Thursday, September 07, 2006

Benchmarking; you are not a fool...1

What if you are living in a remote village in Zagros mountains( western Iran), you wish to improve living conditions and you need a model, Are you a fool if you study a small village in Alps mountains!?
Such idea never have been silly idea, but it is easier to do it today; because of globalisation and standardisation.
Now, living standards of Innsbruck(Austria) in Alps are easily comparable to conditions in Marivan(Iran), but finding proper objective, which performance indicators to consider, what process to follow, etc. are complex.
This is all about Benchmarking, a management tool introduced by Japanese, developed by Yankees and ignored by us.
it is a management tool, that doesn't mean it could be/should be done only by managers, No! it means, the process of benchmarking is a managerial process; it has a start point, planing, action, evaluating and correcting cycle!
I am not deep in this issue, give you a reflection of what is in my mind, then you have provided resources(Links) at the end, for further reading.
to be continued...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Developed and Developing, West and East, North and South...who is governing international terminologies?

Me and my " Third world" countries classmates, always whisper to each other, when professors talk about developing and developed countries issues, we wonder who has let them to call us developing, while we perceive ourselves " developed" from some aspects!
I don't dare these days to talk about cheap Indian labors in front of Indian friends, while it is so, they disagree and point to mass of articles published every day on "Indian economy emergence", in developed countries media!
Of course I can not remember those bright historical era in which Persian emperor was centre of gravity of civilization and simply did the same that Europe and US are doing now: putting themselves in centre and name their left and right hand sides, "less civilised lands"; equivalent to East, South, Third World and Developing countries today.
Every one who has got more power, more social and scientific influence, more innovative approaches to humanity and understanding its nature, etc. has this historical right to govern international terminology!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Middle East Union(MEU)!

Middle East Union! Dream or Reality?
Could we have Middle East Union(MEU) in next 30 years? something like European union( EU)...or maybe you say, even EU could not continue in next 30 years!

at least in transport some progress is going on, Have you ever heard of Asian Highway Network? its a chain of roads in which connects all Asian countries together and to Europe, Middle East is part of this process and your country might be as well! have a look at map and visit UNESCAP website.
Project has initiated in 1959 and just recently an intergovernmental agreement has been signed between 28 member states.
Have a closer look at Iran map, you will find how fruitfull is completion of this network to Iran, it covers almost whole country. wealth could be distributed evenly in whole country through this network!
Mainly roads are remarked Under construction or Dualization!( as of 2004 data accessible in website).

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Google Imagine!

Have you ever been wasting your time to recover a website in which you have taken a picture from before? have you been looking for the name of a company or organization in which you have the Logo or Brand?
Assume you have this Logo:

and would like to know to whom it belongs? Its my favorite Linux symbol! but you are able to know it without asking me! just go to Google Imagine search engine and give this picture input, you will find all websites relating to this Logo in a second!
I took a picture from a website to put in my assignment but I forget the source! I have to find the source to make reference. Just browse in the Google Imagine and give that photo as input for search and find all relevant sites in a second!
How to convert a picture or logo on paper or on electronic file to input in a search engine??? Google Imagine

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sony DVD or Samsung?!

I was always thinking of having a harmonized way of producing marine equipments( could be all equipments) so that most of features and usages looks alike.
assume that you buy a Sony DVD player, after reading the manual you will get use with that and know how to operate it, after some days you dislike it and return in to shop, buy a Samsung DVD in stead, OK, how much of Sony features in which you learnt will be useful with Samsung? Why should we waste our time to read different manuals on same equipment? Time is gold!!!
Recently, European Marine Equipment Manufacturers Council( EMEC) is supporting a proposal by EU commission to introduce mutual recognition of equipment safety certification...its one step ahead!
Who is against standardising recognition of certificates? ofcourse class societies in which make a good money out of it($ 1.28 bn) because if for example ship is classed by Lloyd's but equipment is classed by DNV, ship owner should pay Loyd's to certify that equipment if he intends to install it on ship! new proposal will make Lloyd's to accept DNV's certificate...that's good but why we should waste our time on learning how to operate a Furuno radar and then again on JRC radar?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Iran and/or Dubai!

Iran and Dubai: Ports Comparison...coming soon!

