The global logistics system is excellent for moving goods from one part of the planet to another. At the same time, it provides an opportunity for species native to one area to migrate to another that has no natural defense against it. The Great Lakes are regretfully a victim of this. During the 1980s, it is theorized that a ship transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway from the Black Sea brought Zebra Mussel larva in its ballast water which was released into Lake St. Clair during the loading operations (Lake Pro, N.D.). Since then, the Zebra Mussel has spread out to all five of the Great Lakes and multiple major rivers of North America to include the Mississippi River. This is only one of over 100 invasive species that are now in American waterways.
Ship owners have a major role in the introduction or prevention of the movement of invasive species. For the Great Lakes, one ship that hauled ballast water was all it took to ruin the ecosystem. Preventing the spread is the major goal now. Ships hulls and water systems need to be cleaned thoroughly before they move from one body of water to another. Even small boats used for fishing and recreation need to do this. For ports, they have to not only mandate the cleaning of ships, but aid in providing the means to do so. Additionally, they need to be on the lookout for those ships shirking their responsibility and to be ready to step in with fines and penalties to ensure compliance. The federal government has labeled the Zebra Mussel an injurious species and prohibit the importation or transfer of it (Department of Agriculture, N.D.). This gives the legal framework for stopping ship movements along with the fines. They are also active in educating people about the threat and how to combat it to prevent the further spread.
The problem is the species is already in American waters and nearly impossible to eradicate. Contests and prizes are available for anybody that can determine a use for or a method to reduce the Zebra Mussel population. Until somebody comes up with a plan, education and containment is our best policy.
The definition of a seaport is that it is an area within which ships que to load and/or unload their cargoes. Ships wait for their turn or are ordered and/ or obligated to wait for their turn no matter the distance from port (Branch 1986). Maritime transportation and port logistics services are major global economic contributors in the domestic and international trade, and have also continued to contribute to the variety of value-added services like warehousing, storage, packages, inland transportation to reinforce and sustain their durability. The role of Seaports can be outlined as follows:
a) Cargoes and passengers handling.
b) Providing services for ships such as bunkering and repair.
c) Shelter for ships in case of heavy sea and storm conditions.
d) Bases for industrial development.
e) Terminals forming part of a transport chain.
Despite their role and contribution to the global and national economies, Social, economic and empirical scientists do not have a consensus on how to investigate, evaluate and measure the performance of Ports Services efficiency. It is noteworthy then, that there is currently no standardized measurement or evaluation in the industry because they are still evolving.
It is very important for ports and/ or terminals to be able to compare its performance with its competitors as relevant benchmarks. It is essential that the ports find the best way to evaluate and measure their effectiveness and efficiency at the end of each trading year. There is the need for Ports to promote their business services and to attract new customers from within and internationally hence they ought to monitor their customers’ satisfaction with their value-added services efficiency and facilities productivity.
It is essential that port managers be able to measure performance, set performance targets, and then regularly assess performance against these targets understanding that performance is a concept fundamental to the growth of their businesses, whether they have achieved their set goals and objectives or, working against the competition. Ports are no exception to evaluation and measurement processes, but as complex business entities with many different sources of inputs and outputs, they do make direct comparison among homogeneous ports very difficult (Valentine and Gray, 2002). The ports like any other industry measures its performance on productivity indicators while the required Performance appraisal for economic development activity is convoluted with various literary definitions of performance (Marlow and Casaca, 2003) too. UNCTAD suggested the classification by two categories of port performance indicators which represents macro performance indicators with quantified aggregate port impacts on economic activity, and micro performance’s financial and operational indicators which are used to evaluate input/output ratio measurements of port operations (Bichou and Gray, 2004).
One of the major pathways of introducing invasive or nonindigenous species is through the ballast water tanks on a ship. Ballast water is water held in the cargo holds of a ship, it could be either fresh or saltwater. It is used to provide stability and maneuverability when the ship is not carrying cargo or not enough cargo or to provide extra stability during rough seas. The water or a portion of the water is usually discharged at the next port of call (USDA, 2020).
The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) was adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2004. Amendments to the BMW Convention were adopted in April 2018 and entered into force on October 13, 2019. The standard set forth in the convention is known as the D-2 Standard (IMO, 2019).
The D-2 standard specifies that ships can only discharge ballast water that meets the following criteria:
less than 10 viable organisms per cubic meter which are greater than or equal to 50 micrometers in minimum dimension.
less than 10 viable organisms per milliliter which are between 10 micrometers and 50 micrometers in minimum dimension.
less than 1 colony-forming unit (cfu) per 100 milliliters of Toxicogenic Vibrio cholerae.
less than 250 cfu per 100 milliliters of Escherichia coli; and
less than 100 cfu per 100 milliliters of Intestinal Enterococci.
The D-2 Standard will be accomplished through a filtering system. There are now many such approved systems on the market, ranging from those which use physical methods such as ultraviolet light to treat the ballast water, to those using active substances (chemicals). Those that use active substances have to go through a thorough additional approval process. All ships must have a ship-specific ballast water management plan and keep a ballast water record book (IMO, 2019).
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