A series of investments totalling US$ 60 million which commenced at the Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT) in 2020, and which were primarily aimed at upgrading equipment and capacity, have laid the foundations for further throughput future growth, the operator, APM Terminals, states.
The upgrade programme included several major projects, the most complex of which was the heightening of six ship-to-shore cranes at SCCT. Following this recently completed programme of work, 12 out of 18 of the terminal’s shoreside gantry cranes now have the capacity to handle ultra-large container vessels. This investment also makes SCCT the only terminal in Egypt to be able to simultaneously serve two mega-class container vessels, without compromising on productivity, the company claims.
Sunay Mukerjee, Chief Commercial Officer at Suez Canal Container Terminal, says, “Our upgrade programme was already very ambitious, but the global pandemic made it even more complex. We are happy to report that all projects have been concluded on schedule, allowing us to serve our customers, and their businesses, even better.”
SCCT points out that the crane capacity upgrade project will give the terminal’s shipping line customers additional scope to recover their network schedules caused by the pandemic and improve the reliability they are offering to their end customers.
In addition, the terminal has also conducted a gate expansion project, with civil engineering works increasing SCCT’s gate handling capacity to more than 50,000 TEU per month. Consequently, the terminal’s gate volumes have increased 50% year-on-year, with the growth in reefer exports reaching 150%. “The gate expansion project ensures our customers can continue to experience ‘best in class’ customer service while growing their volumes through SCCT,” adds Mahmoud Ayoub, SCCT’s first Egyptian Chief Operating Officer.
Other investments at SCCT have included the purchase of new yard equipment, with 16 new RTG cranes joining the fleet, paving the way for further increases in quay and gate volumes in the future.
The capacity upgrades and other investments have already resulted in a new record, with SCCT handling 57,242 container moves, equivalent to 95,579 TEU, over the quay in Week 33 of 2021, the highest weekly volume ever handled at the terminal.
One of the key transhipment hubs in the Mediterranean, SCCT opened in 2004 following the award of a 49-year concession. It is a joint venture with APM Terminals as the majority shareholder (55%) and operator, while other key shareholders include COSCO (20%), the Suez Canal Authority (10.3%) and the National Bank of Egypt (5%).