Hutchison Ports Thailand announced a 12% [YTD] increase in container throughput during the first three quarters of 2021 by focusing on automation, protecting the health of its staff and ensuring normal terminal operations during lockdowns. The terminal plays a critical role in the supply chain by facilitating maritime trade in the country during these challenging times.
As the impact of the global pandemic and how world trade for container shippers would be affected became clear, Hutchison Ports Thailand focused on its sustainability agenda to ensure their employees’ wellbeing was being looked after.
Hutchison Ports Thailand has been working with Thai government authorities to put out new working processes and procedures so that employees can work from home or on a rotational shift pattern, allowing adequate space for social distancing in the office. Separate work arrangements for staff who support critical operations, such as equipment operators and on-site engineers, continued at their normal workplace.
The company’s focus on people goes hand in hand with its investment in technology. For example, in 2020, Hutchison Ports Thailand became one of the first terminal operators in the world to adopt self-driving AI truck technology at its flagship Terminal D at Laem Chabang Port in Thailand, becoming the first container terminal to achieve ‘mixed-mode terminal operations’ with conventional manned trucks.
Additionally, its sustainable development programme embodies the protection of the environment and the adoption of better and safer working conditions for all employees. This meant the welfare of employees was of paramount importance, and employees received antigen tests and COVID vaccines and were able to continue their work in a safe and secure environment.
“In response to the impact of COVID-19, Hutchison Ports Thailand introduced all of the necessary safety precautions to ensure that our terminals remained open and continued to serve customers and port users. As we move to the end of the year, economies are continuing to open up, and our ability to maintain normal operations means that we can continue to support world trade,” said Stephen Ashworth, Managing Director of Thailand and Southeast Asia, Hutchison Ports.
Hutchison Ports Thailand has developed business continuity plans, which will remain in place to ensure it can provide port-related services that customers need. The response plans include robust health checking protocols such as temperature checking and testing services together with amended working practices, such as restricted travel and workplace access, and social distancing protocols.
The industry is expected to remain relatively strong in 2022 and contribute to the growth of the Thai economy, as the government promotes investment in Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) projects such as the manufacture of electric vehicles (EV) and high-end technology.
“By focusing on managing risk, adopting new technologies, and building a sustainable organization, we have been able to deliver positive results through challenging times. We are ready to continue our support for Thailand’s growing economy,” added Stephen.
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