Smart connections

A leading enabler of global trade and an integral part of the supply chain, DP World boasts a portfolio of 77 operating marine and inland terminals, which are supported by more than 50 related businesses in 40 countries across six continents. With a significant presence in high-growth and mature markets, DP World strives to be essential to the future of global trade by ensuring all activities have a long-term positive impact on both economies and society as a whole.

Within DP World is DP World Antwerp, which operates from the Antwerp Gateway Terminal at the Deurganck Dock; this terminal is equipped with gantry cranes that boast an outreach of 23 containers as well as a number of automatic stacking cranes (ASC) and straddle carriers. The operator also has an off dock empty depot, where it provides services such as repairs, reefer repairs, storage, barge, rail and truck handling. Today one of the leading stevedores in the Port of Antwerp, DP World Antwerp ensures superior productivity through a high level of service and optimal intermodal solutions.

“DP World Antwerp today has the second biggest terminal in Antwerp and the largest independent depot for repairs and storage. Alongside these operations, we have smaller inland depots along the Albert Canal and Rhine River in Germany; these sit in a separate division known as DP World Logistics Europe,” says Rob Harrison, Chief Executive Officer at DP World Antwerp.

He continues: “Our proposition is based on three key areas, nautical accessibility, productivity and access to inland markets. When it comes to nautical accessibility issues, the Port of Antwerp responded to vessels becoming larger by deepening the Scheldt River in 2010; this has resulted in DP World Antwerp being able to service the largest of vessels afloat.”

No stranger to enhancing facilities to deliver superior solutions and services, Rob explains that DP World Antwerp regularly invests in the accessibility of its terminal as well as the level of service provided to customers: “We have recently invested in having three of our ship to shore cranes heightened by seven metres by Kalmar, which has enabled us to service these larger vessels. This development follows Kalmar extending three of our previous generation STS cranes by six metres in 2015. There is currently a 75 million euro investment plan in place to ensure the terminal is ready for the big vessels.”

A forward-thinking organisation that is keen to stay at the forefront of terminal operations, DP World Antwerp has been a pioneer of innovation and automated technologies since its inception; a trend that continues to this day. “We are committed to seeking out new solutions and markets and are in fact in the process of looking at how to expand our products and services for customers; not just for shipping lines but for the logistical chain as a whole. This would include providing more efficient trade flows, enhanced cargo management services and so on,” says Rob.

One example of DP World Antwerp’s commitment to providing innovative, automated solutions that will enhance the efficiency of operations for customers is its participation in a broader initiative known as NxtPort, a data platform that will be administered by businesses in the port of Antwerp. The goal of NxtPort is to create a data platform where businesses can leverage business opportunities off this platform so smart initiatives can be created via app developers. “The initiative will result in data being made available to developers so smart solutions such as ‘Track Your Box’ or a ‘Flexible Traffic Based Truck Appointment System offering dynamic slots’ could be put in place,” says Rob.

Such developments are in line with DP World Antwerp’s focus on lean and efficient operations, as Rob continues: “We have adopted an element from the Toyota lean six sigma way of thinking, which is called the KANBAN system; so far this has helped us optimise the queuing of trucks on the terminal at any one time and increase land side productivity and capacity by 15 per cent.

“The KANBAN system is unique as it communicates with trucks via mobile phones, however we also have a big screen to call truckers through when we are ready. During the development of this system we worked with the trucking community to ensure we delivered optimal solutions to our customer base.”

Already a renowned reliable supply chain partner, DP World Antwerp will continue with its improvement strategy over the coming years and remain at the forefront of innovative solutions for its customers in all three segments it operates in. “We have good rail, road and water access into the centre of Europe, which, from a commercial perspective, is the biggest market in the world,” says Rob.

“When it comes to nautical accessibility, our focus over the short term is to increase our capacity by 40 per cent, or up to 2.8 million TEU, so we can service the big vessels as a terminal operator. This additional capacity is taking form in building three new ASC modules, which will give us an additional 350,000 TEU, expanding the terminal on the northern side to 150,000 TEU and adding more straddle carriers and cranes. We will also further heighten cranes and invest in inland depots to exploit the connectivity we have to markets in Germany, France and the Netherlands and thus get containers from these locations to Antwerp. Complementing these developments will be the smart solutions we need to provide an enhanced, modern and efficient service to our customers,” he concludes.

DP World Antwerp

• Part of one of the largest marine terminal operators in the world
• Recently had three ship to shore cranes heightened
• Investing €75 million to increase capacity to 2.8 million TEU