Focal Maritime

Bonuses boost throughput


INCENTIVE schemes to boost container handling throughput at Malta Freeport, are starting to pay dividends with hourly box rates hitting more consis­tent levels, according to the head of one of the port’s lead­ing ship agents.


Godwin Xerri, managing director of Focal Maritime Services, agent for K Line and United Feeder Services, said that under the scheme, stevedores were awarded a bonus if they maintained pro­ductivity levels.


“Since the scheme was introduced, we have seen im­provements in handling levels,” he said.


“The problem at the Free-port was not one of productiv­ity but inconsistency in pro­ductivity. For feeder operations, the port was reaching 17 to 18 box moves per hour, which is good, but sometimes these levels were not maintained.”


Focal handles upwards of 15,000 teu per year in the Freeport and, to a lesser extent, in the Port of Valletta.


K Line operates a weekly eastbound and westbound service, and Focal also deals with 25 feeder vessels, oper­ated by United Feeder Ser­vices, that ply between the Adriatic and the eastern Mediterranean (Greece and Turkey) as well as further east to Syria, Cyprus and Egypt.


“Our fate as an agent is linked to the fortunes of the Freeport, and I must say that over the past six to eight months ship numbers and box throughput have in­creased at the port,” Mr Xerri added.


Lloyds Maritime newspaper

December 2001


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