APM Terminals Moín sets global benchmark for berthing time

Source: APM Terminals

In the search for continuous improvement, APM Terminals Moin underwent an internal review of its processes last year, seeking to increase its productivity and efficiency rates. The global container crisis and its impact on supply chains has forced ports and shipping companies around the world to speed up their docking and unloading processes even further, to reduce the impact on the markets they are serving.

Globally, APM Terminals uses the Japanese Kaizen methodology. This methodology supports the continuous growth of individuals and companies through the elimination of waste in production systems and uses multidisciplinary teams to identify opportunities for improvement.

Continuous Improvement

Under the Kaizen methodology, the APM Terminals team began by reviewing vessel docking protocols and found that idle time was the primary cause of an extended waits of almost two hours. As a result of this situation, the National Council of Concessions, the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT Maritime Port Division), Ministry of Health, Central Customs, General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners, National Service of Animal Health and JAPDEVA, worked together to streamline the process of releasing ships docked at the Moin Container Terminal (TCM). The result was a reduction of 45% in vessel idle time at berth, adding capacity and reducing the time of stay of vessels at the terminal.

This new model consists of a coordinated protocol between government authorities and the terminal to enable preparation of port operations while authorities release the ship, in compliance with the regulatory framework of each institution, and leveraging efficiencies in the process. The commitment made by APM Terminals Moin is to have this protocol ready so that once a vessel docks, both the machinery and the personnel are in place to receive the vessel.

Cost and environmental benefits

In the first quarter of this year, shipping companies gained more than four hundred hours of port stay time for the same level of container volume, compared with 2021. Thanks to this change, productivity has increased, savings have been generated for the organizations involved and the environmental impact of operations has been reduced, by allowing shipping companies to reduce their time in port by approximately one hour and the associated reduction in bunker consumption per ship. 

“Ships leave the port as efficiently as possible after cargo handling,” explained Leonardo Brenes, form the commercial team at APM Terminals Moin. “We work tirelessly to minimize the time between the moment a ship requests docking services and its actual departure. This makes us more attractive to shipping lines and reduces the environmental impact of our operation as much as possible.”

“This new process allows us to better coordinate vessel operations between government institutions, port agents and APM Terminals Moín,” says Yadir Murillo, Operations Shift Manager. “This significantly reduces time, while the port agents review the corresponding procedures. We are extremely grateful to the government authorities, port agents and our staff. for managing to execute a joint process while respecting the values of our company.” 

Global standard

Continuous efforts supported by this approach enabled APM Terminals Moin to break records in April and May, when it achieved its lowest idle time since operations commenced in 2019. This achievement also ranks APM Terminals Moin as the third most efficient terminal in the group and sets a benchmark in the process. The pilot in Costa Rica was so effective that it will be replicated at other APM Terminals‘ facilities.

During this year, the terminal broke two records in PMPH (productive movements per hour), one of its key performance indicators, when it managed to land the Vessel Polar México at 99.4 PMPH, and the Vessel Del Monte Rose at 101.3. PMPH, figures that had never been reached in the history of the terminal.

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