The fourth day started with another bus trip to Limassol. We arrived at a water port for cruise liners owned by DP World, Dubai Ports World. Here we received two presentations, one from DP World and one from P&O Maritime. It was very early in the morning, so it was very hard for me to interpret the presentations on their companies and the roles that each one of them plays at the Limassol Port. However, throughout the day I was able to develop a deep understanding of each component of the port.
The story starts in 2017 when the Cyprus government made a decision to release their control of the port, and contract three different companies to take over operations: DP World, P&O Maritime, and Eurogate. These contracts came with different contingencies for each company including limiting restrictions, acquisition of new equipment, and 63% of profit. Each company was also limited to a certain time period of either 15 or 25 years with opportunities to extend these periods. Although a straight answer was never given, most presenters believe that the reason for the division of the port rather than giving it to one company was to allow for healthy competition or to force the company to have a focused on their part in the port.
DP World was employed to mostly handle general cargo and passenger or cruise vessels. They also handle some container cargo to allow for the healthy competition mentioned earlier, but they are limited to 100 thousand twenty-foot standard storage containers (TUs). They are allotted the north half of the port to handle their business.
P&O Maritime’s handles every part of getting ships to dock. Whether it be cruise vessels or cargo vessels, P&O is fully in charge getting these ships docked. They accomplish this by sending a pilot who understands the port on board the ship to take over and park the vessel accompanied by tugboats that pull and guide the massive ship to port.
Eurogate’s facilities includes lots of space for lots of storage crates and all the equipment to transport these containers. They use massive gantry cranes to pull the crates one by one off the boats, and funky looking vehicles called straddle carriers to carry them to their designated spots. Eurogate manages the storing of these containers, providing power and maintenance if it is a refrigerated unit, until they are ready to be picked up by trucks. They also have to load ships, admittedly with a lot of empty containers because of the lack of exports out of Cyprus and the magnitude of necessary imports into Cyprus.
Our meeting with the Cyprus Port Authority, Cyprus Shipping Agents Association, and the Limassol Chamber of Commerce contained a lot of information. The key takeaways were that these organizations control everything about this port. These bodies are in charge of rules and regulations and make sure everything goes smoothly at the port. The focus of conversation was climate action. They are very focused on reducing emissions, trying to meet accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development goals.