The value of international logistics is emphasized more than ever due to the ease of trade barriers between countries or companies as economies become increasingly globalized. Moreover, supported by the skyrocketing growth of the chinese economy, the center of the world's shipping market is shifting to Northeast Asia. Accordingly, the container volume of NE Asia is showing rapid increase.
Under these changing circumstances, the competition to become a hub port in NE Asia is much more intensified especially among the three countries, namely South Korea, China and Japan. To gain competitive advantages, each of the three countries are carrying out various plans such as development of ports, improvement of systems and attracting of foreign capital.
In the case of Busan Port, thirty container berths areunder construction and scheduled to be completed in 2015. In addition, various plans are being carried out by the South Korean government to attract international logistic companies to its distripark designed for high added value activities such as packing, labeling and testing. In other words, the Port of Busan is struggling to be a hub port in NE Asia which recently emerged as the center of world logistics by transforming its function from mere cargo handling to creating added value.
However, the growth trend of Busan Port's container throughput does not bright despite the various government plans previously mentioned. More specifically, the increase of container throughput at Busan Port has been slow by only 1.7% in 2006, which was a very disappointing figure compared to the 17.1% increase in 2002. Furthermore, changes of circumstances such as the rapid growth of Chinese ports, especially those in Shanghai and Shenzhen, and major liners pulling out from Busan Port makes the future of Busan Port grim.
Certainly, the Port of Busan has physical limitations compared to its rival ports in China. Therefore, transforming into both an added value and cargo creating port will be a wise way to reinforce its competitiveness. To achieve this goal, not only physical growth such as improvement of the port's infrastructure but also intangible factors, such as port operation system and high quality personnel, are important, too.
For example, the world's most successfully operated ports, namely Ports of Singapore and Rotterdam, have both the finest port infrastructures which enable them to achieve incredible productivity and efficiency, and also the best qualified experts in port industry. However, the training system and investment to foster port experts is very insufficient at the Port of Busan and the rest of S. Korea.
The aim of this study is to suggest ways to train port and logistic experts, which are considered as preconditions to increase a given port's international competitiveness in a rapidly changing environment.
To accomplish this goal, Chapter 2 first analyses the changing environment of ports and shipping industry, mainly focusing on the Port of Busan. Then, a study on the condition of the Port of Busan follows based on the findings of the analyses. Chapter 3 reviews the current situation and problems of Korea's training system of port and logistic experts. Chapter 4 first examines the case studies of Singapore, Netherlands, Germany, Japan and Hong Kong with a special emphasis on the training systems of port and logistic experts, and then draws a conclusion upon the findings. Lastly, Chapter 5 suggests a basic framework and ways to train port and logistic experts which will eventually increase competitiveness of Korean Ports.
Through this study, five basic ways to systematically and efficiently train port and logistic experts are presented. Firstly, establish an expert development system to keep pace with the needs of the port and logistic industry. Secondly, specialize formal education institutions such as universities and graduate schools. Thirdly, introduce various education programs. Fourthly, transform the Korea Port Training Institute into a specialized university and establish a port and logistic expert training institute. Lastly, introduce a job placement center exclusively for port and logistic applicants and companies.
In conclusion, to make Busan Port NE Asian hub, physical expansion with efforts to increase port productivity and service can not be ignored. However, a well-organized training system for experts who will actually manage and operate the Port of Busan must be built simultaneously.