In the port sector, the quality of a service does not depend on a single operator; rather it is the result of the activity carried out by a large number of private companies and public bodies involved in the logistics chain. These agents typically act autonomously and without necessarily coordinating with each other, even when there are multiple interdependence relationships between them. As such, in order to provide customers with a guaranteed integrated service, all the links in the logistics chain must commit to ensuring that their performance meets certain standards and that their services meet minimum requirements.
Against this backdrop, in order to ensure adequate port operations in accordance with world-class standards, and to continue to efficiently and effectively develop the industrial and commercial port of Lázaro Cárdenas Michoacán, there is a need for quality systems aimed at promoting and improving the quality and competitiveness of the services provided by its port community.
In light of the above, the Lázaro Cárdenas API has tasked itself with investigating, within the national and international port sphere, the application of a quality system. Such a system should help improve the competitiveness of the port, fostering and promoting a culture of quality among concession-holders, providers of port services, customs management companies, and logistics and transport companies. The system should ensure that the services offered to users are of an established and guaranteed quality. In that vein, the project identified the need to implement one of the world’s most innovative and effective quality assurance instruments for port services, established in the Port of Valencia: the “Port of Valencia Quality Mark”. In early 2007, the Port of Lázaro Cárdenas started work on the logistics organization of the port. Once it was well-established, in 2010 the decision was made to implement all the dimensions of the quality system for port services: the Quality Mark.
The objective of the first phase of the project was to carry out a diagnostic analysis of the current situation of the Port of Lázaro Cárdenas. This analysis included:
- A study of the Mexican port system and the Port of Lázaro Cárdenas, including an analysis of the evolution of traffic flows.
- An analysis of the degree of maturity of the port quality system, including an assessment of the documentary status and its implementation in the port community
- Lastly, an analysis of the quality of the services, the port’s competitiveness factors, and the overall performance of the actors in the port logistic chain. Finally, the feasibility of the programme and the institutional options for the system management model were addressed, along with the proposed opportunities for improvement and the findings of the study.
The results of this first phase of the port services quality programme for the Port of Lázaro Cárdenas, focused on the Quality Mark, consist of the achievement of the following tasks:
- Gain an understanding of the current situation of the port and identify the inefficiencies and bottlenecks in the port logistics chain, which will be documented in a report.
- Determine the willingness of the port community of Lázaro Cárdenas to be involved in this quality system.
- Select the members of the promoting group, which will comprise key representatives and major players from the Lázaro Cárdenas port community. Their task will be to promote the initiative and secure the involvement of the rest of the companies and/or institutions of the Lázaro Cárdenas port community.
- Hold a seminar in the Port of Valencia with the aim of gaining first-hand knowledge of the operation of the Quality Mark in the Port of Valencia.