Abu Dhabi Ports’ Performance Problem-Solving


The ability to timely solve problems arising at different stages of work is a valuable quality that is particularly relevant in a competitive business environment. As a result of the implementation of the necessary steps and improvement mechanisms, heads of organizations can achieve not only a transition to sustainable development but also gain increased profits and market recognition. As an example of an enterprise where the implementation of certain approaches to optimizing activities can be pertinent, the Abu Dhabi Ports company may be considered. Based on the official information, it has been operating since 2006, and during that time, it has managed to provide “3.6% of Abu Dhabi’s non-oil GDP growth” (Abu Dhabi Ports, 2018, para. 2). This is a significant result in the context of the region’s economic development. However, even such a prosperous company has some problems that affect its performance and hinder achieving even higher results. In particular, the issues of logistics and shipping are acute since in the port industry, much depends on a carefully established system of the delivery of goods and their tracking.

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The purpose of this report is to identify potentially valuable and creative solutions that can help increase Abu Dhabi Ports’ performance and reduce the risks associated with logistics and shipping. Ignoring these issues may be fraught with the loss of investors’ and customers’ trust since the challenges arising from the delivery and tracking of goods passing through the ports of the company cause much inconvenience. Additional constraints are that, according to the official information, the organization owns and manages 11 ports, which complicates the process of the orderly monitoring of all these points (Abu Dhabi Ports, 2018, para. 1). Consequently, a well-coordinated process of control over the activities of all involved facilities is one of the key tasks that are to be achieved in order to maintain the company’s authority. Abu Dhabi Ports can improve its performance, and such strategies as launching a blockchain network, building a reliable investment system, and reassessing service productivity may be useful solution steps.

Analysis of the Problem

The selection of the considered problem took place in the context of a comprehensive assessment of the company’s success, its current production outcomes, and representatives’ reports on operating activities. As a result, issues related to logistics and shipping turned out to be the most acute. In addition, these problems are of high importance to Abu Dhabi Ports and its market success. An organization specializing in the port industry and interacting with different partners through a cargo delivery network should have an advanced and highly organized monitoring and communication system. However, the lack of certain resources and, as a result, the inability to provide comprehensive protection of the material base creates obstacles to the normal conduct of business. Therefore, the solution to this issue is relevant from different perspectives, including both the financial aspects of activities in a competitive environment and ethical principles related to productive and uninterrupted interaction with all interested parties.

As a search engine for addressing the presented issue, a creative solution process looks relevant and valuable. In particular, the nine-stage model that defines the entire algorithm for finding answers has significance in the context of the proposed topic. Erdogan, Šaparauskas, and Turskis use this methodology in the field of construction management, but in general, its versatility allows it to be applied in different areas. This theoretical framework includes all the necessary stages of work – analyzing a specific sphere for current issues, assessing findings and evidence, making assumptions, and other stages. In the final phase, it is checked that all the declared objectives are achieved, and no additional interventions are required. Following such an algorithm is the right decision in the topic of the activities of Abu Dhabi Ports and the problem of the company. In order to propose concrete steps to solve challenges, a preliminary assessment is required. Only after all the key stages of the organization’s work have been analyzed, one can reach a verdict on the existing problems and offer effective and potentially successful mechanisms to solve them. In this case, a creative approach may help expand the scope of the assessment and increase the number of useful and relevant decisions.

Creative Ideas for Problem Solving

Way to Solve the Problem

In order to offer relevant solutions for Abu Dhabi Ports and its problems with logistics and shipping, the creative problem solving model will be applied. As Fabian (2018) argues, this mechanism may include various techniques, for instance, brainstorming, guided visualization, and some other methods. For the topic under discussion, the first approach is optimal since brainstorming is suitable for both individual and group work and, according to Fabian (2018), is a productive strategy that does not require many resources. As a result, all subsequent scenarios are based on this method of creative problem solving.

