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The Human Element in Container Shipping

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Edited By Burkhard Lemper, Thomas Pawlik and Susanne Neumann

The shipping industry is run by people and for people. Thus, the main element in shipping is the «human element» – the mariners at all levels. Since the human element aboard vessels – being in and coping with a very special environment – is the crucial point of every transport chain, it is important to take a closer look at maritime human resource management issues which are scarcely tackled in scientific literature. This book deals with topics such as the criminalization of seafarers, piracy as part of shipping companies’ risk management, corporate social responsibility and human error in shipping.

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5 Performance influencing factors inmaritime operations: Cecilia Österman

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87 1 Introduction Technological development of ship design and cargo handling systems are constantly increasing reliability and capacity of sea transport services. Ships have become larger and faster, more cargo is containerised and port turnaround times have shortened considerably. The advent of mechanisation, automation and communication technology onboard has eliminated many manual tasks, leading to an altered crew composition and reduced crew size. Nevertheless, human operators are still present; acting as designers, operators, supervisors and maintainers of ships and cargo handling systems of diverse complexity. The activities are performed within a context with a broad range of human, technical, organizational and environmental factors that must be considered together to fully appreciate complex work systems. These factors are assumed to influence, but not necessarily determine, an operator's performance in a system1 and are commonly referred to as performance influencing factors (PIF). This chapter presents a review of some important performance influencing factors relevant for maritime operations. The review is based on, but does not utilize in its entirety, the PIF taxonomy developed by Kim and Jung2 that in full consists of 220 detailed PIFs classified into four main groups: human, task, technical system and environment. The chapter begins with a brief description and definition of the PIF taxonomy and terminology. It is followed by a selection of relevant PIFs from each of the four main groups, and concludes with a brief discussion on potential outcomes and management solutions. The bulk of the reference literature originates from Europe and North America with...

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