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Karachi's New Port Terminal Wins "Container Terminal of the Year" Award

Karachi's SAPT (South Asia Port Terminal) Automatic Container Yard and Housing Project is one of 18 winners of "Year in Infrastructure 2019" awards announced by Bentley Systems.

South Asia Port Terminal, Karachi, Pakistan

The annual awards highlight the work of Bentley software users advancing infrastructure design, construction, and operations throughout the world. 12 independent jury panels of distinguished industry experts selected  the 54 finalists from 571 nominations submitted by more than 440 organizations in more than 60 countries.

Hutchison Ports Pakistan is the country’s first deep-water container terminal, designed to accommodate super post Panamax ships, the largest container ships operating today. It is situated at the Keamari Groyne basin and provides the most convenient access to large vessels entering Karachi.

The new container port recently notched up a new productivity high — claimed to be the best-ever at a Pakistani port — when it handled the 8,562-TEU Hyundai Courage. The terminal handled 2,683 moves in about 13 hours, with berth productivity reaching 203.4 moves per hour and gross crane rates averaging 32.3 moves per hour. While in berth, the vessel loaded and discharged 3,501 TEU. That productivity beats the previous high of 1,953 moves in 11 hours, which the terminal achieved on the Hyundai Global, the company told JOC.com.

The US$1.4 billion container terminal operates as a partnership between Hutchison Ports Pakistan, a member of the Hutchison Ports network, and Karachi Port Trust. Hutchison Ports has invested US$600 million to develop the terminal and install the latest technology, whereas Karachi Port Trust has invested over US$350 million on reclamation work and dredging.

Hutchison Ports Pakistan also works with Pakistan Customs to improve clearance systems and procedures and enable easier and faster cargo clearance for end users. With this high-tech, deep-water facility at Karachi Port, Pakistan has the basis to compete with global peers as a modern trading economy.

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Comment by Riaz Haq on November 24, 2019 at 10:03am

Hutchison Ports to invest additional #240 million despite #Pakistan’s slowing #economy. The company has made no change in its #investment plan for expansion of container #terminal at #Karachi port to increase its capacity up to 3.2 million TEUs by 2022. https://tribune.com.pk/story/2105387/2-hutchison-ports-invests-desp...


Talking about the progress on phase-II of the Hutchison Ports’ terminal with an additional investment of $240 million, he said it would help expand the installed capacity for handling containerised cargo at the terminal located at the Karachi Port. “With this, the total investment in the terminal by Hutchison Ports Pakistan will increase to over $600 million,” he said.

In a bid to improve the deteriorating macroeconomic indicators, the federal government took measures to narrow the twin deficits in first quarter of the current fiscal year 2019-20.

“Declining imports are favourable for the economy, but ports and terminal operators are losing revenue and import cargoes are going down,” said Rashid. “This is even more challenging for us as we have no sovereign guarantee for payments.”

However, he said despite the tough times, Karachi Port had the potential of becoming the transit and transhipment hub in the near future.

“We are very optimistic about the economy of Pakistan and despite the hard times due to decreasing imports, our investment plan in phase-II is very much on track.

“Our total investment in Pakistan will touch $1 billion by the end of this investment cycle,” he added.

He pointed out that civil work in the second phase was ahead of schedule and would be completed in 2021, while additional equipment would be installed by 2022.

“It will be a state-of-the-art terminal, which will use remote-controlled ship-to-shore cranes and semi-automated yard cranes, which were first introduced in the country by Hutchison Ports Pakistan.”

Hutchison Ports is also planning to invest in logistics services both upstream and downstream and for this it is in talks with Pakistan Railways.

The development of phase-II includes three internal railway tracks, which will connect the terminal to the main lines. Movement of cargo through rail will be a public-private partnership with Pakistan Railways.

“We have chalked out our strategy in view of the economic slowdown, as at the time of the decision on raising investment in the terminal, the present situation of economic slowdown was not expected,” Jamil said.

He said cargo volumes at terminals had been constantly declining for the last two years and imports of consumer goods had gone down. Balancing, modernisation and replacement activities in the industries are also slowing down and no major plant and machinery are being imported.

“On the other hand, exports are increasing and imports of industrial raw material have also gone up. We will manage this situation by rescheduling of delay in equipment purchase as this will help us get the latest equipment and technology.”

Pakistan’s first deep-water container terminal is capable of handling the world’s largest vessels. Currently, it has the capacity of handing 1.5 million TEUs annually. The terminal was utilising 50% capacity about a few weeks ago, but currently it is operating at 64% capacity utilisation.

“The terminal was at its peak at 100% capacity utilisation in January 2019 due to a push in CPEC-related consignments.” The terminal operator is looking for a partnership with a consolidated big shipping line. It would most probably be an eastern shipping line to achieve economies of scale and utilise its enhanced capacity after the completion of phase-II.

Compared to other terminals, Hutchison Ports Pakistan is paying almost double charges to the land authority in the form of royalty, which makes it expensive for its customers.

Increasing efficiency is the only way to minimise the cost for which Hutchison Ports is investing in technologies and human resources.

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