A Repeatable Strategic Planning Model for Quasi-Governmental Port Entities

A Repeatable Strategic Planning Model for Quasi-Governmental Port Entities

Lisa S. McBride (Capella University, USA) and R. Adam McBride (McBride Research Associates, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1049-9.ch087
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A repeatable strategic planning model for quasi-governmental port entities which recognizes and includes the aspects of blended public and political interests in port ownership is presented in this chapter. This model, developed over a period of forty years, has been successfully implemented in quasi-governmental port entities in the United States and Canada. It is supported by the strategic planning literature, best practices in port planning, and the perspectives and experiences of a port chief executive officer. This model consists of the sequential components of Legitimacy and Support, Public Value Proposition, Mission Statement, SWOT Analysis, Objectives and Strategies, Evaluation and Review, and Renewal as well as the dynamic elements of ongoing Communication and Consultation, where Legitimacy and Support for the strategic plan is maintained with both public and private constituencies throughout the process.
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A Repeatable Strategic Planning Model for Quasi-Governmental Port Entities

In this chapter, a repeatable strategic planning model which has been successfully implemented in quasi-governmental port entities in the United States and Canada is presented. Repeatable processes lay the basis for success and are an integral part of all successful organizations (Jenner, 2016); therefore, the strength of this strategic planning model lies in the iterative nature in which there is provision for continual adjustment and refinement of the strategic plan, particularly in the communication and consultation processes (Hooghiemstra, 2000). Additionally, the credibility for this model is greatly enhanced as it is a synthesis of the literature of the maritime field and the perspective and extensive strategic planning experiences of a chief executive officer (CEO) who has served quasi-governmental port entities in both Canada and the United States. This repeatable strategic planning model incorporates the elements of the basic strategic planning found in the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats model (SWOT) (for example, Yousefi, 2013), and its reversed acronym counterpart TOWS (for example, Jafari, Jafari, & Loyes, 2013). It is also supported by frameworks and methods for strategic analysis and action (for example, Leonard & Moore, 2014; Mintzberg, 2008), to address the unique characteristics and planning needs of a quasi-governmental port entity.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term “quasi-governmental port entity” is used to represent port entities, districts, commissions, corporations, and municipal departments that are essentially owned by the government, but operate predominately in the private sector. In defining a quasi-governmental port entity, it is important to acknowledge that each port entity has a unique political entity, legislative mandate, and official language outlining the rights and responsibilities of public and/or private sectors and the levels of influence and control among the public and private entities vary from one port to another (Haarmeyer & Yorke, 1993). A port may be privately owned, but subject to governmental legislative mandates for its operations (ACPA, 2016; Ducruet, deLangen, & Notteboom, 2012) or a port may be publicly owned by a political entity, but work closely with private industry (AAPA, 2016). It is recognized that each port has its own “sliding scale” of public and private responsibilities and levels of engagement (Baltazar & Brooks, 2006) and believed that this repeatable strategic planning model will be applicable and useful for the success of all quasi-governmental port entities.

Considered to be a Critical Infrastructure Sector by the Department of Homeland Security (2016), the United States Maritime Transportation System (MTS) is vital to the economy of the United States and its international trading partners. Among its many maritime related assets, the Maritime Transportation System lists 361 ports and 25,000 miles of waterways which allow the transportation of people and goods on the water (DHS, 2016). Subsequently, these U. S. ports operate under government legislation with significant economic impact to local and regional economies, generating business development and job opportunities (AAPA, 2016) in partnerships of varying degrees with private sector entities (Allen, 2012). This holds true for Canadian ports as well, which are highly competitive and are expected to be self-sufficient (ACPA, 2016). The Government of Canada (Transport Canada, 2016) lists 18 major port authorities and the total number of ports in Canada are estimated to be approximately 174 (Searates, 2016). Many of these ports are still owned and operated by the federal transport agency, Transport Canada; however, a number have been transferred or “divested” to municipalities or the private sector (AAPA, 2016; Ducruet, deLangen, & Notteboom, 2012) over the last ten years.

The concept of government legislated, privately operated ports is not unique to the United States and Canada, which are part of much larger and intricate webs of trade and intermodal transportation involving international ports which operate in a similar manner. Many other world ports belong to gateways or corridors which are defined as coordinated bundles of transport and logistics infrastructure and services, governed by national or regional bodies, constituted by public or private sectors or a combination of the two (Kunaka & Carruthers, 2014; Edgerton, 2013). A large number of world ports have both public and private interests which make this quasi-governmental repeatable strategic planning model applicable at an international level. Some of these include the European ports of Antwerp, Belgium, Le Havre, France, Hamburg, Germany and Rotterdam, Netherlands (World Bank, 2007), the Port of Beirut, Lebanon (Port of Beirut, 2016), and ports in Latin America, the Caribbean, and South Asia (World Bank, 2015).

Key Terms in this Chapter

CEO: The port CEO is that individual who is the senior executive staff member of a port, usually reporting directly to the port commissioners and with broad responsibility for all aspects of port planning, financing, and operations.

Political Authority: The political authority is that public body or individual who stands as the owner(s) or representative of the owner(s) of port assets. The political authority is most often a federal, state/provincial, county, or municipal government and is normally responsible for the selection and appointment of port commissioners, and to whom the port commissioners are accountable. In some U. S. states the political authority is the general citizenry at large as port commissioners are popularly elected.

SWOT: A strategic analysis method comprised of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Port Commissioners: Port commissioners are those individuals acting as the governing body of a port entity, who adopt and oversee the execution of port plans, policies, budgets, and programs usually through the port CEO. In some jurisdictions they are called board of directors or other titles.

Port Leadership: Port leadership is the port CEO and port commissioners working together in the consideration of port affairs, communicating port plans and strategies, and making decisions concerning the mission and direction of port activities.

Quasi-Governmental: Used to represent authorities, districts, commissions, corporations, and municipal departments that are essentially owned by the government, but operate predominately in the private sector.

Port Entity: Port entities are the bodies corporate who operate port facilities. In various jurisdictions they are called port authorities, port commissions, port corporations or departments, as well as port or harbor districts.

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