Generation Z is coming – are you ready?
This is an imaginary story looking back from the year 2024. It highlights the generation gap, as well as the opportunities and challenges this may create for the terminal operating business.
CEO in Port of Ports (year 2024)
My name is Bill and I am a CEO running some of the world’s most successful ports. The reason for our success began 10 years ago, in 2014. At that time we were an average performer, but succeeded in anticipating forthcoming changes and defined a strategy for becoming a highly valued performer in the port business.
We realised that many of the people operating our port would soon retire and a new generation, representing Generations Y and Z, would be needed to grow our business. These new people are different from us because they have never seen a world without smartphones, tablets, social media, video games, great user experience and attractive product design. Most prefer to work in a cosy office rather than out in the field. We knew that without major changes we would not be able to attract talented people to work for us, making it difficult to achieve our vision of becoming a top performing port operation.
A key part of our strategic action plan involved attracting passionate top talents to lead and operate our ports. We decided to make changes to our operations rather than the people who work for us. We are now the leader in the business. Let me introduce two of the key talents who made this possible.
Terminal tractor operator at Port of Ports, Asia (year 2024)
My name is Angel. I was born in 1995 and graduated from college a couple of years ago, after which I landed my dream job at the Port of Ports. I have a passion for usability aspects and enjoy hands-on work. I’m keen on staying connected with my friends at all times.
The beautiful machines and their ergonomic design attracted me to start work as a terminal tractor operator. With clear panorama visibility in all directions, the cabin windows display awesome situational views augmented by reality information on operational and safety aspects. Responsive haptic steering gives me a sense of control at all times. I feel very safe in my cabin, with sensors warning me about any oncoming hazardous situations. The preventive security solution has already saved my skin, when I almost collided with another vehicle while chatting online with a friend.
The industrial online application store is cool because it enables us to install new apps any time, keeping us on top of the relevant information and making sure that our machines are state of the art without major retrofits.
Reachstacker operator at Port of Ports, Asia (year 2024)
My name is Peter. I was born in 1996 and am a recent university graduate. I started in my dream job here at the Port of Ports right after my studies. I’ve been an active online gamer all my life. I was attracted to the container handling industry by the Kalmar terminal operations game, an online role game where a community of Internet gamers competes within the operations of a simulated port. I was ranked number 3 among tens of thousands of online reachstacker operation gamers when I joined the Port of Ports.
I lead the remote operations of our fleet of reachstackers. We have high performing machines, all operated remotely. All of our machines have the audio visual sensors required for transferring the required context information to our remote operation environment. I’m one of the few persons operating the reachstackers from the office. Many of our operators work remotely from home, through a high speed Internet connection, using our standardised remote operation solution. We hire only top-ranked online gamers who have proven their talent. If one of them makes a mistake, there’s always another as a back-up, who can sort the situation out before any damage is done at the port. This arrangement has enabled us to recruit the best talents for our remote operations. Our performance and security are clearly better than the competition’s.
Generations X and Z are living at the speed of Internet and they have been living all their lives in highly sophisticated computer and media environments. They are style conscious and keen on user experience and design. There is an increasing desire for office work, even in developing countries. Which is going to change, your operations or your people?