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"Seaports are undergoing a dramatic revolution. This is a revolution that will improve the service that we offer the Israeli industry"

CEO of Ashdod Port Company, Isaac Blumenthal, participated last Thursday in the annual convention of the Manufacturers Association of Israel, which took place in Tel Aviv. Leaders of the Israeli industry and economy participated in the convention, including ministers, members of Knesset, owners and directors of some of the largest companies and more.

 

In his speech at the convention Blumenthal spoke extensively about the changes that are taking place at the seaports in Israel and how they lead to improving the service and making it more efficient for Israeli companies that are dependent on exports and imports. "The sea ports are undergoing a dramatic revolution", Blumenthal told the audience, adding that "the changes that apply to Ashdod Port are obvious and clear. Our preparations for the era of competition will benefit Ashdod Port and its customers. We are upgrading the infrastructure and offering better service, based on revenue of technologies that allow us to become more efficient in every parameter of unloading and loading".

 

Blumenthal described the main points of the port's strategic plan and explained that "faced with the changing landscape we at Ashdod Port Company knew how to prepare ourselves with long-term strategic planning. We built a strategic plan in which we determined the goals and targets that will put us in the best position to takeoff when the market opens for competition. In order to continue to lead and maintain our strength in the era of competition we prepared to receive megaships at the port - the type that already call Israel's ports and those that will arrive at the port in the coming years. We therefore made the platforms deeper, we upgraded our cranes and made them higher and we also prepared with acquisitions. The port leased new tugboats that allow us to better cope with the changing needs".

 

The CEO also used his speech at the convention to expound on the complexity of managing a government company such as Ashdod Port Company. "The government companies, by their very definition, are affected by extreme changes by the government. This is also how things are at Ashdod Port Company. The decision to open the ports industry to competition and to build an additional port in Ashdod is not just a change in regulation. This is a change of the entire situation. We at Ashdod Port Company prefer to consider the decision to change the situation in the ports sector and to develop it for competition as an opportunity to take improve the work at the port from a technological, operational and financial standpoint.

 

Blumenthal dedicated some of his speech at the convention to changes that took place at the seaports since their establishment until today. "Whereas we are talking about work at ports all over the world you have to understand, in a long-term perspective, the changes that were required for the employees and the managers. In the beginning, the port work was mainly very physical work. In the early years of the establishment of the seaports in Israel, although it is a government company with better benefits as customary in government companies, there was not a very high demand for work at the port due to the physical and Sisyphean nature. The technological development and the development of the port's infrastructure over the years caused very great changes also in the quantity of manpower and also in the positions and skills that were required of the employees that were hired. The future of manpower at Ashdod Port, and actually the future of manpower at all ports, will be a mirror of the technological development.

 

The CEO of Ashdod Port Company described to the manufacturers the technological changes and the innovation at Ashdod Port:

I will give you an example of an immense leap forward that the port took in recent months: Every manufacturer who has to work with a port knows that one of the most critical matters is entering and exiting the port. Every day thousands of trucks and large vehicles carrying heavy loads enter and exit; and over the years this has created an irritating bottleneck for those who have to transport the cargo and for the port work in general. At this point we me must take into account the security inspections as well, since the port is also a national asset, which in the past was targeted by terror organizations.

  • Thanks to an advanced computer system and technological adjustments we upgraded the entrances and exits from the port, that are now done almost without a person touching the gate, which makes it much easier for the importers and exporters who need the cargo and also made the work at the port easier - activating the technological gate in order to reduce bottlenecks at the entrance to the port by transferring activity that was performed by gatekeepers to self-service by the truck drives and as such shortening the time for entering the gate
  • Activating an appointment scheduling system in order to increase the ability to forecast the scope of trucks arriving and to reduce the traffic
  • An additional example of advanced technological developments at the port is the advanced simulator, the only one of its kind in Israel that we purchased half a year ago at a cost of 5 million shekels. The simulator assists in improving the abilities of the crane operators and increases their outputs in order to improve the service for the port's customers.
  • At this time we are working on planning the construction of a technological hothouse inside the port so that the port and the company can be pioneers in the technological field and so that this knowledge and these qualities will be available at the port and we won't have to acquire them from our competitors at an enormous expense.