MPS sets record in container handling efficiency at Tema Port

cranes pixMeridian Port Services (MPS), the container terminal operator at Tema has reached a new level of productivity of container handling on vessel by exceeding 80 container moves per hour on an average.

This is an all-time record achieved on the Vessel “Northern Democrat” which is operated by Mistsui OSK Line (MOL) on the Far-East-/West-Africa service.

This service links Central and South China (Shanghai, Ningbo, Hong Kong, Nansha) and Singapore to West Africa (Lagos, Lome, Tema and Abidjan). Twelve ships, in a joint service with Evergreen and Cosco are deployed in this weekly service.

MPS, one of the top container terminal operators in Africa, is a partnership between Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the Joint Venture of Bolloré Africa Logistics and APM Terminals as principal investors and the leading container terminal operators in the world.

Speaking in an interview with journalists, Mr. Mohamed Samara, CEO of MPS, said the total duration of the roundtrip for such a vessel is close to three months hence the faster turnaround of vessels during port calls is a very important factor to maintain efficient service.

MOL ships often come with convenient stowage plans; the good crane split coupled with well-equipped and efficient terminal operations is a perfect example for achieving such excellent productivity.

Mr. Samara said the exceptional performance, which is exactly 84.5 container moves per hour, counted from the first container move on-board the vessel to the last move, is the result of a combined factors and investments made by the company.

He said the inaugurated modern cranes by President John Mahama during last year have been put to their intended use and we are able to achieve constant improvement in productivity levels.

“These modern Ship-to-Shore (STS) cranes, fitted with sophisticated drives and controls, along with MPS’s thorough internal training programme and meticulous certification process were some of the main factors for sustaining the operators’ skills improvement and boosting the terminal competency to a new level,” he said.

Mr. Samara said MPS had also deployed two new modules for the terminal operating system during the second half of 2014; “Expect Decking” which is a tool for optimising the positions of containers in the yard, helping to define the most adequate yard strategy at a given time, enhancing the utilisation of the space and equipment, and “Prime Route” which allows the pooling of the equipment on the yard for the best possible distribution amongst the cranes working on the vessels.

Mr. Samara said the exceptional performance of MPS’s consistency in delivering high service levels has been endorsed by the Maersk Line records which ranked MPS productivity level as second most efficient Terminal of Africa in 2014 (that is from Nouakchott and all the way around the Cape to Mombasa and across to surrounding Islands).

To achieve the objective, set out by the MPS management of becoming the most efficient terminal in Africa, he said MPS is currently fine-tuning the reinstatement of vessel berthing window scheme thereby offering the shipping lines the opportunity to berth their vessels on the weekly set arrival time schedule by utilising the MPS dedicated resources and numerous specialised services that would further boost the service level and cost effectiveness of their ships calling at MPS.

“On behalf of the shareholders, board and management of MPS, I like to take the opportunity to congratulate all staff, especially the vessel Supervisors, planners, crane operators and all the support team that worked the vessel,” Mr.Samara said.

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