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Rebuilding Freeport in Grand Bahama

We applaud how professionally the team responded. It was an extremely difficult set of circumstances, but Kalmar once again demonstrated its unique capabilities in these particularly challenging types of projects. Charles Stewart, Engineering Manager at Freeport


The solution Container terminals

Freeport, on the island of Grand Bahama, became the scene of a catastrophe, when a tornado tore through the area in March 2010. Severe damage was caused to one of the world’s top 100 container terminals. Kalmar was called in to help restore the port’s activities.

The challenge

The sudden appearance of this powerful storm resulted in a large number of injuries and the tragic death of three employees. With Freeport’s huge ship-to-shore cranes being tossed around like matchsticks, the aftermath literally resembled a bomb site.

The solution

Charles Stewart, Engineering Manager at Freeport, and Mike Murray, Head of Cranes for the Hutchinson Group, had no doubt who to call. Stewart comments: “We knew that Cargotec Services was not only one of the few organisations capable of handling this sort of damage, but they also had the expertise and resources available to respond quickly in emergency situations.”

They immediately contacted Ed Johnston, Vice President of Regional Operations for Cargotec Crane and Electrical Services, who jumped straight onto a plane and was on site, surveying the damage, by 10 am the next morning.

The results

Five days later, Johnston and his colleagues had completed their initial assessment and deployed a team to initiate repairs and restore order. Within two days, the port was once again moving containers, although at 50 percent of normal capacity and from the second berth only.

Approximately two weeks after the incident, Matt Mumley, Cargotec Services Project Manager, and his team began rebuilding Freeport’s cranes. The schedule was to return one crane to operation per month. All turnkey repairs were completed by April 2011.