The Suez Canal Container Terminal opened an inspection and repair hub for reefers for both Maersk and other shipping lines.
Imagine a supermarket: leftovers are left in shopping trolleys, which do not run properly due to damaged parts. Trolleys are unkempt and dirty – definitely not a good shopping experience for the customer.
This is what happened a couple of years ago in the Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT), where there was no inspection of reefers, so damaged side panels or defective parts are not flagged. The terminal incurred unnecessary costs from moving and repositioning these containers.
Utilising internal capabilities
“We then got a vendor to inspect and repair non-sound reefers. While it helped with operations, we later on realised this is a waste of time and effort because we were getting service from another party, when we had the internal capability to do this task”, narrates Inci Bicen, East Mediterranean (EMED) Equipment Maintenance and Repair (EMR) manager in Southern Europe Liner Operations Cluster.
The repair hub is a collaboration between the EMED EMR team and the SCCT reefer team. An important step in the process was training all technicians how to inspect, wash and repair a container, all within the Maersk standard.
“It was hard in the beginning. There were many questions: how to update our systems, how to purchase spare parts… But we did it! We spent time in the terminal and addressed concerns directly to avoid communication delays”, shares Inci.
New business opportunities
To date, the hub has inspected about 29,000 reefer containers and saved over 2.1 million USD. Inci discloses that this hub will soon cater to other shipping lines, as most don’t have their own inspection and repair process.
The SCCT hub is also expanding, particularly in Egypt locations. “We are making Egypt a competitor in the local market by bringing what we have done in SCCT to the area. The terminal is in a free zone, which creates an advantage when purchasing spare parts. There are many opportunities to support the area”, explains Inci. The expansion is starting in October.
“We have demonstrated in SCCT that by joining forces and using the capabilities we already have, we can do much better in supporting our business units and offering better service to our customers,” finishes Inci.
“By joining forces and using the capabilities we already have, we can do much better in supporting our business units and offering better service to our customers.” – Inci Bicen, East Mediterranean Equipment Maintenance and Repair manager in Southern Europe Liner Operations Cluster