World's best? Let's do better!

Already the world’s most efficient port, Gateway Terminals India is not easing up, keen to improve further and share its ideas as well. The use of infra-red technology was one of several features from the terminal recently added to APM Terminals’ catalogue of global best practices. 

APM_Terminals_India_Mumbai
APM Terminals Mumbai.

It’s another busy morning at Gateway Terminals India (GTI). The cranes’ trolleys are running between two recently berthed vessels and the wharf, loading and unloading containers. Trucks move containers to and from the yard. Within six hours of the vessels’ arrival, customers can pick up their containers.

“We have been able to set new standards for safety, efficiency and reliability,” says CCO Amit Malik at APM Terminals Mumbai.

In 2012, the terminal was identified as the world’s most efficient by the Journal of Commerce in the category that services vessels up to 8,000 TEU. Since then, 9,000 TEU vessels have begun calling, and even larger vessels, faster turnaround and faster and safer transit for the 300 trucks that pick up or drop off containers at any given time is on the cards.

“They are very efficient and very innovative,” says Elad Levi, who recently spent 18 weeks in Mumbai as a diagnostics manager, scrutinising the operations of GTI for APM Terminals’ Global Transformation Programme.

Problem solved

One global challenge that GTI cracked is the alignment of trucks beneath the cranes.

“The trucks did not stop exactly under the crane and that lost us time with each move. We were looking at some very expensive solutions, but then we came up with an idea to put infra-red sensors on the cranes to guide the truck drivers. That solved it and only cost a couple of hundred dollars,” says COO Rajieve Krishnan at APM Terminals.

The initiative is just one of a continuous stream of productivity improvements since GTI was established in 2004 as a public-private partnership between APM Terminals and government-owned Container Corporation of India.

“We operate the terminal efficiently and transparently, and our partner provides expertise on the rail side. It is a perfect public-private partnership,” Krishnan says.

The terminal’s ten cranes and 712 metres of quay move two million TEU annually, which translates into one-fifth of India’s container trade, making it the busiest in India.

Dual truck cycle

Apart from adding the infra-red idea and other GTI initiatives to APM Terminals’ catalogue of global best practices, GTI is keen to improve even further. Recently, ‘dual truck cycle’ was implemented.

“It means a truck bringing a container from the yard to the quay also brings a discharged container back to the yard in the same cycle. It is a challenging operation to implement safely, but we managed thanks to a team effort throughout the terminal, and we want to continue like that,” says Rajieve Krishnan.

We take pride in facilitating 20% of India’s international container trade. Maritime nations prosper, and our ability to grow our volumes will support growth in India.

AMIT MALIK, CCO AT APM TERMINALS IN MUMBAI