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Building an eco-efficient future with Barbados Port

Building an eco-efficient future with Barbados Port

The Port of Bridgetown, managed by Barbados Port Inc. (BPI) is a full-service ISO 9001 certified, award winning seaport located in Barbados’ capital city. Its marine terminal handles all major categories of cruise passengers, cargo including containers, bulk and vehicles. About 95% of the goods consumed on the island of Barbados pass through the port.

Kalmar and BPI have enjoyed a long and extremely fruitful collaboration, and Kalmar has become a trusted key partner that has supported the Port of Bridgetown in its drive to embrace digital innovation while improving the sustainability of operations. Most recently, BPI has updated its horizontal transportation equipment fleet to include 12 Kalmar Hybrid Straddle Carriers.

"Our focus is on maintaining high standards and satisfying our customers, with the vision of becoming the most innovative, green maritime hub in the world by 2030," says Ian Stewart, Divisional Manager, Operations, Barbados Port Inc. "In order to reach this ambitious target, we are reducing our carbon footprint, which means using hybrid or fully electric equipment, adopting innovative processes and automation, as well as looking closely at our efficiencies and how to optimise our operations.”

Kalmar – the heart of the fleet

State-of-the-art equipment plays a vital role in the continuing success of the Port of Bridgetown, which has won numerous Port of the Year awards from the Caribbean Shipping Association. The port purchased its first Kalmar straddle carrier in 1981, and today the fleet includes twelve Kalmar Hybrid Straddle Carriers along with five electric forklifts.

“State-of-the-art equipment plays a vital role in the continuing success of the Port of Bridgetown, which has won numerous Port of the Year awards from the Caribbean Shipping Association.

The move to hybrid and fully electric equipment was part of a capital investment programme to modernise and enhance the competitiveness of the port while simultaneously enabling more eco-efficient operations. Stewart sums up the reason his organisation has relied on Kalmar equipment and services for over four decades.

“It’s about value for money.

“It’s about value for money. We have remain focused on improving our customer service and increasing our port efficiency through using high levels of technology in our equipment and processes, so we look to procure equipment that is cutting edge, has synergy with our brand and strategic direction, and is backed up by solid support from the manufacturer.”

As a result of Barbados' unique location in the eastern Caribbean, the ready availability of spare parts and services is crucial. “We need a supplier who is easy to communicate with and who has invested in services, particularly parts and the associated logistics given where we are in the world," says Stewart. “With Kalmar, we look beyond the price tag and have chosen to continue with them based on the excellent quality of their solutions. In addition to equipment, Kalmar has become our focal point for parts and training as well as the supply of needed information related to changes in technology."

“We've seen a reduction in fuel use of 30% to 40% in most cases, which has enabled us to meet our sustainability goals."

To future-proof their operations, all the new Kalmar Straddle Carriers purchased by BPI are automation ready and the organisation is investigating how best to take advantage of Kalmar's digital service to optimise equipment usage.

Electrifying performance

The electrification of the horizontal transportation fleet has brought significant fuel savings for the Port of Bridgetown. "We've seen a reduction in fuel use of 30% to 40% in most cases, which has enabled us to meet our sustainability goals," notes Ian Stewart. "Most of our forklift trucks are now moving towards electric or hybrid as well, and we utilise our own resources to ensure that we can conserve energy and be as sustainable as possible."

Alongside the Kalmar Hybrid Straddle Carriers, Kalmar Electric Forklifts are used in break-bulk operations to handle cargo such as steel, cement and lumber. “The electric forklifts have helped our drivers immensely," says Stewart. "The cab is a comfortable, quiet working environment, the machines have excellent speed and agility, and their reliability is much higher than comparable diesel hydraulic machines. And of course, they reduce our operating expenses by eliminating fuel costs.”

As for the new Kalmar Hybrid Straddle Carriers, many of the same advantages apply. “The straddles are comfortable, agile, and far friendlier to the environment. I hear plenty of positive feedback particularly about how quiet the machines are,” Stewart says.

“Switching to hybrid straddles slashes fuel costs, a key factor in a market like Barbados where fuel is expensive to import from overseas," adds Alexandre Esse, Sales Manager, Americas at Kalmar. "It can also transform a terminal’s sustainability performance, saving up to 50 tons of CO2 emissions per machine per year.”

“Switching to hybrid straddles slashes fuel costs, a key factor in a market like Barbados where fuel is expensive to import from oversea."

“Our electric forklifts provide the same level of performance as powerful diesel machines but without the emissions, noise or vibration," continues Alexandre. "They include a time-saving diagnostic system and our fully adjustable, ergonomic EGO cabin. We’re proud to say that they were the first electrically powered forklift trucks we have delivered to a container terminal in Latin America."

"The Kalmar team has built an excellent relationship with Ian and his team, and our service experts are always available to support Barbados Port Inc. with any issues that may arise,” Alexandre concludes.

A bright future ahead

Digital innovations and innovative add-ons for systems and equipment will have an important role to play in the future of Barbados Port – a future in which Kalmar is set to be a key collaborator. The next major step will be to begin the automation journey for the terminal with Kalmar’s help, starting with integrating all equipment into the terminal operating system. This integration will provide a real-time overview of key parameters such as fuel consumption, equipment status and driver performance.

“We are very interested in seeing how the latest cutting-edge digital innovations from Kalmar can help us fine-tune and optimise our operations moving forward, in terms of both our Kalmar and non-Kalmar equipment," says Ian Stewart. "We have managed to build the Port of Bridgetown into a very innovative port that uses high levels of technology and where our equipment is maintained by highly trained staff. We have built the foundation to be not just a small regional port, but to be the hub that we aspire to be. This is the future for our terminal, and we are ready to take our first steps into that future with Kalmar.”

Ian Stewart, Divisional Manager, Operations, Barbados Port Inc.

 

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