Globalisation has brought an enormous sense of change and opportunity to ports around the world. In Egypt, maritime trade has always been an important element to the economy, with Alexandria Container & Cargo Handling Company providing materials handling expertise for over thirty years.
We were recently privileged to catch up with Admiral Mamdouh Deraz, Chairman and CEO, for a look at how the company has grown and evolved over time.
What is the history of the company?
“Alexandria Container & Cargo Handling Company is the first specialized Container Handling Terminal in Egypt .It was established in 1984 to exercise all activities related to container handling. The company operates two major terminals, the first is Alexandria container terminal at the port of Alexandria and the second is EL-Dekheilla terminal at port of EL-Dekheilla. Alexandria terminal has 3 berths for container vessels and one berth for RO-RO vessels. EL-Dekheilla terminal started operating in 1996, with one berth which can accommodate 3 vessels at one time.
“The company obtained the ISO 9002 certificate in February 1998 and the ISO 9001-2008 QMS in year 2009. It was also granted the certificate of Occupational Health & Safety Assessment Series O.H.S.A.S- 180001/99 in year 2004 and the new edition 18001:2007 in year 2009.
“The company has obtained a certificate of environmental protection 14001/ 2004 in year 2007.The company has made suitable changes to comply with the international ships and port facilities security code I.S.P.S.”
How big is the company in terms of annual turnover, number of employees and market position?
*The annual turnover:
|Income in Million LE||310||287||420||404||446||514||693||893||1261||1768|
“The number of employees: There are about 3000 employees in both terminals.
“Market share: Approximately 60% of Egypt’s foreign trade is handled through the Port of Alexandria.”
Are you publicly listed or privately owned?
“*The ownership structure is as follows:
“The Holding Company for Maritime & land Transport holds about 55.79% of the shares.
Alexandria Port Authority holds about 39.93% of the shares, while the private Sector holds about 4.28% of the shares.”
How big is the Company in term of land space and depth?
“The present throughput capacity for Alexandria Container Terminal is 500 thousand TEU, while the design capacity was 160 thousand TEU.
The Alexandria Terminal has:
– Special depot for stripping L.C.L.
– Special yard for stuffing exported cargo in containers.”
|Terminal Area||163000 m2|
|Storage Capacity||14000 TEU|
|Container Quay Length||531 m|
|Water depth||14 m|
|Ro / Ro quay length||164 m|
|Ro / Ro slide width||50 m|
|Reefer connections||800 conn|
“The present throughput capacity for EL-Dekheilla terminal is one million TEU.
“EL-Dekheilla terminal has a depot for storing cargo received in L.C.L. & hazardous cargo containers.”
|Terminal Area||406000 m2|
|Storage Capacity||18000 TEU|
|Container Quay Length||1040 m|
|Water depth||12-14 m|
|Ro / Ro quay length||part of the main Quay|
|Ro / Ro slide width||50 m|
|Reefer connections||700 connection|
* Will be 1000 connections soon
How many Quay cranes and Yard equipment does the company own?
|Type||Over Panamax||Post Panamax|
|Capacity in Ton||32||60||60|
|Under Handling Framework||30||33||33|
|Back reach Length||17.5||19.5||19.5|
|Vessel Width(no. of containers)||14||17||17|
|EL Dekheilla Terminal|
|Type||Post Panamax||Super Post Panamax|
|Capacity in Ton||45||60||60|
|Under Handling Framework||33||38||38|
|Back reach Length||17.5||19.5||19.5|
|Vessel Width(no. of containers)||17||19||21|
|Alexandria Terminal||EL Dekheilla Terminal|
|Capacity in Ton||40||40|
|Number of stacks||5+1||5+1|
|Number of rows on land||6+1||(6+1) / (7+1)|
|Length between rails (m)||22.5||22.5 / 26|
What are the traditional cargos that the Port supports?
Alexandria Port has the following types of Berths:
General Cargo berths.
