In efforts to maximize efficiency at the Port of Tema, the Meridian Ports Service in collaboration with the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, has constructed a harbour craft jetty at the Terminal 3, at the Port of Tema.
The harbor craft jetty has been created primarily to reduce vessel idle time at the terminal, in order to improve vessel turnaround time at the Port of Tema, making it comparable to other world class ports.
In essence, the jetty will accommodate harbour crafts such as tugboats within optimum proximity to carry out vessel handling services.
Hitherto, the tug boats and the marine operations personnel were about 30 minutes away from the terminal leading to some delay in vessel turnaround time.
Barely a month into its operationalization, operators of the terminal are projecting a 64-minute improvement in average vessel idle time for departure by June 2023, and 94-minute improvement by end of the year.
“Our dream is 60 minutes similar to what happens in world class terminals,” said Emmanuel Ohene-Addo, the Operations Manager at Meridian Ports Services, the operators of the Terminal 3.
He revealed that before the operationalization of the jetty, at the end of 2022, average vessel idle time for arrival was 54 minutes, with average vessel idle time for departure at 154 minutes.
“So same with the arrival time, we are trying to bring it down to 40 minutes by June, then 30 minutes by end of the year,” Mr. Ohene-Addo added.
Speaking on the Eye on Port program, he disclosed that MPS and GPHA are collaborating further to construct an office complex to house the marine personnel and MPS’ operational staff to facilitate the smooth process of berthing and unberthing cargo-carrying vessels.
He said all of the heavy investment in infrastructure at the MPS Terminal 3 are all geared towards providing the caliber of services, the league of world class terminals provides.
Adding on to that, in a separate engagement, the Harbour Master at the Port of Tema, Captain Francis Kwesi Micah revealed that the Port Authority has already made preparations to procure two new tugs and train additional pilots to enhance vessel handling services at the Port.
He said, that, in addition to the decision to provide a harbor craft jetty and an accompanying office space, all tie into the Authority’s vision to leave no gaps in the port supply chain.
The Harbour Master expressed that these initiatives align with the Authority’s objective of making the Port of Tema the leading container hub and beacon of trade in the sub region.
“It will mean that you will stand tall in the competition that is riling up in the West Coast. You know we have a lot of competition coming up in Abidjan, Cameroon, Nigeria among others. If you are able to work very well in this area, it will mean that we will not lose cargo, shipping traffic, but rather increase the volumes coming in, all other things being equal. It will place us at the peak point of efficiency in terms of vessel turnaround in the Terminal,” Capt. Micah articulated.
He added that, the relocation of some of its craft and personnel at the Terminal 3, where majority of the container vessel operation are undertaken, will also save the Authority from the extra fuel needed to run these harbour craft.