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Westports sets 2 world records for productivity

1 DECEMBER 2008 - Terminal operator Westports Malaysia Sdn Bhd said its operations team has set two new world records for productivity on November 17, despite heavy rain and wet conditions.

The first record was achieved with a speed of 665 moves per hour in the first hour of operations, breaking the previous record of 456 moves in June 2006.

In a statement issued last week, Westports said it was able to do this by using nine twin-lift cranes in the first hour of operations. These cranes are able to lift two containers simultaneously.

The second record entailed vessel productivity by moving 4,427 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) within 10 hours.

The operations were on French-based CMA CGM's vessel called ORFEO that can carry a total of 9,700 TEUs and operates the French Asia Line 4 (FAL 4) service, the latest service in the FAL network linking Asia and Europe.

Seventeen quay crane operators who worked on two shifts, as the vessel arrived at 0400 hours and departed at 1330 hours, were the "centre-forwards" of the record high scoring team.

The 17 are now listed among the best quay crane operators in the world.

They are Badrul Hisham Tajuddin, Mazidin Hanif, Ramis Krishnasamy, Syed Hidir Syed Mohd Ali, Mohd Soni Soron, Khamaly Jasmin, Saravanan Kuppusamy, Mohd Romzi Hasan, Muniandy Perumal, Chandra Mohan Maninayagam, Bond Ganson, Ibrahim Samsudin, Mohd Shariff Bajuri, Hamidi Toha, Jamaly Synie, Khairul Nizam Awang and Sargunan Selvam.

With the latest achievements, Westports now stands among the top five ports in the world in terms of productivity.

"At Westports, investing in people is a highly regarded talent management framework that helps the port to improve performance and employee productivity through the effective management and development of people."

"Our operations staff are constantly required to acquire skills to be responsive to constant changes and constant quickening of the pace," said Westports executive director Ruben Emir Gnanalingam.

He said the most important movement in the chain of ship to shore productivity lies in the speed of the quay cranes. The process of hoisting containers on and off the vessels is a skill, which has been honed into a craft.

Westports' latest acquisition of new super post-Panamax quay cranes is part of on-going efforts to have the latest state-of-the-art resources to meet customers' needs now and into the future, he added.

"Additionally, the port's move to introduce several measures to maintain employees' morale and productivity following the fuel price increase in June such as improved staff incentive scheme, higher allowances as well as salary increment and introduction of G-Mart store for cash-less shopping seems to be paying-off, judging by these two world records. It is undoubtedly our employees' response to the company's goodwill towards them," Ruben said.

Source: New Straits Times