Devant wants better Port
By SEAN DOUGLAS Tuesday, May 29 2012
TRANSPORT Minister Devant Maharaj says a newly introduced software operating system would allow cargo to be cleared faster and at lesser cost than what applies at present to clients, at the port of Port-of-Spain.
He made this known as he spoke at yesterday’s launch of the “NAVIS SPARCS N4” system at the Cruise Ship Complex in Port-of-Spain. Also launched, to boost the Port’s efficiency was a new Port Authority website, new hangar-styled Maintenance Workshop (MW) and two new Empty Container Handlers (ECH), which looks like a cross between a large forklift and tractor and is used for moving shipping containers.
Maharaj said these upgrades are a first step to improving the Port’s customer service delivery.
“My instruction to the board is to improve customer satisfaction,” Maharaj said as he revealed that Government wants each Ministry to create productivity-led growth. Maharaj warned that these initiatives at the Port would amount to nought if the port does not take care of its clients. He urged Port Authority (PA) board members to take up a recent offer by the Panamanian President to visit that nation and see first hand the expansion of the world famous Panama Canal.
Port chairman Joseph Toney agreed with Maharaj, saying the main aim of these initiatives is greater efficiency and improved service. “One of our primary objectives is modernising the Port with the vision and mission of making it the most efficient and competitive port in the region.
“Without a doubt, the Port is the heart of the economy as Port operations impact on each business and on the lives of every citizen on a daily basis,” Toney said.
He added that NAVIS is a computerised terminal operating system that is used by major international ports to allow optimal vessel and yard planning, utilisation of resources — both equipment and personnel. This system, Toney said, would help improve time spent in movements at crane, berth and truck. He hopes to improve the Port’s capacity for container transport from a current level of 380,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) to 800,000 TEUs by 2014. The two new ECHs will add to the present fleet of seven with the operational need being a minimum of five on a shift basis. The addition of two ECRs will assist in reducing the overall truck turnaround time from 60 to 70 minutes, to a target of 45 minutes.