(Business in Cameroon) - The Container Terminal Management (RTC) of the Port Authority of Douala (PAD) received the last four Rubber Tyred Gantry (RTG) mobile gantry cranes on November 24, 2023. These park cranes join the initial four that arrived in Douala on October 24, 2023, and are already in operation. According to the Director-General of RTC, Dieudonné Onana Ndo, the eight cranes were acquired for CFA12 billion, including customs duties, from the Finnish manufacturer Konacranes through an international tender.
This new equipment adds to the four gantry cranes acquired by the PAD some fifteen years ago. It brings the total number of cranes at the port of the Cameroonian economic capital to 12. Dieudonné Onana Ndo indicated that the four latest gantry cranes will be immediately put into service after acceptance tests, backed by a 12-month warranty. "Today, we have a set of equipment from a parent company with which we have agreements to purchase spare parts and maintenance programs, an agreement for the transfer of skills in information technology, automation, robotics, and all the computer systems in the cranes. This allows us to have an integrated system that reduces maintenance costs and allows us to have a more or less well-planned maintenance program," explains Dieudonné Onana Ndo, justifying the choice of the new gantry cranes.
With these new equipment, RTC transitions from Reachstacker handling to full RTG handling, optimizing space and efficiency. "Even in terms of information technology, we will have to optimize the use of our Terminal Operating System (TOS), which will now be able to communicate automatically with the park equipment, locate containers more quickly, and load them just as quickly as we did before," the RTC Director-General explained. With seven parallel rows and five in height, the new cranes are equipped with the latest technologies, according to Cyrille Thierry Ayinda, Deputy Director of Operations at RTC. He expresses satisfaction with the positive effects of these new equipment, anticipating a doubling of storage capacity, shortened transit times for trucks and ships, and enhanced cargo protection with reduced contact between containers.
The Port Authority of Douala (PAD) top management aims to double the storage capacity of containers on the quays. This medium-term vision is critical, given that 75 to 80% of the commercial exchanges involving volumes of goods ranging from 12 to 13 million tons annually for Cameroon, Chad, and the Central African Republic rely on this strategic infrastructure. The ambitious plan is to handle an estimated traffic of 45 million tons by 2050.
Established in 2019 by PAD following a 15-year concession from the Bolloré-Maersk partnership, RTC claims it handled containers with a volume of 340,000 TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units) in 2022. Revenue for the year was CFA54 billion, reflecting a 3.5% decrease from the CFA56.8 billion achieved in 2021.