The Container Management System forms the core system in PTP and is utilised for yard planning, vessel planning and for facilitating container movement. Input of data is possible via dial-up, web access or through usage of EDI transmission. For marine safety, PTP has implemented its own Vessel Tracking System called RAPADS (Radar Information Processing and Display). RAPADS provides vital information to the Marine Department in handling marine activities. Utilising the vessel tracking system, the Marine Department enables smooth traffic flow in the channel ensuring greater safety.
PTP has also initiated a system with the Customs Department called GCAMS (Gate Control and Monitoring System). GCAMS ensures smooth flow for gate transactions and integrates Customs Declaration System with PTP’s Container Management System to provide seamless information exchange between Customs and other government agencies with PTP as the port operator. With GCAMS, Customs can hold or release containers for import or export through their system without any manual intervention.
The custom-designed Free Zone Information Processing system facilitates submission of manifest and other Free Zone related declarations. PTP's role as a Free Zone Authority also ensures a faster and highly efficient approval process once data is received from customer premises. The electronic Vessel Clearance System (VCS), developed in-house is the first of its kind in the nation. The electronic VCS facilitates one data submission from shipping agencies where the data is then automatically transmitted to the respective government agencies. Usage of the system has saved significant time for shipping agents enabling them to provide government agencies with information in advance. PTP's fully dual redundant Integrated I.T. Network system is backed by high powered servers ensuring 24-hour round the clock availability throughout the year.
Port Klang is situated on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, about 40 km from the capital city, Kuala Lumpur. Its proximity to the greater Klang Valley - the commercial and industrial hub of the country as well as the country's most populous region ensures that the port plays a pivotal role in the economic development of the country. Based on a Government directive in 1993, Port Klang is currently being developed as the National Load Centre and eventually a hub for the region.
With a number of load centring and hubbing strategies pursued since 1993, the facilities and services in Port Klang are now synonymous to those of World class ports. The port has trade connections with over 120 countries and dealings with more than 500 ports around the world. Its ideal geographical location makes it the first port of call for ships on the eastbound leg and the last port of call on the westbound leg of the Far East-Europe trade route.
Port Klang has facilities catering to a diversity of cargo types ranging from containerised, conventional, liquid bulk, dry bulk as well as hazardous cargo and LPG. It has three gateways - South Port, North Port and West Port - encompass a total length of berths, both existing and under planned development is 16 km.
Port Klang has a vessel traffic management system (VTMS) under the supervision of the PKA that was implemented in order to ensure greater navigational safety in the port waters. This system will make available information on vessels transiting the harbour such as cargo onboard, last and next port of call and the vessel's particulars. The centre also provides an attending pilot accurate information on the vessel's position and the density of traffic converging on the same destination, thus enhancing passage planning.
There is also a Vehicle Transit Centre that provides services such as pre-shipment and pre-delivery inspections, a computerised vehicle tracking system, minor repairs and insurance coverage. Its facilities include a yard which can receive up to 40,000 vehicles, a body repair shop, wrapping cover bay and a bay for fitting accessories.
However, as compared with PTP, its use of Information Technology to gain competitive advantage is relatively less aggressive.
Jurong Port is Singapore's only dry bulk cargo-handling port. They are the world’s largest common-user cement terminal, with a capacity in excess of 4 million tonnes a year. It has Singapore’s largest multi-storey, drive-up warehouse – Jurong Logistics Hub with Singapore’s deepest berth depth of up to 16 metres, catering to vessels of up to 150,000 deadweight tonnes.
Jurong Port has developed Jurong Logistics Hub to meet the logistics needs of customers. The hub is a multi-storey drive-up warehouse which allows 45-foot containers to be trucked to every level, right to the doorsteps of customers and under all weather conditions. It is strategically located , just minutes away from the Port, Jurong Island, Jurong Industrial Estate and Tuas industrial zone.
The ultra-modern warehouse comprises 118,000 square metres of warehouse space and 6,200 square metres of office space. Jurong Logistics Hub's customers include multi-national corporations and logistics providers such as Sony, Volvo, Translink, Loreal, Dell Computers and LTH.
Jurong Port also have a private online services that are catered only its customers called JP Online.
Expansion into a world business
As we can see, PSA is facing strong competition from its neighbouring ports. Is the competition only coming from neighbouring ports? PSA is spreading its wings into the world. In the past, the world seems too large to be conquered, but with the advancement in technology, the world is seemingly smaller. PSA aims to serve not only Asia but also the total population in the world. With such a vision, its definition of competitors should also be shifted to a global perspective.
In order to retain its position as the world’s busiest port, it should be looking at the number 2 player in the market, Rotterdam. Although Rotterdam is still a distance away in terms of the tons of shipping handled as compared to what PSA is handling in Singapore, there is no room for taking breathers as time wasted may mean more competitors are another step closer to catching up with PSA.
Despite the global vision, it is important for PSA to keep the neighbouring ports in check because one of its key success factors is its strategic location. This is also the strong advantage that its neighbouring competitors possessed. IT is definitely one of its competitive advantages over the rest and in order for it to stay that way, PSA has to continue to be a leader in innovation and communication.
