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CCPE to Offer Marine Terminal Operations Professional Program

Published: March 1, 2010

A new Center for International Trade and Transportation (CITT) training program for marine terminal operations called Marine Terminal Operations Professional (MTOP) will focus on preparing attendees with a wide range of essential skills. This program for front line managers and others interested in marine terminal operations, run through CSULB’s College of Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE), is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, March 10.

“Marine terminals operate at every port in the world. Few experienced people apply for the jobs,” said Carolyn Martin, Assistant Vice President for Customer Service and Public Relations at International Transportation Services in the Port of Long Beach. “A program such as the MTOP will address a huge need for professional training in a highly competitive work environment.” Martin, who also serves on the MTOP advisory board and as an instructor.

The MTOP program will be taught partly by industry experts in the field and by professionals who specialize in interpersonal skills. The course is targeted at working adults with interest in the industry either as an entry level manager or as a consultant or contractor with business at the ports.

The program is structured in independent modules allowing customized training in all aspects of terminal operations. Module topics include general knowledge of the industry, specific skills in container terminals, break bulk, roll-on/roll-off, and cruise terminals. There will be site visits at container and cruise terminals and on an ocean carrier.

Currently, new frontline managers learn on the job, according to Angeli Logan, CITT’s Director of Trade and Transportation Program at CCPE.

“Our MTOP students have to learn and be familiar with a variety of skills, from managing the gate and yard, to vessel operations, maintenance and repair, and customer service,” said Logan. “They must also know and understand labor contracts, labor relations and conflict resolutions, just to name a few items taught.”

Marine Terminal

While on-the-job training is vital, it has its limitations and can be very expensive for an organization.

“We believe that CITT can assist in creating a pool of skilled individuals for marine terminal operators (MTOs) to recruit from; but also we have expertise in preparing employees with essential ‘soft skills’ that will make a difference at the docks and the bottom line,” added Logan. “The objective is to reduce turnover by preparing frontline managers with multiple skills that are invaluable for a productive and effective work environment.”

The curriculum will also address the role of government agencies that impact the jobs on the dock, including Customs and Border Protection, Immigration, and the Coast Guard. Learning will extend beyond the classroom and students will go on field trips to the various types of terminals.

CITT believes that the key to a successful program is to work in partnership with the industry. To this end, an MTOP advisory board has been established which includes industry leaders and port officials.

To learn more about this new program visit the Marine Terminal Operations Professional program Web site or contact Logan by phone at 562/985-2872 or e-mail at

–Anna Behar-Russell