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Kalmar cranes boost cargo flow in Willemstad Port, Curaçao

Kalmar cranes boost cargo flow in Willemstad Port, Curaçao

Cranes are needed in paradise, too. In December 2020, two Kalmar Ship-to-Shore (STS) Gantry cranes went operational at Willemstad Container Terminal in Curaçao. 

The island of Curaçao is located in the Southern Caribbean 35 miles off the coast of Venezuela, with the Port of Willemstad serving as the main and largest port of the island.

Fernando Da Costa Gomez, Managing Director of Curaçao Port Services (CPS), says that the commissioning of the two cranes had its challenges due to Covid-19, but now the duo is hard at work, winning quick approval from the client.

“We are very happy with our new cranes,” Da Costa Gomez says.

“There were some minor issues to take care of in the beginning – as is customary in these types of operations – but right now, we are perfectly satisfied.”    

Double the Capacity

The Panamax size cranes have an outreach of 39 meters, under-spreader height of 32 meters and capacity of 40 tons under spreader for single lift operation.

As it stands, the two cranes are modernising the container handling operations to meet the logistical standards of 2020’s. Nevertheless, that’s not the only new feature down at the port: there are also eight brand new Kalmar terminal tractors.

“We just received the shipment of Kalmar tractors,” says Da Costa Gomez, interviewed in late February. “The next step for the tractors is commissioning and we’re obliviously very excited to have them, too.”

Relying on Kalmar  

According to Da Costa Gomez, Willemstad Container Terminal in Curaçao is looking more and more like a Kalmar port all the time: in addition to recent cranes and tractors, there is perhaps also room for a Kalmar top lifter and reachstacker. 

Da Costa Gomez says that CPS has chosen to work with Kalmar because of the reliability of the products, high technological expertise and wide service network. 

“Looking at these new cranes, we are confident they will improve our productivity, safety and eco-efficiency – as well as bring down our maintenance costs."

“We are looking to make smart long-term investments based on quality. Kalmar is helping us to meet our targets and overcome any challenges.”

Always Think Long-Term

Da Costa Gomez points out that when running cargo port operations, one has to think strategically and long-term every step of the way. This involves finding the right partners who can come up with the solutions to make the everyday run smoothly.

“We are looking to make smart long-term investments based on quality. Kalmar is helping us to meet our targets and overcome any challenges.”

For instance, Kalmar trains the CPS service technicians so that they are able to take care of the maintenance needs of the cranes.    

After the Storm

Looking ahead, Da Costa Gomez is eager to get back to normal, post-Covid operations. 

“Covid-19 has changed our business model completely and we’ve had to adapt as best we can,” he says.

“The cargo flow has been really irregular which makes it hard to plan in advance. We’re looking forward to a brighter tomorrow where we can make the most of our new cranes.” 

The Curaçao Port Services (CPS) operates the Willemstad Container Terminal and other cargo facilities in the Port of Willemstad on the island of Curaçao. Located in the Southern Caribbean, approximately 35 miles off the northwestern coast of Venezuela, Curaçao features naturally sheltered, deep-water ports, modern facilities and wide array of shipping services.

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