Global Focus – July/August 2009

by Array

Canal confers colossal contract

The Panama Canal Authority has signed a contract for the design and construction of its third set of locks. Consortium Grupo Unidos por el Canal, a group of four companies, earned the business by quoting a base price of just over US$3.1 billion. The consortium is expected to start work on the massive infrastructure project—which, as the greatest expansion of the canal since its construction, will double its capacity—by the end of August this year.

Bridge over water, no troubles

Ireland-based Quality Freight Group (QFG) and US-based TransGroup Worldwide Logistics recently partnered to deliver 19 aircraft passenger boarding bridges from Utah (where they were manufactured by JBT AeroTech) to a new terminal at Dublin Airport.

Each unit measures 21m long, 3.7m high and 3.7m wide and weighs 28 tonnes. The bridges were transported by road from Utah to the port of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where they were shipped on an Atlantic Container Line (ACL) vessel to Liverpool, UK. Once there, they were transferred by crane to 60-ft rear-wheel steering trailers before boarding another vessel to Dublin. There, QFG arranged for Customs clearance and out-of-gauge transit permits before delivery.

A clinic in a container

APL recently delivered a box that is being used to provide free medical treatment in the El Salvador jungle. In partnership with Virginia-based Hope Charitable Services, the container shipping line delivered a 40-foot cargo container to a rural village east of San Salvador. Once the container was delivered, volunteers turned it into a fully self-contained medical clinic, including a generator, air conditioning, a bathroom and examination rooms. Volunteers are using the clinic to treat the 1,500 residents of nearby El Sitio who have been relocated following earthquakes and mudslides.