The Port Authority has invested over 5 million dollars into making cargo operations more efficient, including the purchase of two new cranes.
This week workers began setting up the new cranes which officials say will maximum their current spacing and allow those picking up containers to do so quicker than before.
Driving on the northbound road, you’ll see the Port authority’s 5 million dollar investment, which includes these two cranes behind me, the goal is to increase their maximum capacity of 600 containers to 1300 due to demands of a growing population.
“As you know last year we had stayover tourism that was over 400,000 for the first time, we had over 1000 permits that were issued by the central planning authority for infrastructure development, we see a population increase,” said Clement Reid, Director of the Port Authority.
Port Director Clement Reid says with their crane investment they will be able to handle the cargo needed to sustain a growing population.
“Right now we have capacity to take us in the next 5-10 years with these two cranes, we anticipate within the next 10 years we might have to reinvest in more equipment, similar to what you see here and do more re-development but it all depends on the growth of the country,” said Mr. Reid.
The cranes were purchased from the Finnish company Konecrane in 2017 after getting the go ahead in 2016. How it works is that the crane will be over the stack of 6 containers tall, finding the containers needed by using a GPS tracker.
“We started back in year 2014, our first stab at this was looking at purchasing additional property, which didn’t really pan out so we looked at the equipment and going vertical instead of going horizontal,” said Mr. Reid.
Deputy Director of the Port Authority, Melissa Ebanks says this investment makes their operations more efficient.
“It’s a greater deal to the community on a whole for the Cayman Islands, we don’t want to forget that in 40 year that this is the biggest self-funded investment that the port authority has done in order to enhance the services that we offer to our stakeholders,” said Melissa Ebanks.
And with those enhanced services Mrs. Ebanks says the technology will make it easier for customers to schedule collections using the port authority’s website.
The equipment arrived in 34 containers last month and Mr. Reid says they are looking to complete the installation by June 12th, 8 members from Konecrane are on island helping with the process. Once it is completed, Port staff will then be trained up run the cranes.