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Tomislav Skračić, MA Undergraduate English Course for MARI TIME MANAGERS 6th Semester. Essential reading: T. Skračić, Waypoint – English Textbook for Maritime Students, Pomorski fakultet, Split 2010, Units 29-33 T. Trappe & G. Tullis, Intelligent Business , Longman 2005. UNIT 30.

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Tomislav Skračić, MAUndergraduate English Course forMARITIME MANAGERS6th Semester

Essential reading:

  • T. Skračić, Waypoint – English Textbook for Maritime Students, Pomorski fakultet, Split 2010, Units 29-33
  • T. Trappe & G. Tullis, Intelligent Business, Longman 2005
port managment
  • Role of a port authority

Ports usually have a governing body referred to as the port authority, port management or port administration. "Port authority" is used widely to indicate any of these three terms. The term has been defined in various ways. In 1977 a Commission of the European Union defined a port authority as a "state, municipal, public or private body, which is largely responsible for the tasks of construction, administration and sometimes the operation of port facilities and, in certain circumstances, for security."

Unit 30


Harbour master's function

He is usually part of the port authority organisation and is responsible for ensuring the efficient flow of traffic through port and coastal waters (including allocation of vessels to public berths) and – on behalf of the government or port authority – for coordinating all marine services.

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Frequently, harbour masters have police powers, enforcing the port by-laws, especially with respect to traffic regulations, protection of the environment and accident prevention.

  • When part of a port authority, the harbour master also usually serves as head of the pilotage service.
  • Finally, the harbour master is sometimes responsible for regulatory oversight of the carriage and storage of dangerous goods in the port area as well as for ensuring the proper use of port reception facilities.

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In view of the public character of the harbour master’s responsibilities, this function is rarely privatised. Although the harbour master might be part of a port authority’s management team, he should be free to exercise his jurisdiction as independently as possible from the commercial management of the port.

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Pilotage and tugboat operations

Pilotage is an essential part of traffic management, and safe passage of vessels through a port area requires expert teamwork of a vessel traffic management organisation, tugs, mooring gangs and pilots.

A private sector pilot monopoly that has the ability to bring port operations to a complete and rapid stop represents a significant risk for ports, carriers, and shippers alike.

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Tug (Towboat)

Tugs are relatively small and heavily built vessels of considerable engine power. They have robust design,ability to get close alongside other vessels, good manoeuvrability and stability.

Tugs perform a variety of tasks and their design varies accordingly. They:

  • move barges and oil rigs
  • help large ships manoeuvre in ports and confined waters
  • tow vessels on ocean voyages
  • are used in SAR and fire fighting operations
  • may be used as supply vessels.

Tugboat operations are typically carried out by private firms. If the volume of vessel traffic is not sufficient to support a tugboat service on a commercial basis, a port authority may be obliged to provide such service itself. Sometimes neighbouring ports can share tugboat services. In many instances traffic density allows only for one private tugboat company to operate in the port area.

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Other marine services

The control of dangerous goods for maritime cargoes is usually performed by a specialised branch of the port authority. The same goes for the handling of dangerous goods in port terminals.Oversight and regulation of land transport of dangerous goods is normally a responsibility of the central government. The highly sensitive and technical nature of this work makes it inadvisable to privatise it.

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Other marine services

Waste managementservices in ports often are privatised under strict control of a port authority or another competent body.Proper waste management can be expensive for shipping lines. With high costs, ship captains might be tempted to dump waste into the sea or into port waters. Control of such dumping practices is extremely difficult, especially for chemical cargoes. To spread waste management costs, ports can include all or part of the waste management costs in the general port dues.

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Role of port operators

Just as central governments and port authorities play key roles in the port communities, so too do private port operators (such as stevedoring firms, cargo-handling companies, and terminal operators). Port operators typically pursue conventional micro-economic objectives, such as profit maximisation, growth, and additional market share. Only if port operators are free to pursue such objectives can the benefits of a market-oriented system be achieved.

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Roles of a Transport Ministry

In a market-oriented economic system the MinistryofTransport typically performs a variety offunctions at a national level. The Ministry:

  • develops transport and port policies related to planning and development of a basic maritime infrastructure including shore protection, port entrances, lighthouses and aids to navigation, navigable sea routes and canals;
  • develops policies on development of ports (location, function, type of management);
  • develops policies on planning and development of port hinterland connections (roads, railways, waterways, pipelines);

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drafts and implements transport and port laws, national regulations and decrees;

  • is responsible for incorporating relevant elements of international conventions (e.g. SOLAS, Law of the Sea, MARPOL) into national legislation;
  • specialised departments of the Ministry represent the country in bilateral and multilateral port and shipping forums;
  • the Ministry may also negotiate agreements with neighbouring countries relating to water-borne or intermodal transit privileges;
  • in the area of financial and economic affairs, a Ministerial department is usually responsible for planning and financing national projects.

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EXERCISE 1 – Use the following words to complete the text:education, maintenance, movement, oversight,protection, rescue,works.


  • Ship inspections and Register of shipping ( ____________ of ship safety and manning conditions);
  • Traffic safety and environment (safe ____________ of shipping and ____________ of the marine environment);
  • Maritime ____________ and training (maritime academies, merchant officers exams, licensing of seafarers);
  • Ports (execution of national ports policy);
  • Hydro-technical construction (construction of protective ____________, sea-locks, port entrances, etc.);
  • Vessel traffic systems and aids to navigation (construction and ____________); and
  • Search and ____________.

EXERCISE 2 – Translate into English:

  • Tijekom 60-ih, glavne zapadnoeuropske luke poput Antwerpena (Antwerp) i Marseillesa razvile su velike industrijske zone (sites) pored svojih lučkih sadržaja (facilities).
  • Unatoč modernim lučkim sadržajima i velikim vladinim subvencijama (subsidies), luka Eemshaven nije nikada postala uspješna. Bila je odveć izolirana i nedostajalo joj je industrijsko zaleđe (hinterland).
  • Lučke i gradske vlasti (authorities) bi trebale iskoristiti svoj utjecaj da se izgradi (establish) potrebna intermodalna infrastruktura.
  • Velike luke se nose s (deal with) većim brojem (a number of) različitih aktivnosti: kretanjem brodova, ukrcajem i iskrcajem brodova i kontejnera, peljarenjem, upravljanjem otpadom, carinskim aktivnostima, itd.

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Shvatili su da lučki razvoj ima posredne učinke (collateral effects) na javni interes (public interests in) za korištenjem zemlje, utjecaj (impact) na okoliš te na otvaranje (creation) radnih mjesta.

  • Oko Colomba se razvija industrijski klaster modne robe i odjeće (apparel), usmjeren na (focuses on) pouzdane kontejnerske usluge koje pravovremeno udovoljavaju (complete just-in-time) narudžbama.
  • U sklopu svoje strateške politike razvoja, mnoge luke potiču (encourage) usporedni razvoj (co-development) raznih usluga s dodanom vrijednošću kroz (through) franšize, izdavanje dozvola (licensing) i leasing.
  • Osnovna lučka infrastruktura sastoji se od lukobrana, operativne obale, gatova, navoza, dokova, bazena te teretnih i putničkih terminala.

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EXERCISE 3 – Answer the following questions:

  • Define the term "port authority".
  • What are the common legal powers that a port authority has?
  • What is the harbour master in charge of?
  • What are the main tasks and responsibilities of the Ministry of Transport with respect to planning and development?
  • What are the main policies of the Ministry related to legislation?
  • What are the responsibilities of the Ministry of Transport with respect to international relations?

Unit 30