Teething troubles as Limassol port changes hands
Hauliers experienced big delays at Limassol port on Monday, the first day of its operation in private hands, as they complained of slow service and complex procedures.
Transport Minister Marios Demetriades put it all down to teething problems.
Hauliers started arriving at the port early in the morning but by lunchtime, many had not been yet serviced.
They said only one of four gantry cranes was in operation while others missed their turn because they could not fill in the new forms issued by the container terminal operator, Eurogate.
“There is a problem at the entrance also with the forms they want us to fill; we must have a secretary with us to fil them,” one driver said.
A line of some 200 lorries formed north of the port prompting police to dispatch officers to the scene to manage traffic.
Demetriades paid a visit to the port authority early in the afternoon and then spoke to the new port operators.
“There are some problems but I am certain they will be resolved,” the minister said.
Demetriades said these were early days and the operator had to create a record of all the drivers.
They operators would work around the clock so that everyone was served, the minister said.
Demetriades stressed that what was important was the big picture: the smooth transition from public to private in spite of all the doomsayers out there.
DP World, which took over general commerce and passenger traffic, said no particular operational problems had been experienced.
“Three ships docked today (Monday) without any problem,” Nicos Kamakiotis said. “Preparation was very good and there was help from colleagues from the Group’s terminals in other countries.”
Kamakiotis said the company’s objectives were the immediate improvement of infrastructure, improvement of procedures, and in general, improvement of the operation system of the facility.
The port of Limassol is currently being operated by DP World, Eurogate Container Terminal, which handles shipping containers, and P&O Maritime, which provides sea services.