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Since it first started handling containerised cargo in 2000, Kumport has quickly elevated itself into the premier league of Turkish ports in terms of technological know-how, operational standards and equipment. Its trio of state-of-the-art Kalmar RTGs – all featuring the Smartrail® autosteering and container position verification system and the remote crane monitoring system (RCMS) – is soon to become a quartet, with a fourth Kalmar RTG beginning operations in a new reclaimed expansion area in October 2004.
Kumport goes from strength to strength Kumport has worked hard to progressively improve its facilities since it first opened its doors for business in 1994. Following the establishment of container handling operations, the port has evolved into a multi-purpose handling facility, looking after both general cargo and containers. When General Manager, Cüneyd Acar, first received instructions to start gearing the port up to handle containers, he had one goal in mind: to make Kumport the number one port in Turkey. Investment in equipment and facility upgrades together with the implementation of modern information systems have certainly proved fruitful. Kumport has become Turkey’s largest private port, with traffic growing even in times of economic crisis, such as a couple of years ago. Explains Mr Acar: “We are the number one terminal in Turkey with modern, state-of-the-art handling equipment and yard management and information systems. Because of our excellent service levels we have won customers from other terminals and are proud to say that almost all major global carriers, such as Maersk and P&O Nedlloyd, call our port today.”
Targeting transhipment traffic
Reaching the millions Kumport’s inauguration into the container business was a modest affair, with the terminal handling no more than 5,000 TEU in its first year of operations. However, the amount of investment the management was willing to commit to its container operations and the pace of development at the terminal rapidly attracted business. As a result, Kumport handled 440,000 TEU last year, as well as 415,000 tonnes of general cargo. This represented a substantial growth over 2002’s throughput figures, which stood at 280,000 TEU and 392,000 tonnes respectively. Mr Acar outlines one of the reasons behind that growth, as well as the port’s expansion plans for the future: “A lot of general cargo business has moved to Kumport lately because the terminal has a long pier and a 13-meter draft. Moreover, in north Marmara we one of the most important port capable of handling roro vessels,” he says. “In terms of containers, the current facility is now operating close to maximum. As such, we plan to expand the berth and storage areas and increase our fleet of equipment to give us an ultimate capacity of one million TEU. We are currently reclaiming land from the sea between piers 2 and 3 to create additional container storage facilities and we have also started to expand our landside area for stacking empty containers.”
Kumport lies on the European side of Istanbul, 22 sea miles west of the entrance to the Bosphorus, and sits directly on the Marmara Sea, without the encumbrance of an approach channel. Its location makes it ideal for serving the Northern Marmara region, Turkey’s most important commercial and industrial area. The Marmara region has been earmarked by the government for development as the primary transhipment centre for the Black Sea. “There is great potential for increasing the amount of transhipment cargo handled at Kumport,” says Mr Acar. “A lot of carriers have recognised that for cargo bound for the Black Sea region, the best transhipment point is in Marmara. Within a year we’ll see this side of our business developing.” Turkey is surrounded by sea and, according to Mr Acar, the government is trying to take advantage of this by fostering the development of coastal shipping services. “At the moment, distribution of cargo into Turkey’s interior relies heavily on road transportation, due to the lack of a strong rail network and a shortage of coastal shipping services. We haven’t had a single meter of rail built since the 1940s,” he says. “However, it is imperative that traffic is moved off the roads now, due to unacceptable levels of congestion, so the government is initially looking at ways to influence growth in the coastal shipping sector. One of the initiatives it has come up with is to
offer tax free fuel for domestic shipping services. This will be another growth area for Kumport and we are already preparing to handle more domestic shipping.” Intelligence in action Container handling services at Kumport are handled by three Kalmar RTGs with the Smartrail® autosteering and container position verification system. They are 7+1 wide and can stack containers 1 over 5 high. Kumport recently placed an order for a fourth Kalmar RTG which will be operated on a 10,000m2 site to be reclaimed from the sea. According to Mr Acar, the decision to buy RTGs with the latest technological features has been key to Kumport’s success in attracting new business and the machines will continue to form an integral part of the port’s development. He has been particularly impressed with the RTGs’ Smartrail system: “We decided to fit the RTGs with Smartrail to make the work as simple as possible for the machine operators. It allows them to concentrate on handling. “Our operators are really happy with the automatic gantry steering system and feel very comfortable with it. And because the operators do not need to worry about steering, they can drive the machine at full speed, which makes handling much more efficient.“ “Thanks to Smartrail, we can offer our customers competitive vessel turnaround times. It enables us to locate a container quickly and as soon as a contain-
er is lifted onto or off a chassis, or to or from a vessel, its yard location is automatically updated in the terminal control system, providing us with a real-time terminal inventory.” The RTG operation also benefits from the Kalmar-developed remote crane monitoring system (RCMS). RCMS enables the remote monitoring of the machines by a single operator in either the terminal control room or Kalmar’s customer support department. “We have a direct line through to Kalmar specialists in Tampere factory, who give us excellent support,” says Mr Acar. Alongside the RTGs, the port uses four Kalmar TTX-182LHD, 4x2 terminal tractors transporting containers between the quayside and the container stack. “In selecting the best container handling method for the port,
we had to take into account the terminal layout,” explains Mr Acar. “This presented us with a number of restrictions due to the amount of roads, sharp curves and surface inclinations. Because of this, terminal tractors were found to provide the best method of transporting containers in the terminal area. Kalmar terminal tractors have proved themselves to be well suited to the job since they have enough tractive power for heavy loads, even when driving uphill.” Maintenance of Kumport’s equipment is provided by Kalmar’s local dealer, Toyota Istif Makineleri, which provides a limited amount of stock.
There are, today, more than 100 RTG units around the globe operating successfully with Kalmar’s Smartrail® technology. Kalmar’s patented Smartrail autosteering technology is based on a differential global positioning system (DGPS), providing accurate operations under even the most adverse weather conditions. It is also practically service free since there are no buried wires, transponders or painted lines to be maintained. Utilising DGPS technology, Smartrail steers the RTG along ‘invisible’ tracks, relieving the driver of the need to steer and allowing him to travel at maximum speed between lifts and to concentrate fully on picking up and setting down containers. Smartrail includes a container position verification system meaning that each time the spreader’s twistlocks are activated, the yard management system is automatically updated and the new position of the container is recorded. This means less time is spent looking for lost or misplaced containers.
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Kalmar’s Turkish dealer, Toyota Istif Makineleri A.S, was originally established in 1988 under the name IGM. Its co-operation with Kalmar started in 1998 with an order for 35 Contchamp reachstackers for Turkey Railways. The company is also the Turkish representative and distributor for other well-known global brands in the materials handling industry, for example, the trailer manufacturer, Buiscar-Holland, and Toyota Industrial Equipment. According to Toyota Istif Makineleri’s General Manager, Ender Erkul, Kalmar is perceived in Turkey as a high-quality equip-
Ender Erkul, General Manager of Toyota Istif Makineleri, and his assistant Meltem Aydogus.
ment manufacturer with strong after sales support. He reports that existing Turkish users of Kalmar equipment are extremely satisfied with their machines’ performance and quality, as well as Kalmar’s after-sales service and spare parts support. “Once a client has tried a Kalmar machine, they usually buy Kalmar again,” he explains. In addition to the RTGs and terminal tractors delivered to Kumport, recent orders for Kalmar equipment in Turkey include several reachstackers and forklift trucks for a variety of companies.