MAR8082 : Port Economics and Business

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


A1. To promote students understanding of the managerial and regulation related elements that influence the port industry. Students will also learn key rights and duties connected of main port actors that will enable them to orientate themselves in the shipping environment, improving the employability and employment skills.
A2. To provide students with knowledge of main port actors, their roles, and how they represent a key strategic element to shipping business.
A3. To show students the impacts of port operations on the cargo delivery and how ports represent part of the regional capital, constituting an important asset for the local economies.
A4. To provide students with knowledge of the main investment tools and patters related to the port and terminal business and how these elements affect the performance of the shipping business. Such knowledge is essential for any person operating in the shipping industry.
A5. Explore the main innovations and technology trends and how these industry improvements will affect the port business. Such element will make students aware of next market changes.

Outline Of Syllabus

• Identification of port actors (for example, port authorities, terminal operators, regulators, freight forwarders, ship agents, port service providers) and how they interact to facilitate shipping and port operations.
• Identification of port impacts on regional economies (e.g. environment, employment) and how these effects impact on the port development.
• Port governance, regulation, and financing structure: description of how ports are organised and managed.
• Investment patterns in the port industry: discussion on how different logistics and shipping companies affect investments in the port sector.
• Innovation and technology in the port sector, identification of main industry changes (e.g. blockchain, automated terminals) and how these modifications affect the port industry.
• Green ports: mitigating vs adapting. Identification of main sustainability strategies in the port industry.
• Identification of port performance indicators and their linked with shipping choices.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30Examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion112:3012:30Revision for Examination.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Assessed Coursework Completion.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture64:0024:00Including tutorials
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading144:0044:00Directed reading and formative questions.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical42:008:00Group Work on case studies and business game simulation.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Teaching will be organised in block. It will be centred around a structure of 6 lectures. Lectures will be supported by the professional teaching materials published by the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and by several readings. Practical learning tutorials will be included in the lecture time and they will be based on the assessment of case studies and current business practice. By keying into this material the passage of students towards professional status after graduation will be shortened. Lectures are designed to promote basic knowledge on the port industry and on how future industry trends and current regulation can affect the performance of both port and shipping companies (IKO1-6).

In addition to lectures, a group work (based on the assessment of case studies and on a business simulation) provided to the students will be used to let the students improve their understanding of main port industry elements, checking their knowledge and their performance against the market and against their own peers. Thus, the group work and simulation activities will help students to test themselves, promoting collaborative behaviours and testing their increased skills and professional knowledge (ISO1-4).

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A60Unseen Examination
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M301000 words report on a business case related to the development of the port industry and related managerial issues.
Design/Creative proj1M10Group project of 3 pages on the application of basic knowledge to port investment patterns.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment is designed to allow students to test the achieved learning outcomes at both knowledge (e.g. Final Exam) and skill (e.g. group work) levels. The coursework will allow students to show their capability to professionally develop a report solving a specific business case.
Eventually, both the simulation and the written coursework provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate their written and oral communication skills (at professional level), research-related skills, IT skills and depth of understanding (and associated cognitive skills) of the overall port and shipping environment.

Reading Lists