2. Threat of New Entrants
There are already a lot of established ports around Singapore so the threat of new entrants is rather low. The fact is developing and managing a new port is not easy. There are a lot of barriers to entry involved. One very obvious barrier is the high cost of operations. The amount of investment required to buy cranes, forklifts, set up berths, warehouses etc is beyond the means of many corporations. It also requires high economies of scale in order to be operating at optimum costs so it is necessary to have a large-scale operation. Moreover, there are already many established ports nearby, so it would be very difficult to penetrate into the market.
Besides the huge amount of capital required, a good physical location is very critical to development of a good port. There are many important factors that make up a good port and these physical conditions are usually not within human efforts to create or establish. Hence, just the task of finding a good physical location to start a port alone is by no means an easy task.
Another strong barrier would be government regulations, tariffs and trade restriction. It would almost be impossible to start a port without strong support from the government agencies. The amount of legislative procedures involved can already be a deterrent for many who wish to try.
Portnet also work with ports in other countries such as the Sinport Sinergie Portuali in Italy and Port of Seattle in USA. Since Portnet is providing reliable services, it is not advisable for these partners to switch or set up their own similar systems.
As such, the threat of new entry is lower. The real threat to PSA is still from existing competitors catching up with PSA by providing newer and more innovative services to their customers.
3. Threat of Substitute Products or Services
One of the reasons why the speed and reliability is becoming so critical to certain businesses is because many companies are using JIT (Just-In-Time) inventory strategy. They only assemble or manufacture the products upon receiving orders and hence, the ability to handle all these goods in a timely and efficient manner is a very valuable consideration to companies when they are selecting a logistic company. The obvious advantage of transportation by air over sea is speed, which is the critical success factor for some companies.
Transportation by air is becoming cheaper with the advancement of technology. With an increase in the level of expectations of customers, they are expecting faster, more efficient and reliable transportation services, so many larger companies that are previously using shipping as the main transportation mode is switching over to cargo freight by air. As a result, PSA is actually indirectly facing threats from air logistics companies like SIA Cargo, Federal Express and DHL. All these companies are providing logistics solutions to its clients and it is an emerging threat as the cost of airfreight become lower.
Although PSA is mainly involved in port operations rather than the actual transportation of shipping consignments, if the large shipping transportation companies like Grand Alliance, Evergreen and RCL start losing business to their air counterparts, port activities would reduce and it would indirectly affect the profitability of PSA. As we can see, there are a number of chain reactions involved. As such, although Changi Airport Terminal is not competing directly with the shipping terminals of PSA, they are adversely ‘stealing’ the businesses of PSA.
This is where IT can come in as a value added services to reduce the tendency to switch to other substitute products or services. The virtual e-community helps to reduce the customers’ hassle to go through different channels on freight forwarders, hauliers, shippers and shipping lines matter. The on-line shipping directory is another example of such services available in PSA. Customers can access real-time vessel schedules in Singapore, plus critical business related reports and research reports to facilitate decision-making, as well as latest news in the shipping industry.
PSA even allowed customers to use WAP–enabled mobile phones and hand-held personal computers to check the berthing and unberthing schedules of vessels calling at PSA’s terminals instantly, simply by accessing PSA’s portnet.com web site! The WAP-enabled berthing schedule is provided free-of-charge to PSA customers. These are the convenience that IT brings to PSA customers and make them think twice about switching to other services.
4. Bargaining Power of Buyers
PSA serve a large variety of customers. There are some small customers that do not have much bargaining power, but there are also a few large ones that have a great deal of bargaining power. The main customers of PSA include Global Alliance, Grand Alliance, RCL, and Evergreen etc. In order to stay competitive in the industry, PSA has to be customer-focused. Every customer is expecting different things and terms from PSA and PSA negotiates with each customer individually to achieve the highest level of satisfaction from each customer.
It is very important to keep a constant reminder that other rival ports are fast catching up in the quality and range of services provided. If PSA remain complacent and do not have a customer-centric focus, they could be easily surpassed by its competitors. Keeping this in mind, PSA pays a lot of attention to the individual needs of its large customers. In fact, the bargaining power of these large customers is increasing with the increase in competitiveness from rival ports over the years due to technological advancement. However, the bargaining power of smaller customers is still limited due to low percentage of profit they contribute to PSA’s annual revenue as compared to the major customers.
In order to retain customers, Portnet provides many value-added services. Besides the virtual e-community that provides logistic support to ships, the system also connects to network from other ports around the world. For example, PSA has signed agreements with Sinport Sinergie Portuali, Italy, Port of Seattle and Port of Dalian Authority to implement Portnet System. This would allow seamless integration of their porting facilities with PSA’s own Portnet system. This way, shipping companies can better manage their schedules and shipping routes when passing by these ports, saving precious time and resources. With such diverse services, customers would incur high switching costs thereby lowering the bargaining powers of buyers.
5. Bargaining Power of Suppliers
In terms of bargaining power of supplies, PSA has tighter control over this as compared to buyers. PSA is a very large corporation and being a buyer, it has plenty of bargaining rights. The degree of bargaining power that PSA possesses, of course, is dependent on the type of products or services it is trying to seek. Generally, the bargaining power of a large company like PSA is definitely strong.
For example, with the size of a company like PSA, just imagine the amount of annual profit that PSA is able to contribute to a company selling specialized equipments like cranes and forklifts. If PSA is to ask for more attractive terms, you can be quite certain that the equipment company would listen up and try their best to cater to the needs of this potential large customer.