...Saudi Land Bridge

Persian gulf states and Indian subcontinent are among bright targets for shipping, shippers and investors.
I think Trend of port construction and evolution in Persian gulf and Oman sea leaves little room for Saudi land-bridge to become a competitive alternate to sea routes, hence traffic flow of close by areas wouldn't be affected.
Apparently, project itself, hasn't got regional prospects and its rather national oriented. Bandar Abbass, Bandar Busheshr, Bandar Imam relax, there is no threat from that side!!!
It has became a common complain these days in media, blogs and conferences to blame Iranian ports and on other hand praising Emirates ports. But, friends; tell me based on which methodology and facts/figures you compare Bandar Abbass and Jebel Ali? in next post I try to dig into ports comparison and benchmarking...For now, assume that you want to compare Ford and Mercedes. We all know that Ford is cheaper but Mercedes is more expensive, Mercedes is faster and better equipped. If you care you can find number of qualitative and quantitative measurements that enables you to compare this two: we can measure speed, we can look at equipment, we can find price...but what are port comparison indicators?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Iran in Region

...So Iran

Iran with over 70 m population, good telecommunication network all over country, good rail/road/air network infrastructure, young and educated society, has a big potential to be strong consumer market in near future.
Unfortunately non-oil export of country is few and it seems to be a pure importing country rather than having balance in import-export. To become an exporting country huge infrastructure investment is needed which should be accompanied with strong Regional and International integration( like trading in WTO). I have no in depth knowledge of Macroeconomic issues and policy making and what I mentioned is a common sense! studies on other countries economic development shows five stages(Rostow), this is the way in which all countries will follow in development process. Economy starts by investing in infrastructure which are resource intensive( importing oil, coal, iron ore...), then slowly goes to production of consumer goods( like cars, computers, IT...: exporting them!).
stage 1: Traditional society: economy is based on Agriculture..
Stage2:Transitional:development of education..
Stage3:Take-off:modern technology: investment:heavy industries..
Stage4:Maturity:production: machinery's: chemicals...
Stage5:Mass consumption:transition from heavy industries to consumer good production
But is it 10 year, 40 year...? Rostow says 60 years only for stage 3 !!! anyway, in which stage is Iran now or could be in next 15-20 years. we cant put Iran in Stage 1 ! as I already mentioned country has its infrastructure and in my rough idea could fit in initial steps of stage 3: Take off ( so please take off Iran!). If we believe that country is in its midway toward industrialization( as we can feel level of import of coal, iron ore...) we should simply remember that country will import more and more and main gate ways of import are southern seaports, mainly ports of Bandar Abbass and bandar Imam Khomeini, both situated in Persian gulf where Dammam, Jubail, Dubai, Oman... are situated.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Saudi Land Bridge

Talked about central America, now I shift to our region: a similar project but in less competitive terms: Saudi land bridge Rail project.
This will connect Port of dammam in Persian gulf to port of Jeddah in Red sea. its a single track railway( capable of being expanded), 950 km long and will be operated by a private company. compared to Canal case, competition environment is not that fierce here, project is in national level (optimistically regional) and no considerable effect could be foreseen on Iranian ports.
Its claimed that land bridge will save 5-6 days compared to sea transport(ships discharge and load in jeddah instead of sailing for 5 days to dammam, its very economical without considering advantage of ECONOMIES OF SCALE in sea transport). A vital concept already employed in this project is Focal point of RIYADH DRY PORT which will provide logistic platform for smooth flow of freight through land bridge.
Studying Saudi non-oil export shows main importing countries from saudi are: Persian gulf states states 33%, Asia 26% , EU and N. America 19% (year 2003) so its obviously a good idea to shift export hub from Dammam to Jeddah ( closer to 45% of overseas market) despite the fact that industrial centre of Saudi is on northern part; dammam and jubail!
Principle sources of import are oversea as well, being N. America, Asia and EU(2004).
...BUT what would be the effect on Iran?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Panama Canal

Panama canal expansion is taking long time to complete, Port of California/Los angles might be congested again, if you were living in Mexico, didn't you think about a mexican solution?
Yes they did! narrowest point in Mexico(between Atlantic and pacific ocean) is about 200 km. so you can think about two ports on either side connected by a small land bridge could serve the merging traffic flow.
so they can both attract considerable portion of canal traffic plus serving southern US, BUT its not working! why?
As per Canal authority studies; a container moving via land bridge would be handled six times before it is loaded on the other side, incurring a cost of $ 435 per TEU compared with $ 49 cost incurred passing through channel!
Do you still prefer land bridge even if canal is congested?(of course level of congestion is not as high as to convince you to pay about 400 more, but might it be in future?)