Visiting Thai students and students in the Supply Chain Fellows program at the Robert H. Smith School of Business took a trip to Baltimore to learn about the city’s shipping port and compare it to other ports in the country and the world. The group took a bus tour of the Port of Baltimore on Oct. 22, 2010, getting a first-hand look at how a busy East Coast port works.
The tour was lead by Brian Miller, manager of Maryland International Terminals for the Maryland Port Administration, and was sponsored by Smith’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) and the Thai Study Program – which is sponsored by the Thai Embassy.
The 305-year-old port is made up of two main terminals – the Seagirt Marine Terminal and the Dundalk Marine Terminal – and spans across more than 850 acres of land. Students learned about the many intertwined parts of supply chains visible at the port. According to Miller, all types of transportation come through the port: trains, boats, trucks – everything except airplanes.
“Baltimore enjoys some of the most efficient container movement in the United States,” Miller explained to the students on the tour as they drove past the large cranes and thousands of import, export and empty containers.
They also learned about the safety and security measures taken at the port, such as employees wearing bright yellow and hard hats when walking around the containers: “It’s a very industrial environment and injuries that do happen are not minor,” Miller said. “Because of the nature of the work, we make safety a top priority at the port.”
Karen Watts, associate director of the center, said “the Thai students were fascinated by the similarities between the Port of Baltimore and ports in Thailand, as well as by the differences – particularly with regard to security. They were really struck by the security measures taken in the Port of Baltimore, which seemed rather extreme – such as the prohibition against taking any pictures of the facilities and the ships.”
The Supply Chain Fellows program at the Smith School is funded by a grant from the Intermodal Association of North America, which makes it possible to take the fellows to the Port of Baltimore as well as to the Port of Los Angeles and an annual supply chain conference. About 25 upperclassmen participate in the program.
Jessica Bauer, Writer and Editor, Office of Marketing Communications