BIMCO report names top 3 performing bulk terminals


The three best performing dry bulk terminals in the world are Santander and Bilbao in Spain and Quebec in Canada, according to BIMCO’s 2017 Dry Bulk Terminals Vetting Report.

Santander was rated first in all four major categories: terminal handling of loading/unloading; terminal mooring and berthing arrangements; information exchange between the ship and the terminal and terminal equipment.

The report evaluates terminal and port performance from around the world to improve safety standards and the turnaround time of ships calling ports.

The results provide an insight into what it takes to be a “good bulk terminal”, but BIMCO still needs more reports from members to establish better ratings and statistics, and to show a more robust picture of the current standards at terminals around the world.

“In general, we see a good standard across the world, but with some complaints, for example due to language problems. But even with an increase of 35% of reports coming in this year compared to 2016, we still need more data to make valid global statistical analysis,” says Aron F. Sørensen, Head of Maritime Technology and Regulation at BIMCO.

This is the second issue of the report and the data covers the period from January 2015 to December 2017; 115 ships, provided 598 reports, from 278 different terminals around the world.

BIMCO’s goal is to get 1000 ships participating in the survey, mainly through networking with members, the media and through speaking about the report at conferences.

“We need to get the word out all the way to the shipmasters. That is the crucial challenge. Because the more reports we get the more valuable it becomes for all the participants and the shipmasters themselves,” Aron says.

Generally, the standard is good with over 93% of ports reviewed as average or better, with positive feedback coming from the communication between ship and terminal, the loading and unloading and the standard and maintenance of equipment.

The report was first launched at the start of 2017 and will be available on an annual basis.

Some ports are well below standard

At the other end of the spectrum, a number of ships complained of a lack of language skills when visiting certain ports; permanent pressure on ship/crew and master; unexpected claims; and unnecessary bureaucratic and offensive port authorities. In addition, ports rated badly when the cost of terminal services was either too expensive or the service was non-existent.

BIMCO’s future plans for the vetting of dry bulk terminals will be based on a two-step approach.

  • Step one will be to have at least 1000 ships participating in the survey in order to provide a robust annual report.
  • Step two will follow up on the results by communicating with terminals and other stakeholders with the aim of improving procedures and best practices.

“We would like to encourage shipmasters in the bulk fleets to report their experiences after each terminal call to the dry bulk vetting scheme. The information will be invaluable for our members and the broader industry to help guide the planning of future calls at terminals around the world, and for terminals to improve their service,” Aron says.

The BIMCO Dry Bulk Terminals Vetting Report 2017 is available free of charge to download. For more information and to access the questionnaire go to the BIMCO questionnaire page.

Rasmus Nord Jorgensen
in Copenhagen, DK


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