Evergreen Group’s Colon Container Terminal, S.A. (CCT) held a ceremony yesterday to mark the completion of its newly built Berth No. 4. The President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, Administrator of Panama Maritime Authority (AMP), Jorge Barakat Pitty, and a number of government officials joined the company’s chairman Captain Yen-I Chang for ribbon cutting. Many dignitaries from shipping and related industries were present at the event to witness the grand opening of the new facility.
CCT is located on the Atlantic side of Panama Canal and enjoys a dominant strategic location as a transit hub for North America, South America and the Caribbean. In light of the demand for expanded terminal facilities for large vessels following completion of the Canal’s expansion program, Evergreen has planned, designed and built the new Berth No. 4 to upgrade its terminal services.
Berth No. 4 is 16.5 meter in depth and is equipped with three super post-panamax gantry cranes capable of handling 23 rows of containers. Together with Berth No. 3, the facility offers an overall quay length of 640 meters, which can accommodate larger container ships of up to14, 000 TEU.
Bronson Hsieh, Evergreen Group’s Second Vice Group Chairman said, “The current expansion of the Panama Canal is an epochal milestone in the history of maritime transportation. It will have revolutionary consequences in terms of influence on the future development of international transportation. After the expansion project is completed, the Canal will be able to accommodate vessels of around 13, 000 TEU, a significant increase on the 5, 000 TEU ships which are currently the largest to transit .”
Hsieh added, “CCT is an important container hub catering for the whole region and offers trans-shipment services to many international shipping lines. Evergreen’s investment in upgrading the terminal facility indicates our commitment to the smooth and efficient operation of the whole international supply chain.”
Berth No. 4 is undergoing various system tests and is scheduled to commence operation in the first quarter of 2016. The overall handling capacity of CCT is expected to increase from its current level of 1.5 million TEU to 2.4 million. Besides, CCT is continuing with the next stage of expansion program to further increase the quay length ofBerth No. 3 and Berth No. 4 to 780 meters. After its expected completion around the first quarter of 2017, the facility will be able to handle two large vessels of 12, 000 – 14, 000 TEU simultaneously.