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Port operator KFTL boasts record container moves in a day

Published:Friday | February 1, 2019 | 12:00 AMMcPherse Thompson/ Assistant Editor - Business

Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited, KFTL, a subsidiary of the French-based shipping company CMA CGM, said that on January 24 it recorded the best performance ever in the history of the port of Kingston in terms of container moves.

Kingston Freeport, which has leased Kingston Container Terminal, KCT, under a 30-year concession, said a total of 3,304 moves were handled within 24 hours of operation on the Post-Panamax vessel Cosco Beijing, which arrived at the terminal on January 24. That included 1,464 containers being unloaded and another 1,840 reloaded on to the vessel.

It said it achieved an average crane productivity of 36 moves per hour and average berth performance of 136 moves per hour with only four gantry cranes working on the main liner.

The port operator, in response to Financial Gleaner queries, said Port-Panamax vessels have been calling at the port of Kingston for some time, and it was merely coincidental that the strong performance was achieved with one such liner.

Kingston Freeport has so far not responded to a query as to specifically what that performance was attributable. However, in a statement, it said that with that top performance on the Cosco Beijing, which has a capacity of 9,383 twenty-foot equivalent units, or TEUs, “KFTL is showing present and future clients that it is ready more than ever to accommodate increased volumes”.

Kingston Freeport assumed responsibility for the management and development of the KCT in July 2016 under the concession with the Port Authority of Jamaica.

It facilitates the import and export of goods to and from Jamaica and also serves as a trans-shipment hub that connects a network of international shipping routes.

In commenting on the January 24 achievement, Simon Farhat, chief operating officer of Kingston Freeport, said that especially for the trans-shipment market, fast and efficient performance is the key success factor.

“The challenge is to maintain these levels so that more business can come to Jamaica,” he said. “All of us at KFTL are aiming to keep this level of performance and are looking forward to continued growth and success,” Farhat added.

KFTL said Post-Panamax vessels are expected to take containerised cargo to the port of Kingston on a weekly basis.

KFTL confirmed earlier this month that it plans to renovate and expand 15 structures at the port and is now recruiting designers for the project.

In a request for interest, it said the scope of work includes architectural designs of buildings, surveying of existing building structures, structural inspection of existing buildings, as well as structural and architectural design of building expansion.

The project is aimed at modernising buildings which are largely dated and at odds with the massive investments in new cranes, dredging and increased berthing space.