Ports and Terminals
As the entry and exit points for cargo throughout the world, efficient Ports and Terminals are a vital component in the global supply chain. Cargo ships costing many millions of dollars must turn round quickly, loading or discharging their cargoes without delay. And with the world’s merchant fleet expanding rapidly and ships getting larger, these ports are under increasing pressure to boost capacity and improve efficiency. Port facilities take many forms. From giant container-handling terminals, so-called hub ports with vast gantry cranes working the largest container ships carrying more than 10,000 containers each; to floating single point mooring buoys anchored offshore, handling Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) and other tankers discharging oil via a pipeline. From dusty mining ports loading the largest bulk carriers with dense ore in a matter of hours; to spotless warehouses handling pallets of refrigerated produce destined for the shelves of our supermarkets. But the growth in world trade comes at a price to our ports and terminals. Many ports now suffer space constraints and are looking to expand wherever land is available. The Port of Shanghai is building a vast container terminal on the man-made island of Yangshan. The Port of Rotterdam is reclaiming a huge tract of land in the North Sea for the next stage of its Maasvlakte expansion, the Port of Felixstowe is undertaking further container expansion at Bathside Bay and other multi-million dollar capital investment programmes are underway at ports and terminals from Asia to Africa, and Europe to the Americas.