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Striving For Excellence, Productivity: FPCL

The Fiji Ports Terminal Limited (FPTL) continues to strive for excellence by lifting its standard of services and level of productivity. FPTL operations manager Nabeel Ali spoke to CAROLINE RATUCADRA
02 Mar 2016 12:15
Striving For Excellence, Productivity: FPCL

The Fiji Ports Terminal Limited (FPTL) continues to strive for excellence by lifting its standard of services and level of productivity.

FPTL operations manager Nabeel Ali spoke to CAROLINE RATUCADRA about their current operations, improved productivity and return to normalcy after the wrath of Tropical Cyclone Winston a week ago.

 

QUESTION: For the past week, following Tropical Cyclone Winston, how has operations been for Fiji Ports Terminal Limited? Please elaborate.

ALI: FPTL resumed normal duties on Monday, February 22, 2016, after the cyclone.

It was not difficult for us to reopen the ports as we have worked according to a contingency plan.

QUESTION:  How many vessels berthed at the ports of Suva and Lautoka in the past week? Please explain the trend of the number of port calls during this time.

ALI: Port of Suva received five container vessels and one car carrier while Port of Lautoka had four container vessels.

Vessels are now arriving as per their original schedules.

 

QUESTION: Did this affect productivity or business, et cetera?

ALI: Productivity wise, we have not been affected. However, for safety reasons we had to close the Ports of Suva and Lautoka for a number of hours.

IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY

QUESTION: According to a recent report, it was revealed that FPTL has improved vessel productivity in turnaround time, berthing time, etc.                                                          What has attributed to this increased productivity? Please elaborate reasons.

ALI: Over the past year we have been purchasing new equipments / gears which have effectively assisted us to increase the productivity levels.

Also, we have changed the yard layout and the storage arrangement for containers to increase the yard productivity which has effectively assisted to increase the ship productivity.

The new ship planning module is too helping us to improve the overall vessel productivity.

QUESTION: Please explain in percentage or time differences the improvements to vessel turnaround time, berthing time and customer service as a result of this increased productivity.

ALI: The Average Vessel Berth Waiting Time compared to 2013 vessel’s had to stay out for more than 6.5 hours and in 2014, it was reduced to 1.3 hours.

However, currently the waiting time for a vessel to come along side is less than one hour.

The Average Ship Turnaround Time compared to 2013, vessels had to stay at berth for almost 36 hours until cargo operation is completed.

In 2014, it was reduced to 26 hours and currently we are maintaining average ship turnaround time as 20 hours.

The Average Truck Turnaround time; previously, the truck turnaround time was averaging an hour or more and by this day it is less than 20 minutes.

QUESTION: Some importers and exporters had  raised their concerns at what they feel are high tariffs levied by the FPTL, citing the fees and charges levied by the FPTL was too high and a deterrent for more vessels to come to Fiji.                                                                       What are your comments on this?

ALI: We believe that the prevailing port charges are quite reasonable.   On February 3, 2016, Fiji Commerce Commission organised a work shop  ‘Know your Imports and Exports charges’ to enlighten the importers and exporters of the port charges.

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