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Terminal expansion: taking the long-term view

Ports must plan for future growth and not today's market
Cruise ship terminals and facilities need a long term growth strategy.

Luis Ajamil, president & ceo, Bermello, Ajamil & Partners, drove this point home when speaking at Seatrade Asia 2016 in Busan.

Ports must plan for future growth and not today's market. He explained that explosive source growth is accompanied by multiple large newbuilds in the pipeline, making planning for future terminals crucial.

Ajamil said that ports’ target design now should include berths 400mtr long.

Many ports and waterfronts do not have spare berths anymore, he added.

Touching on the financial aspects of cruise terminals he said these projects involve financial engineering as much as they do technical engineering, as cost is a key factor. 

Ajamil said today's basic model does not hold for every place.

Some terminals are now located in remotely from the waterfront and not alongside berths and these locations dictate different needs. Criteria on performance standards has also changed. For instance, security means different things in different areas. Cruise terminals are basically a way to get people in and out of vessels and designers need to maximize what the port and the community wants.

Isaac Vidales, regional director Asia, Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services, observed, ‘Passengers are expecting to get through the terminal as quickly and efficiently as possible.’ He pointed out the meet and greet contact is passengers' first touch point at any location. ‘This is an important as it colours their cruise experience,’ he said.

‘Those who meet and greet need to work together with the cruise lines to ensure that the cruise brand experience is delivered,’ he added.

John Tercek, vp, commercial & new business development, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., touched on a range of terminals around the world and how quickly they were able to clear passengers. He also looked at how objectives differed from community to community when designing and choosing a location for a cruise terminal.