Passengers & Tourists Terminals, Ro- Ro berths,
Container Terminals, Fertilizers Berths, Molasses Berths, Coal berths,
Petroleum & Oil Terminals.
What volume of containers can the company handle each year? Is this figure rising and if so, what do you attribute this to?
“The present throughput capacity for Alexandria Container and Cargo Handling Company is one million and 500 thousand TEU annually. The average increase in throughput for the last five years is 5.7%.
“The company’s goals are to satisfy the requirements of the customers and to achieve high performance measures of handling containers to compete with similar companies in the region. To increase productivity the company always modernizes and upgrades its container handling equipment as well as maintains periodic maintenance of the existing equipment.”
Who are the main companies located at Alexandria Port?
*Alexandria Container & Cargo Handling Company,
*Alexandria International Container Company (HPH).
What role does IT play in day-to-day operations?
“Our company is operating a modern CTMS at both Alexandria and El Dekheilla Terminals since 2010 based on the latest IT Technology supplied from Navis and exchanging data with port community. It has an integrated container terminal management system, which comprises the following:
– Ship Planning and Operation
– Yard Management (RDT units).
– Warehouse Management
– Gate In-Out Control
– E.D.I Access Capability
– Stuffing and Un-stuffing
“The company is planning to implement the OCR system.”
How do you manage supply chain and quality control systems?
“The company tries to achieve the requirements of the customers, to protect the environment, reduce risks and comply with the international standard specification requirements for quality according to ISO 9001/2008, OHSAS 18001/2007 and ISO 14001/2004.
“To secure full control over the containers and the safety of the contents, the company has developed a visual control system consisting of a collection of television cameras distributed among the storage yard area, quays and entrance gates.”
How seasonal is business? How does this impact on cash flow and operations?
What are the main operational challenges? How do you overcome these?
“Due to the increase in throughput, over a million TEU, we had to rent outside yards to overcome the congestion at the company’s yards.
“Due to the increase in size and depth of the new generation of container vessels , our company has started a new project to increase the depth of El-Dekheilla main berth to 16 meters. This will satisfy our customers demand to be able to handle the latest generation container vessels.
“EDI Systems are used to increase operational company’s efficiency.”
What are the main commercial challenges? How do you overcome these?
“The continuous progress of globalization of shipping and trade business is resulting in increasing pressures on terminals.
“We try to overcome this by reducing costs in the terminal and improving efficiency through information technology application. Develop the terminal to satisfy the customer’s needs. Advertise the services of the terminal outside and inside Egypt. We try to have a Tariff that is challenging to the competitors and return a fair profit to the terminal.”
What are the recent major infrastructure transportation projects in Egypt?
“The expansion of the Suez Canal was completed in less than a year.
“The canal will be linked to new industrial and logistic zones that are being built near the canal.
“These will cause more goods that are carried through to be processed and packaged and transshipped.
“The government has started improving the road system and expanding the network. This will help tourism in Egypt.”
What advantages does the Port of Alexandria enjoy?
* Remarkable competitive location in the East Med. region.
* Competitive location relative to main sailing routes of container vessels in region, diversion distance 32 miles.
* Close to Suez Canal.
* Intermediate location relative to other ports in the region
* Both Alexandria and El_Dekheilla ports are connected to other ports in the region by large net feeder.
Have you made any major investments in the past 18 months? If so, what in and why?
“Last year our company has signed two major equipment contracts. The first is to purchase two Gantry Quay Cranes and six yard cranes. The second is for eight heavy forklifts, four light forklifts and ten trailers.
“In order to increase productivity we always modernize and upgrade our container handling equipment as well as maintain periodic maintenance of the existing equipment.
“Is it a good time to be in this sector? Are you enjoying growth? If so, what percentage and what do you attribute this to?
“Yes it is good to be in this sector. It is challenging and we have enjoyed growth about 5.7% on average for the last five years. This is attributed to good management system and a distinguished work force. We trust in our ability to gain a competitive advantage.”