Changing training needs of port workers due to future trends

Ville Hinkka (Corresponding Author), Jenni Eckhardt, Antti Permala, Heikki Mantsinen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    The operating environment in ports has changed considerably during the past decades. The public ownership is decreased at the same time when the private international operators have taken bigger involvement in business. The technological development has been rapid. Vessel sizes increase all the time, the share of container cargo increases and due to the cargo handling automation the cargo is handled much faster. As a result of more globalized trade, the containers handled in the port have much more variety regarding to their geographical origin or destination.The development of port operations has posed new requirements for port workers. The traditional port worker requirements were ability to do heavy physical work in a group. Due to automation, the work requires less physical strength. In addition, the work is increasingly done in small group without supervisor's presence or completely alone. As the number of handled cargo per worker has increased and the variety of the origins of the cargo has increased, the probability that some threats emerge has also grown. Therefore, nowadays part of the port work is the ability to observe exceptions and decide whether these should be reported before the threats become crisis situation, as an example of changed working requirement.The purpose of this paper is to propose how the recent and future trends of the port operations affects for the education and training needs of port workers in Europe. The question is addressed at first by studying status quo of port worker conditions in the European port sector and then evaluating the development of Finnish educational system by using case study research methodology. In Finland, 80-90 % of the foreign trade is transported via ports making Finland as suitable case. Case study research included qualitative research methods such as interviews. In addition, the Finnish system is compared with the systems of other European countries and ILO regulations. As a result, this paper considers pros and cons of harmonizing port work education and training in European Union countries.This paper is based on a research project EU-PORTRAItS which aims at developing the training of port workers in European Union.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4085-4094
    JournalTransportation Research Procedia
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed
    Event6th European Transport Research Conference "Moving Forward: Innovative Solutions for Tomorrow's Mobility, TRA 2016 - Warsaw, Poland
    Duration: 18 Apr 201621 Apr 2016


    • port
    • education
    • training
    • docker
    • case Study


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