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“Make Ulsan Port top-class liquid logistics hub for North East Asia”
Interview/Chong-Rok Park, president, UPA
Monday, March 05, 2012, 09:44:17 Paul Yoon ckyoon7@paran.com
The wind of change is blowing in Ulsan Port Authority (UPA). The first change that took place is the inauguration of new president of UPA. Chong-Rok Park, a senior civil servant specialized in maritime and port affairs, joined UPA as its new president in Dec. last year with the fair wind blowing toward the target to build Ulsan Port (UP) as oil-hub for North East Asia (NEA). The second change is the mother ship building opened on Dec. 30 last year at UP. UPA faced a new turning point, just opening in a ceremony the Marine Center, a 12-story building with floor space of 13,150 square meters.

Q: UPA is facing a new change since you, Chong-Rok Park, took the post of UPA president at the end of last year with the latest completion of Marine Center, UP. What is your target for this year with your new appointment and the Marine Center completed?
A: Since established in July 2007, UPA has caused customers trouble visiting its distant office located in down town far from the port area. In solution to clearing the customers’ such trouble, we have built the Marine Center at Jangsaengpo, UP, where we have started to provide our service from last Feb. 6. In a good effort to develop UP and UPA, we will strive to relax port congestion as well as to level up its efficiency to the standard of advanced western ports by finding the sustainable ways to upgrade the port operation. We will also be steadily bracing up for the coming changes by implementing the plan to make Ulsan oil hub port and by finding the sustainable future driving force under justification. Moreover, we will build up the customer-centered management system, level up customer satisfaction and step up collaboration with regional community while internally creating good working climate under fair performance evaluation and personnel administration.

Q: UP handled record-high cargo traffic last year. However, this was a result of liquid cargo shipped as UP’s major products. On the other hand, the port saw its container cargo throughput dropped off last year from a year ago. What plan do you have to upgrade UP’s competitive edge as an integrated port?
A: UP achieved the throughput of 190 million metric ton cargo last year, record-highest since it was opened. Liquid cargoes UP is handling now account for 80% of its total traffic unlike other Korean major ports. The liquid traffic is expected to sustain its increase through the expanded infrastructure by construction of the new port in UP together with the increased oil storage tanks plus the project for making UP oil hub for NEA. UP had its new port opened in 2009 with four new berths added totaling five capable of handling 740,000-teu a year, but the situation is that 70% of cargo traffic generated from Ulsan area is handled in Busan. This is because the container players avoid calling at Ulsan due to extra cost of bunkers, extra port charges and unbalanced supply and demand of empty containers. At UPA, we will redouble our efforts to help shippers in Ulsan area save logistics cost and to vitalize regional economy, supporting the supplies of empty containers and expanding shipping service.

Q: What do you say, as an expert on shipping and port logistics administration, to the significance of UP?
A: UP was opened as a trading port in 1963 at a dawning time when Korea’s Economic Development Plan took off. UP has not only continued its development with Korea’s largest industrial complex behind its hinterland driving Korea’s economy with car manufacturing, shipbuilding and petro-chemical services, but also its growth as industrial port. I consider that we are undertaking the project for making Ulsan an oil hub port for NEA, aiming further to make it a logistics hub for NEA as well as to lift it to one of top class ports in the world. UP will see its 50th year anniversary in 2013 since its opening. I think that the successful undertaking of the project for making Ulsan an oil hub port for NEA will be the beginning to develop it over the next fifty years ahead. I am sure that UP has an unlimited and sustainable potential growth as a major port to take the lead in Korea’s economic development.

Q: You have just started to take the first path as a port administrator through UPA. What do you say, as an administrator, to your management policy in future for UPA?
A: 2011 has brought a lot of changes to me. It is the first year for me to open new service in new organization after I have left my civil service of 30 years. I cannot but have a big attachment to UPA where I am facing a new turning point in my life. I will devote all my knowledge and experiences gained thus far plus all my passion to UPA so that it can gain love from regional community people in UP and should be made an indispensable organization to them. I feel that there are a lot of things I should learn from the new organization different from the civil service I have been engaged so far. Assisted by my staff members to address my weak points and under my care to look after them, I am determined to do my utmost for UP to take a big leap to become the first class port handling liquid logistics in NEA.

Q: As captain of UPA, what would you like to ask your employees to do for UPA?
A: Since I took office of UPA as president, I have found a very high expectation and evaluation Ulsan people have on UP. I feel we should enhance reliability of UPA in response to such high expectation. To this end, each employee should strictly comply with high ethic standards so that one should not dishonor oneself personally nor disgrace UPA. All our employees should join their forces to make ‘small organization strong’ and do their best to upgrade its competitive edge higher. I am convinced that every my staff member would listen to all voices of our customers and make every endeavor to develop UPA as one of the top-class ports in the world.
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