Systems Approach to the operational challenges in marine services within the port of Durban.
Mthembu, Sphiwe Eugene.
MetadataShow full item record
Modern problems are complex and are characterized by the existence of multiple actors, multiple perspectives, conflicting interest as well as key uncertainties. This dissertation aims to explore the operational challenges of marine services in the port of Durban. The researcher was interested in exploring marine operational challenges and their impact on the maritime industry as well as stakeholder benefits from the operation of marine services. The purpose of employing systems thinking was to recognize relationships and interconnectedness between elements at play in the marine services operations. Understanding behavior of marine services systems was critical for gaining insight into the behaviors and patterns underlying these complex systems. The research questions related to the operational challenges being experienced within the port of Durban; the stakeholders who are impacted by these challenges; and the recommendations that can be made to mitigate the impact of these challenges. The research objectives aimed to explore the dynamics of the marine services’ system. Furthermore, the research aimed to look at how the current levels of offering can be improved within the port of Durban. The research problem statement presented the level of connection between the South African economy and the port of Durban, acknowledging that the port of Durban is the gateway to international markets. Marine systems are complex and dynamic requiring the system thinking approach to understand the structure of the problem situation. A conceptual model of a dynamic marine service system was developed by employing a qualitative paradigm. Data was collected via interviews and observations from purposive marine employees who possessed knowledge and expertise of the global maritime industry. Using a thematic analysis the findings indicated that investment in infrastructure is the main marine services operational challenge confronted by the department. The volume of cargo triggers ship evolution where ship builders begin to build bigger size vessels to cater for volume throughput in international ports. The ship size evolution leads to the gap in the shipping industry and port infrastructure which require huge investments to close the gap.