How the Panama Canal’s Manzanillo International Terminal is Putting the Customer at the Center of Corporate Security

When one of your organizational goals is safety, it’s critical that your Corporate Security team not only enforce it, but also analyze what’s happening and make consequential decisions. But what about when that data is buried in spreadsheets, making it almost impossible to make connections and really assess your organizational risks? When your job is ensuring the safety and security of your business, accessing information shouldn’t be the hard part.

That’s why the Corporate Security team at Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT) took their process from spreadsheets to Resolver.

Garnering Insights to Prevent Incidents

“Our priority at MIT is safety. Safety of our personnel, safety of our equipment, and of course the safety of our customers’ cargo at our terminal. Our investments at the terminal, particularly in both safety and security, reflect that organizational goal,” says Tom Newman, Port Administrator at MIT.

Leveraging Resolver, MIT is able to organize and access their data to make more meaningful data-driven decisions. It empowers them to implement and test controls, which ultimately gives their customers more confidence in choosing MIT as their provider. Sharing this information with the organization helps MIT to make informed investments in the most effective controls for the most common risks. For example, the team data showed that incorporating fleet management tools across the terminal could lead to safer operating conditions for workers as well as a reduction in collisions. This in turn results in a safer, more secure terminal environment for their clients’ cargo, ultimately increasing efficiencies and savings.

Securing the Business

The business of a marine logistics terminal is to move customer cargo. “We need our clients to know that when their container comes into MIT, and when it leaves, nothing has happened to it,” says Newman. MIT invested heavily in active and passive security measures such as video surveillance and access control to guarantee the integrity of cargo at the terminal. “When our customers visit the terminal, we can share many aspects of our security program, ensuring that they know while at MIT, their cargo will be under constant surveillance,” Newman continues. “Showing customers how we secure the terminal really reinforces to them that we take the integrity of their cargo seriously.”

MIT uses the insights that Resolver provides to prevent incidents and guarantee the safety of their staff, their customers and their cargo. MIT’s security systems enable the security team to review incidents and predict future outcomes based on analytics.

Mitigating Risk and Implementing Controls

“I believe our success directly relates to how we embrace change as an organization,” Newman says. “We were up and running with Resolver in just four months. Our case management and incident management is much improved, and we are now looking at risk in terms of mitigation and implementing controls. Just like putting on a seat belt when driving.”

MIT doesn’t view risk from an ivory office tower. Leaders at all levels have daily briefs with their teams on the ground where they discuss risk based on each specific operation and what controls should be in place to mitigate them. These briefings remind them that every activity has a risk, and every risk has a mitigating control.

“Our goal is to change the culture of the entire organization to be more safety-centric — down to the individual employee,” Newman says. “We want all MIT employees to assume the safety mindset, not just in their day-to-day roles, but in every aspect of their lives.”

While some of MIT’s security risk management is mandated by national and international law, it goes far beyond just mere compliance. “Security risk management makes good business sense and helps us further protect our people and our customers” Newman affirms.

“One of the many advantages of working in Resolver is that it makes going through an audit much simpler.” Resolver provides evidence that MIT actively implements risk controls and documents exactly what the results of those controls are in terminal operations over time. Improving their audit process helps MIT to look at control effectiveness from both a safety and resourcing perspective. He can see where the team should be investing more and is able to persuasively use data to make the case to get buy-in for those changes.

By leveraging Resolver, Newman and his team are able to harness the power of their process to improve the security of the organization and ensure that customers feel safe and secure and continue to bring their business to Manzanillo International Terminal.

Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT), a large marine logistics terminal on the Atlantic coast of the Panama Canal, handles more than 2.7 million TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) of containers as well as Ro-Ro (Roll On-Roll Off) cargo such as heavy equipment and cars. In the dynamic environment of marine shipping, small gains in efficiencies can lead to big improvements and cost savings.

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