Scenario 1: Launching Protection for a Blockchain Network

Since logistics in ports is one of the essential mechanisms for maintaining stable operations, the introduction of appropriate regulatory systems for all procedures can be of great importance for success. According to Akilo (2018), recently, Abu Dhabi Ports has announced the implementation of a special technology called blockchain that implies a computerized approach to assessing and forecasting at all stages of operations. The author remarks that by planning to involve such a system, the organization intends to move to a new level of digital trading, ensuring the safety of goods at any phase of their transportation (Akilo, 2018). Nevertheless, in order to make such a strategy productive, a more creative work algorithm can be developed.

Since the launch of the blockchain network is a standard global practice, to ensure 100% high results, a creative approach to this innovation may be applied. instance example, responsible persons can not only create a database for storing and processing information but also provide some customers and investors with an opportunity to participate in its maintenance. If a partner company has the right to independently fill out order forms, regulate the volume of loading goods, and control other operations, this will increase the degree of confidence in Abu Dhabi Ports. In addition, such a non-standard approach will reduce the burden on the organization’s specialists due to fewer steps to complete all stages of control. The following Figure 1 emphasizes the entire activity algorithm in such conditions:

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 Advantages of granting administrative rights.
Figure 1. Advantages of granting administrative rights.

This measure will also be a successful step in addressing shipping issues and the safety of goods transported to and from ports. The most crucial aspect in this scheme is not to stop controlling the movement of goods. If relevant work on data protection is supported, partners and investors will feel significant participants in the entire process of activities, starting from ordering to deliveries to final points. In addition, when evaluating the significance of such a measure from a financial standpoint, creating a reliable security system for the blockchain chain with engaging partners is a reasonable step. Abu Dhabi Ports will not have to spend much money on advertising because such a non-standard algorithm of work will become known in the market quickly. Customers can disseminate information about the company’s innovative approach to organizing sales and deliveries on their own.

Scenario 2: Sustainability of Investment System

In order to maintain the smooth operation of Abu Dhabi Ports logistics activities, it is crucial to develop a sustainable investment system that may enable the company to advance all the stages of work. Regarding the financial factor, not a single enterprise can develop stably if it experiences a shortage of resources and is forced to implement development projects in conditions of limited opportunities. At the same time, Yang and Chen (2016) state that in the field of port policies, companies may have sufficient funding to promote infrastructure, but the lack of project integration reduces the effectiveness of implemented solutions. Therefore, Abu Dhabi Ports needs to establish a system in which all incoming investments from sponsors and partners will be allocated competently in order to solve logistics and shipping issues and maintain high productivity in other areas of work.

As a productive mechanism for engaging investors, a bonus system can be developed. For instance, partners who provide Abu Dhabi Ports with financial resources for the development of the organization may receive discounts on transportation and rely on the use of their brand in order to strengthen cooperation. Marketing strategies involving the active use of visual advertising materials on the boards of ships or on the company’s website are an effective driver for attracting attention to partners. The whole scheme and its advantages can be described in Figure 2:

Advantages of advertising collaboration.
Figure 2. Advantages of advertising collaboration.

The search for partners in a globalized market economy may be simplified if a properly oriented policy is maintained in the company. Client interaction managers can create special tenders to engage investors, thereby increasing interest in the organization and promoting its position both nationally and internationally. Therefore, ensuring the sustainability of the investment system may have positive results for solving logistics and shipping problems due to the steadily incoming funds for modernization and optimization.

Scenario 3: Increasing Service Performance

When evaluating the activities of Abu Dhabi Ports in the framework of maintaining logistics and shipping at the proper level, it is essential to consider not only investment and security nuances but also the principles of service work. In relation to the company under consideration, which has sufficient resources to create a clear system of control over all employees’ work, this measure is of high importance. According to Schellinck and Brooks (2016), despite transport organizations’ activities to promote logistics, many of them miss such a crucial component as improving service productivity. This, in turn, impedes competent control and creates challenges for the implementation of development plans. As an effective solution, narrowly focused work with company personnel is necessary.

