Terminal makes profit on crane simulator.
What began as a strategy to retain skilled crane operators is now generating profit for Gateway Terminals India (GTI), which is part of APM Terminals global network. APM Terminals is one of the world's leading terminal and port operators, and the largest in terms of geographic scope with a Global Terminal Network of 49 terminals in 32 countries on five continents.
More than half of the investment in a crane simulator in their training centre in India has been paid for after GTI began training crane operators for other terminals in and outside of India.
?For the moment our retention strategy is limited to limiting our own attrition - hiring locals and training them rather than hiring experienced operators from elsewhere with risk of losing them - and statistic shows that we lose more 'non-locals' than 'locals'. The next phase is definitely to train operators from competition terminals to avoid poaching,? says Sandeep Mehta, chief operating officer at GTI.
At the start of operations in 2007, GTI had to hire crane operators from other terminals in India, but it was quickly apparent that operators from other parts of India soon returned to jobs in their hometowns. To create a more sustainable flow of well trained operators the terminal started hiring and training local "freshers" with no experience for the terminal.
?Having skilled crane operators can be the difference between running a profitable terminal and a loss making terminal,? says Sandeep Mehta.
But by training operators the drain of skilled operators has almost stopped and the efficiency at the terminal maintained.
Investment paid off
An added bonus to the retention of operators is the cash the simulator has generated for GTI after they begun training operators from other terminals.
Since the training centre opened its doors, 70 GTI employees have been trained on the simulator, while around 50 people from various other terminals have undergone simulator training at GTI. This includes operators from other terminals in the APM Terminals global network, such as Apapa in Nigeria and SAGT in Sri Lanka.
The simulator cost GTI around 100,000 USD, but close to 70% of the cost has by now been covered by income generated by instructing external trainees. The simulator also limits the need for practical training hours on the cranes which ensure you have maximum availability of the cranes for commercial operations and avoids the worry of any mishaps or damage to equipment.