Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
Hector Miole’s long and succesful career as a port professional started rather unexpectedly. He was teaching in the middle of a college semester in 1976 when the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), then newly established, started a recruitment campaign.
‘They invited applicants to take entrance examinations for possible employment. My main motivation to join them was the generous compensation package they offered,’ he recalls.
In February 1977, PPA employed him as a terminal operations officer, commencing his career in the port management community.
Thanks in part to training from UNCTAD’s TrainForTrade port management programme, he has risen through the ranks and is now an assistant general manager at the Philippine port.
Career propelled by UNCTAD
Miole obtained a master’s degree in port administration from the University of Antwerp in 1982, thanks to a scholarship from UNCTAD.
He had earlier studied English, earning his bachelor’s degree in 1973. He later earned a certificate in business economics from the University of Asia and the Pacific in 2005.
He reconnected with UNCTAD in 2012, when he met the chief of the organization’s TrainForTrade programme, Mark Assaf, at an event in Geneva.
Assaf presented the programme’s modern port management curriculum to the course members. Shortly afterwards, the PPA adopted the course as part of its high-level training programme for managers and key executives.
In 2013, UNCTAD conducted a joint coaching workshop with the PPA in Manila.
Miole recalls: ‘The workshop aimed to improve participants’ organizational and delivery skills and the ability to assess results and provide feedback correctly.’ Four countries participated in the workshop.
In 2015 Miole received his certificate in modern port management after completing the course’s eight modules in two workshops, which he says introduced him to a well-structured learning process.
He commented: ‘This was combined with practical examples from highly developed port systems as well as the sharing of unique methods and practices by small and developing country port management models represented by other attendees.’
Power of knowledge exchange
During the workshops he realized how important it was for even experienced port professionals like him to exchange knowledge with other people from successful ports, learn their core competencies and their visions for the future.
Thanks to his training, he has advocated for the adoption of the modern port management programme in the PPA, with good results. He added: ‘We have completed the first two cycles of the programme and will soon complete the third.’
It is understood that Miole has also shared his knowledge and experience with his colleagues in TrainForTrade’s training sessions in Indonesia and in global webinars.
He sees the opportunity for networking with other members of port communities as an important element of TrainForTrade’s workshops.
While participating in workshops in Ireland, he was impressed by local ports’ solutions to common challenges, which he could replicate in Philippine ports.
‘Understanding the growth and development of the Dublin port and how the port of Cork managed its cruise and passenger ferry businesses were important guideposts during my visit,’ he said.
He indicated the exchange of port experiences among TrainForTrade’s trainees supplements the often highly technical aspects of the training programme. ‘It also shows the gender-sensitive, inclusive and non-discriminatory global face of the programme.’
Rebuilding post Covid-19
It is understood from what Hector Miole says that the port sector needs support to recover and rebuild from the Covid-19 crisis and develop new knowledge, especially related to digitalization, related to port management and resilience.
In conclusion he commented: ‘We need to be better prepared for new threats and constraints that have the potential for higher frequency and damages. I am thinking specifically of cybersecurity, climate change, communicable diseases and digital gaps.’
According to him, the TrainForTrade programme offers port managers a fitting opportunity to position themselves to better tackle these and other challenges.
The programme launched in 1989 disseminates international trade-related knowledge and develops skills and capacities in developing countries and those with economies in transition.
Over the years, it has received funding from Belgium, France, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, the beneficiary countries and partner ports.
Hector Miole during a visit to the port of Yokohama..
Photo courtesy of Hector Miole ©.
Illustration per: https://unctad.org/topic/transport-and-trade-logistics
Shortly before the festive break the IMO Assembly held its 32nd session and adopted a resolution proclaiming an International Day for Women in Maritime, to be observed on 18 May each year.
This observance will celebrate women in the industry and is intended to promote the recruitment, retention and sustained employment of women in the maritime sector, to the profile of women in maritime, to strengthen IMO’s commitment to UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 (gender equality) and to support work to address the current gender imbalance in maritime.
The resolution invites IMO Member States, the maritime industry, and all others in the maritime endeavour to promote and celebrate the International Day for Women in Maritime in an appropriate and meaningful manner.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said: ‘This day for women in maritime will further efforts to achieve SDG 5 on gender equality. It is a perfect follow-on action to the 2019 theme of empowering women in maritime and the Assembly resolution adopted in 2019.
At the 74th session of the IALA Council in December, as part of a policy to support the vital work of IALA members around the world, issue was approved of two recommendations, twelve guidelines and three model courses.
Here below the documents are listed and may be downloaded at no charge:
Revised R0139 The Marking of Man-made Offshore Structures Ed3.0.
Revised R0126 The Use of AIS in Marine Aids to Navigation Ed2.0.
Revised G1078 The Use of AtoN in the Design of Fairways & Channels Ed2.0.