As an alternative and creative solution to this issue, exchange programs can be established between organizations. This procedure provides for the temporary activities of the employees of two different companies in new conditions for them. This measure may allow the Abu Dhabi Ports management to evaluate the approaches to work of the representatives of other companies and help their subordinates gain valuable experience by exchanging knowledge with colleagues. In case employees demonstrate higher production results after their return, this will be an additional incentive for introducing personnel-oriented policies and strengthening the corporate system of service control. The key goal remains the same – the competent implementation of the company’s current development plans at an appropriate level.

To increase this indicator, it is essential to ensure that subordinates execute job descriptions responsibly at each stage of their activities. Good logistics is formed through the rational use of all available resources to control the transportation of goods and their tracking. Accordingly, if employees perform their immediate duties at the proper level and with appropriate motivation, this will become a guarantee for productive activities and solving logistics issues.

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The Best Solution

The analysis of possible scenarios for solving logistics and shipping issues at Abu Dhabi Ports suggests that increasing service performance is an optimal strategy. As a methodology for finding justifications, the nine-stage process for creative problem solving may be utilized to prove the relevance of this assumption. The environment of the port industry and its analysis proves that the issues of logistics are the most urgent, particularly in case of the absence of appropriate control resources. Based on the findings presented by Akilo (2018), Abu Dhabi Ports makes efforts to strengthen this area of ​​operations through the introduction of a blockchain technology. However, the lack of knowledge in the field of managing this innovative software may cause its insufficiently effective application. Accordingly, as a suggested idea, the optimization of personnel’s work is necessary to ensure the effective implementation of the digitalization program.

The solution found may be consolidated through the continuous monitoring of compliance with the service of digital monitoring systems for all transport operations conducted by Abu Dhabi Ports. If the management is ready to establish an employee exchange program and learn from other organizations, this can have positive results not only in service quality but also in other significant aspects of the activity. In particular, maintaining partnerships and stabilizing the investment mechanism are the positive consequences of this measure. As Schellinck and Brooks (2016) note, when following the service performance program, the interests of all interested parties will be considered, including supply chain partners, investors, and the organization itself. Therefore, by applying the necessary control measures in the post-implementation period, the management of Abu Dhabi Ports will achieve better logistics and shipping outcomes and the elimination of crucial errors in subordinates’ work.


To address Abu Dhabi Ports’ problems associated with logistics and shipping, such potentially effective solutions may be utilized as additional protection for the blockchain network, establishing an investment system, and increasing service performance. Based on the nine-stage process for creative problem solving, the most optimal strategy is the latter, involving increased attention to service productivity through employee exchange programs. This mechanism of work implies maintaining subordinates’ knowledge and experience at a proper level, which, in turn, contributes to a stable and error-free activity. In addition, this strategy may allow two other solutions to be implemented successfully since the creation of conditions for secure computerized management and an efficient investment policy is impossible without sufficient control. Therefore, this solution is the most justified and corresponds with the creative assessment model.


Abu Dhabi Ports. (2018). Overview. Web.

Akilo, D. (2018). Abu Dhabi Ports launches blockchain to tackle logistics problems in the shipping industry. Business Blockchain HQ. Web.

Erdogan, S. A., Šaparauskas, J., & Turskis, Z. (2019). A multi-criteria decision-making model to choose the best option for sustainable construction management. Sustainability, 11(8), 2239. doi:10.3390/su11082239

Fabian, J. (2018). Creative thinking and problem solving. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Schellinck, T., & Brooks, M. R. (2016). Does superior service performance provided to shipping lines improve the perceived value of a port? International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, 8(2), 175-193. doi:10.1504/IJSTL.2016.075009

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Yang, Y. C., & Chen, S. L. (2016). Determinants of global logistics hub ports: Comparison of the port development policies of Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. Transport Policy, 45, 179-189. doi:10.1016/j.tranpol.2015.10.005

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