworkers’ working hours and rest hours from the last two years (beginning in 2014) were collected (see full analysis in the appendix).
The first chapter addresses the problem of the delays of the Odin: when the ship was delayed, charterers sometimes needed to change the schedule. Out of this problem a research question was composed. The research question was: Are there solutions for the delays when the MV Odin is in the harbours of Oxelösund, Västeras, Södertälje, Hull, Velsen and Antwerp? To answer this research question, a few sources and sub-questions were investigated. These sub-questions are:
- What are the different reasons for the delays in the harbours?
- Can the delays be related to weather, cultural differences between different countries, material shortcomings, the crew on board or another category?
- In which port does the ship have most delays?
As the results were set out, one can see clearly that Oxelösund was the port with the most delays. Main delays here were: rain/strong wind/snow, crane out of order and waiting for the berth.
In Velsen, the two delays were: crane out of order and waiting for cargo.
The delay in Södertälje was due to the fact that they only had 1 crane for discharging containers.
In England, Antwerp and Velsen the dockworkers worked fast and long times. They often worked 3 to 4 hours and then took a 30-minute break between those working hours.
In Sweden, they also worked in 2 day shifts. One from 6:00 till 14:00 and the second one from 14:00 till 22:15. First of all, in Oxelösund, the cargo operations always started with 20 or 30-minute delay. Also, the dockworkers falsely stated that their breaks always happen at regular intervals and last 30 minutes. This would mean that, when they work 8 hours, they would get a 30-minute break 3 times a day, resulting in a total of 1,5 hours. In reality, their breaks turned out to be longer. They took breaks of 40, 50 or even 60 minutes. Second of all, in Västeras, they often stopped working at 16:00 already instead of working till 22:00 (see analyse for Oxelösund/Västeras in the appendix ‘analysis of the portlogs’).
In Södertälje, they never started working before 7:00.
In Sweden, there is a big difference in performance of work. Because they have a feminine society (Sweden only scored 5% on the masculinity category), their whole culture is based around ‘lagom’. The fictional law ‘lagom’ means something like not too much, not too little, not too spectacular and means that everything should be done in moderation. Their working behaviour can also be explained by their low score (of 29%) on uncertainty avoidance. Hofstede explains uncertainty avoidance as a phenomenon where people try to maintain a more relaxed attitude, where schedules are flexible (certainly in Oxelösund) and where hard work is undertaken but only for their own benefit. This could explain why they often take longer breaks.
Hofstede’s other cultural dimensions can also play a part in the Swedish way of thinking. Sweden scores low on Power distance and therefore do not like to be checked by their supervisor. What also has an influence is the dimension Indulgence: enjoying life and having fun. The Swedish have a positive attitude towards the work and breaks. This could influence why the dockworkers decide on having longer breaks.
The dimensions Individualism indicates that Sweden is an individualistic society and therefore their employer/employee relationship is a contract based on mutual advantage. Because of this, their managers will not tell them to work faster. Even if the captain was complaining to our agent in the port and this agent informed the managers about the problem, the situation didn’t change.
The dockworkers think that it is important to keep the life/work balance. This is confirmed by the masculinity category of the literature review (cultural differences).
There were some recommendations for these three ports. For the ports of Sweden, it would be more effective to reintroduce the old working system: the dockworkers got paid a fixed amount per ship. However, when the dockworkers get a fixed amount, this cost more for the harbour and they wanted to reduce the costs. At the moment, they are getting paid per hour and this is less effective. A solution could to adapt the current working system so that dockworkers receive a bonus when they work fast.
For the port of Oxelösund, it would be a huge advantage to build an All Weather terminal (similar as the one in Antwerp) for coasters at the steel terminal for the high-grade steel coils.
For Velsen, it would be recommended to work on the truck schedule. For example, all of the trucks have to deliver their containers in the morning, so that they do not have to be on the terrain for the rest of the day.
For Södertälje, it would be helpful if the port buys a second crane for discharging containers.
For all the other harbours, it is recommended to maintain the cranes more, so that there are less crane defaults.