A new training program designed for front-line managers and others interested in marine terminal operations is being offered through the Center for International Trade and Transportation (CITT) at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).
The Marine Terminal Operations Professional (MTOP) program will focus on preparing students with a wide range of essential skills. The MTOP program is being run through CSULB’s College of Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE).
“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 (ITS) in the Port of Long Beach. Martin also serves on the MTOP Advisory Board and is an instructor. “A program such as the MTOP will address a huge need for professional training in a highly competitive work environment.”
The MTOP program is taught partly by industry experts in the field and by professionals who specialize in interpersonal skills. The course targets 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 front-line managers learn on the job, according to Angeli Logan, CITT’s director of Trade and Transportation Programs at CCPE. While on-the-job training is vital, it has its limitations and can be very expensive for an organization.
“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.”
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.