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More space at the Port
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
The Port Authority is now much better prepared to handle the increasing volumes of cargo shipments with almost an extra acre of space. Port Director Paul Hurlston said the new expansion at the dock was handed over by the contractors - Meisner Marine - last week.
The 0.8acre space is already in use, allowing increased storage and mobility, as shipments are offloaded and taken to the Cargo Distribution Centre. Mr. Hurlston also reported that work is progressing well on the adjacent project at the north end of the dock - the new Royal Watler Cruise Terminal
That 2.2 acre site, with a new finger pier for cruise tenders, is now in the final stages of ground preparation.
I wouldn't think an acre would make much difference in a cruise port. I wonder what the total size of the port is? I saw a picture of the new dock somewhere. I am surprised they do not try to make a ship dock. I guess the water is too rough for that.
The extra acreage is mostly for more cargo capacity. After Ivan, supplies were coming in faster than the recipients could pick them up and they ran out of space causing logistical problems.
Hopefully the North tender dock is back in operation, but one bottleneck was/is the dock space for tenders. At times, the tenders would have to line up waiting to unload/load passengers, slowing down the tendering process.
More dock space means more ships can be handled more efficiently.
The piers used by the tenders are, among other things, not long enough, or sturdy enough to handle a cruise ship. There are plans to put in a real cruise ship terminal or two, and perhaps to even have a ship homeported in Grand Cayman, but that is off in the future. There is still much recovery to be done after Ivan.
I was one that took some pictures of what must be the new dock. From last November:
When we walked by it (the new area) on Friday it was still very much under construction.
Space for tenders to dock is a huge problem there. Even with only two ships in port while our tender ride was only five minutes, the wait for a space at the dock was fifteen minutes. I can't imagine what it would be like with more ships.