Jobs 101: Port equipment manager

For those of you who are always up for a challenge, being in an innovative field like this may be your missing piece.


Published: 26 November 2014, 3:56 PM

This week, Youth.SG surfs through the dynamic field of Singapore’s maritime industry. Known to be a key pillar of our economy, its port and shipping operations are world-leading. Those with a passion for engineering might find this appealing as we find out more about Joe Pang, 32, a port equipment manager from PSA.

Who: Joe Pang, 32

Occupation: Port equipment manager, PSA

Studied: Electrical engineering at National University of Singapore

Tell us more about yourself.

I joined PSA as an electrical engineer in 2007. I have always enjoyed tinkering with things and finding out how they work. I remember building toys with ice-cream sticks and troubleshooting faulty home appliances.

How and why did you become a port equipment manager?

Math and Science have always been my favourite subjects in school, which led to my passion for engineering. Singapore is the second busiest container port in the world, handling over 32 million containers last year alone – loaded with goods like food, clothes and electrical appliances. This creates plenty of opportunities for port engineers to work with.

I started off as an electrical engineer, working closely with a team of technicians and service engineers to maintain a fleet of container handling cranes. After that, I was given the opportunity to join the equipment engineering team which involved equipment and manpower planning.

Eventually, I was promoted to a port equipment manager (PEM), which includes tasks such as overseeing equipment purchases and making sure they are fully operational in our terminals.


Describe a typical day at work.

Mornings start with a ‘tool box’ briefing with my team, when everyone is briefed on what needs to be done that day. After that, I will head out to visit the cranes, check on their progress and ensure safety procedures (such as having the necessary gear on) are adhered to.


Share with us a memorable experience.

On Sep 1 last year, the first batch of automated rail mounted gantry cranes (ARMGC) arrived at our latest Pasir Panjang terminal 5. These cranes are the first unmanned container yard cranes in Singapore that are fully system controlled.

After several months of hard work in planning and design reviews with the crane manufacturer, it was really fulfilling to see these innovative cranes arrive in the terminal.


What difficulties do you face?

New port technology and innovations are constantly being made. As a PEM, I always have to be up to date with the latest technology and quickly learn the complexities of the latest automation technologies.


How long have you been doing this and how has the industry changed?

Over the past seven years, the business environment has become more complex. For example, we need to manage volume growth and customers are deploying bigger ships (the largest now carries 18,000 containers).

To serve our customers reliably and efficiently, our terminals, equipment and technology must be continuously upgraded to sharpen our cutting edge in port operations.

New systems (such as ARMGC) are constantly being implemented to ensure we can match the needs of the consumers.


What motivates you in your work?

The sheer excitement that greets me at work; we are constantly venturing into new technology. Recently, my company has started testing automated guided vehicles (AGV), which are unmanned systems that will move containers around 24/7 in our future container terminals.

Educational requirements:

Diploma or degree in Engineering.


Passion for engineering, perfect colour vision, willing to work outdoors and unafraid of heights.

Working hours:

Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.

Salary range:

Starts between $2,500 and $4,000.

What do you find most interesting about this job, or is there anything else you want to know about it? Post a comment below.

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