DP WORLD's Caucedo transshipment hub in the Dominican Republic is moving forward with upgrades to handle 13,000-TEUers able to transit the expanded Panama Canal next year, reports IHS media.
With few US east coast and Caribbean ports able to handle the larger ships that will come through the canal, Caribbean deep-sea ports, including Manzanillo, Panama and Cartagena, Colombia, hope to win transshipment traffic.
Virginia and Miami have the deepest channels, with depths of 50 feet (15.2 metres). New York-New Jersey has nearly finished dredging to 50 feet, and Savannah is going to 47. Charleston has the green light to go to 52 feet.
But the new canal's April 2016 opening is said to be "likely" delayed due to cracks discovered in the Pacific Side locks, despite verbal reassurances from the contractor.
Caucedo has increased its annual capacity by 210,000 TEU to 1.65 million TEU from 1.44 million TEU in 2013 and an additional 1,771 feet of potential quay area is available beyond the existing berth, which could conceivably bring capacity to 2.5 million TEU.
Caucedo dredging to 49 from 44 feet alongside its 1,969-foot quay began in August. Dredging to 56 feet in an area adjacent to the current berth to prepare for future expansion has also begun, DP World said.
"That's still the long-term plan and the dredging is the first step in that direction," said DP World's Caucedo executive director Morten Johansen, while giving no commitment to build an additional berth.
Caucedo in August finished a 108,000-square foot warehouse the first part of its new logistics centre.
"The objective is to attract new international customers who will use the Dominican Republic as a distribution hub," Mr Johansen said.
The warehouse would be "the first of many," he said, noting that the land for the logistics centre is 99 acres and an additional 198-acre plot is available.
Source : HKSG.