The Port of Bridgetown is the major port of entry for approximately 90% of the goods used in the manufacturing and retail sectors in Barbados. It is also dedicated to supporting businesses in export and trade and does all this through the provision of the following services:
- Receipt and delivery of cargo, utilising a variety of cargo handling equipment.
- Storage of cargo awaiting delivery or shipment, in covered warehouses or open storage, which in the case of reefer containers is accommodated by 440V reefer plugs.
- Unstuffing / stuffing containers
- Sorting of cargo according to special requirements of consignee
- Rental of cargo handling operations equipment e.g. forklifts etc.
- Priority access to block-stacked empty containers as requested by ship agents
- Covering of cargo in open stacking areas
To support its cargo operations, Barbados Port Inc. (BPI) has implemented a new web-based Terminal Operating System (TOS), enabling the Port of Bridgetown to enhance its efficiency and service importers and exporters. The system developed by the Miami based company Octopi, is specifically designed for small and medium-sized ports.
It has all the features one would expect from a TOS, such as container inventory, gate processes, stripping & stuffing, electronic manifest uploads, and yard planning, with added features such as equipment management that allows us to keep track of cranes and other equipment utilization.
The TOS is constantly collecting data about our operations and via the data dashboard, allows us to see what is happening at the terminal in real time. There are added benefits for our customers too, as it means they can track their cargo from the time a container is offloaded from a vessel.
We are using information technology based solutions not only to track boxes, but also inside the warehouses to process data. When we input a cargo manifest into the portal, all the industry guidance (INDG) classification data is highlighted. This promotes safety and efficiency as every employee in the warehouse knows what and where the cargo is.
Through continuous investment and exploration, we have implemented solutions that contribute to greater efficiency across our operations. To forge ahead, we will continue to innovate, and use cutting-edge technologies and equipment to satisfy the needs of our customers.
The next stage in our Master Plan is to build a new warehouse, which will house all our commercial activities under one roof. This warehouse will be 9,000 square meters, and will take the place of two others, which will be demolished to make way for a larger container area. It is about moving towards being a true, modern container port.