THE marked improvement on the number of containers moving through the new container terminal facility at the port of Walvis Bay is largely the work of a team of crane operators that work on the four giant ship to shore cranes on the new quay.
In this regard 33 crane operators were rewarded with certificates after receiving intensive training to control the giant machinery since April this year.
The acting Chief Executive Officer of the Namibian Ports Authority, Kavin Hary, described the success of the newly qualified crane operators as a significant step in the right direction for the state owned enterprise.
“Namibians qualifying to operate the STS cranes is at the core of Namport’s dedication to the continued development and upskilling of its most valued assests. At the core of Namport’s drive towards becoming Africa’s express hub to international marketsis competent staff who should be able to deliver the high productivity levels and efficiencies which are required of us by our esteemed customers,” Hary said.
Hes said the operators were subjected to rigorous training, both theoretical and practical. Most of the practical training was done in a simulator. Once the candidates passed a certain skill level on the simulator they moved over to the actual operation of the STS cranes under the supervision of experts from Liebher Africa who provided the material and training for the operators.
“At the end expert level examiners assessed the trainees and certified them to do one of the one of the key jobs in the terminal and that is to load and offload containers at satisfactory tempo. He said that the operators achieved 27 moves per hour since the terminal was commissioned at the end of August and indicated that the operators should strive to achieve 30 moves per hour within the next six months.
Hary said the operators ensured shorter turn-around times for vessels which is an indication of improved productivity and efficiency levels at the new terminal.
“We are beginning to receive positive feedback from our port users, particularly the shipping lines on our improving efficiencies and turnaround times. While it is definitely too early to celebrate these positive developments, the feedback is never the less very encouraging and we hope to sustain and build on this momentum.”
He said the giant cranes play a defiant role in the positive developments at the new container terminal but the ultimate efficiency is squarely in the hands of the operators.