Ideas with Impact
UNB Faculty of Management

Location theory up close field trip to DP World

Author: Ideas with Impact

Posted on May 11, 2017

Category: Students , Programs

Mother nature envelops Dr. H. A. Eiselt (centre) and his logistics students during their field trip to DP World at the Port of Saint John.In the location theory course taught by Dr. H. A. Eiselt in UNB’s Faculty of Business Administration students learn where to site such things as warehouses, gas stations, fast food restaurants, coast guard vessels, and other entities. As part of the logistics concentration in the BBA program, the course teaches students how to do this by learning optimal location theories and then applying them to different industries. This winter, Eiselt added an experiential component to the learning mix by taking the students on a field trip to visit one of the newest logistics companies in New Brunswick, DP World, which recently started operating a terminal in the Port of Saint John. With their head office based in Dubai, DP World operates 78 marine and inland terminals across six continents; this includes multiple yet related businesses, from marine and inland terminals, maritime services, logistics, and ancillary services to technology driven trade solutions. In addition to Saint John, they operate three other terminals in Canada, in Vancouver, Prince Rupert, and Nanaimo. In Saint John, they filled the gap left by Tropical Shipments, which moved its operations to Halifax in January 2017. DP World just signed a 30-year lease with the Port of Saint John. It is the fourth-largest container terminal operator in the world with a total of 37,000 employees worldwide, so a lot of eyes are watching to see if this new operation will revitalize Saint John’s industrial sector. Students started their visit by meeting with Mr. Lawrie Pattison, Commercial Manager, and Mr. Daryl Bettle, operations superintendent, who shared information about DP World’s philosophy, goals and present situation. Next the students were driven in company vehicles to visit the actual site of the terminal where they toured some of the warehouses. DP world just received two huge new gantry cranes in January to facilitate their operations, so the class saw up close how these cranes are used to move containers from one location to the other. Grayson Beairsto, a third year BBA student in the class, said the trip, "allowed the students in our class to see how the theory taught in the class room is applied in practice in the real world, by multinational corporations. This experience really enabled me to realize just how many factors are considered when locating a distribution hub, and creating an effective supply chain." Learning first hand the compilation of all the issues involved in planning and implementing a container port was an eye-opening experience for everyone. “Seeing how containers from all over the world are moved helped us appreciate the magnitude of the operation,” said Dr. Eiselt. The day wrapped up with a question and answer session, and then the students headed back to Fredericton. An unexpected snow storm on the trip home added more adventure to the day and gave a whole other meaning to the idea of experiential learning in New Brunswick. “The drive back in the van was very quiet, except for a low mumbling from the back,” said Eiselt. “It sound like a prayer for a safe return. Whatever it was it worked.” They arrived safe and sound with a new appreciation for the value of location theory. For more information, contact Liz Lemon-Mitchell. Learn more about our logistics concentration.