MANAMA: About 600 Bahrainis have been recruited so far by APM Terminal Bahrain, which has taken over the operations at Mina Salman in December last year.
The company has also invested heavily in infrastructure, it has been revealed.
It has purchased a new container to handle equipment in addition to forklifts all at a cost of $4.9 million (BD1.8m), said managing director Jorgen Madsen.
"We have interviewed nearly 2,000 job applicants and recruited about 600 Bahrainis to various positions," he told the GDN.
Within six months of taking over the operations, APM Terminal Bahrain has invested in to boost the port's facilities, streamlined its operations and made it more user-friendly, said Mr Madsen.
"All this has resulted in higher productivity levels and better services at the port," he added.
Other initiatives include:
¥ The installation of an Automatic Identification System (AIS) in the tower.
¥ The provision of three new tug boats.
¥ The introduction of fixed berth windows for container ships.
¥ Implementation of the Navis operating system to manage the container terminal operations.
¥ Increased daily number of import containers stripped from 120 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) to 160 TEUs.
¥ Introduction of pre-gate system for containers, which reduces the trucks' waiting time to collect or return containers.
¥ Taking over the yard and vessel planning from agents.
¥ A preventive maintenance programme for equipment to assure the availability of handling equipments all the times.
¥ Enforcing international standards to save the lives and protect the environment.
¥ Renovating and upgrading the clinic to serve the employees and the ports users.
¥ Moving the customs clearance hall to a new location beside the main gate for better service to consignees and clearing agents.
¥ Opening a staff canteen.
¥ Implementing a comprehensive training and development programme.
¥ Providing new IT hardware and software for the organisation.
¥ Launching the Bahrain Gateway brand and Waterfront Newsletter.
¥ Commissioning work to revise the port tariff.
¥ Establishing a Help Desk for port users, on telephone number 17365559, round the clock.
During the first six months of this year, the port witnessed 141 container vessels with 77,958 moves, at an average 0.84 vessel calls per day, said Mr Madsen.
" Also, new highs were hit in berth productivity (50.48 moves per hour) and gross crane productivity (26.5 moves per hour), while the lowest gate turnaround time of 25.7 minutes was also recorded," he added.
APM Terminals Bahrain is a joint venture between Maersk A/S of Denmark and YBA Kanoo Holdings of Bahrain.
The company has been awarded the concession to operate the commercial ports in Bahrain, Mina Salman, and, once operational, Khalifa Bin Salman Port. Management of the port started on December 8 last year with the purpose of handling marine and related services and overall port operations within Bahrain and its waters.