On 24 May 2014, a group of 34 students, associates and staff from the Logistics and Supply Chain Management programme in SIM University's School of Business (SBIZ), led by Head of Programme Associate Professor Tan Yan Weng, went onboard the Houston Bridge, "K" Line's Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NK) class of container ship. The vessel, berthed at the Pasir Panjang Container Terminal, is made of steel, Japanese-built and –owned, Panama-flagged, and is as long as twice the height of the Singapore Flyer.
For many, it was their first time visiting one of these mammoth symbols of world trade. Captain Sameer Dhawan, the ship's master; Kazi Kabiruzzaman, Chief Engineer; and crew warmly welcomed the group onboard the 9,600 Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU)-capacity vessel that plies the east-west trade route between Asia and Europe/North America. Fully loaded, the vessel can stack eight containers below deck and eight above.
The group was then led on a guided tour that included the control room, the massive engine room, officers' mess, galley and bridge. They were also shown the basketball court and video room for recreation. Everyone was impressed by the level of sophistication in energy-efficient ship design and operations, as well as the highly automated systems that require the vessel to be manned by a crew of only 25. The visit left everyone with a better understanding of how a container ship is operated and how containerised cargo is managed from the moment it is loaded to the point when it is discharged from the vessel.
SBIZ students, associates and staff on the navigation deck.