AS the Caribbean gears up for handling mega ships in the wake of and expanded Panama Canal, winners will be terminals with deep draft, enough cranes and skilled labour to turn boxes quickly.
At the Port of Kingston, US$600 million will be invested in upgrades and expansion to the Kingston Container Terminal (KCT). Terminal Link, a subsidiary of CMA CGM and the Jamaican government, entered into a partnership called Kingston Freeport Terminal Ltd (KFTL) that will operate the port jointly for 30 years.
Terminal Link will invest $460 million on reinforcing 394 feet of the wharf and dredging alongside 2,625 feet of the quay to 51 feet. The remaining funds will be spent on terminal expansion and upgrades, reported American Journal of Transportation.
In addition, the government will seek private partnerships to spend $130 million to dredge Kingston's harbour to accommodate neopanamax vessels.
The Dominican Republic's port of Caucedo, operated by DP World is capable of handling the largest ships passing through the Panama Canal. DP World holds a 50-year concession on the facility and intends to expand its capacity from 700,000 TEU to one million containers.
The consortium of NYK, Evergreen and Hyundai operating joint services in the Caribbean have spent $15 million to create a Caucedo Logistics Centre to improve their competitiveness in the region. The centre will coordinate the discharge and transloading of containers destined to various ports served by the three partners.
Hong Kong's Hutchinson Port Holdings (HPH) Cristobal operates two terminals in Panama, one on each coast. The two million TEU container terminal has 11 berths and is equipped with 13 panamax and postpanamax cranes to handle vessels that draw up to 42 feet of water.
Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT) is equipped with 19 post and neopanamax cranes on 5,380 feet of quay. The current depth alongside is 42 feet but can be dredged to 49 feet. MIT has an onsite logistics park and easy access to the Panama Canal Railway. The terminal handles 3.5 million TEU per year.
Operated by Evergreen Marine, Colon Container Terminal (CCT) can handle 2.4 million containers per annum. The depth at the newly completed Berth 4 is 54 feet. Plans to deepen Berth 3 and extend both berths 3 and 4 will bring the total useable wharf up to 2,559 feet allowing the facility to handle two 13,000 TEU ships simultaneously.
Source : HKSG.