Facilitating the accommodation of cruise ships at Puerto Costa Maya

By Richard Hepworth, President at Trelleborg’s marine and infrastructure operation

Although cruise vessels are continuously growing in size, generally ports globally are not. Expansion, if possible, is costly and resource optimization is therefore key. But sticking with existing infrastructure to minimize costs can have adverse effects. Even the slightest vessel misalignments take time to correct, and over weeks and months, they can have a real impact on port capacity. Not to mention, an efficient port needs to be able to cope with the unreliability of vessel arrival time. 2018 saw the worst vessel reliability in seven years, with an average of only 70-75% of vessels arriving on time.

At the unique point where vessels, port and onward transport connect, any errors risk distorting the continued landside supply chain, creating a bottle-neck of delays. With that in mind, I am delighted that one of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations, Puerto Costa Maya, recently upgraded its port to simultaneously accommodate four cruise vessels – one more than previously, including two Oasis-class cruise ships.

As part of the project, Trelleborg supplied the port with its SeaGuard foam fenders and MSB-150 bollards, which were added to both sides of the pier. Berths three and four at Puerto Costa Maya were extended by 140 meters but, as an open-water port, it is subject to harsh weather including heavy waves and extreme wind. Thus, its pier required fenders that could withstand the port’s adverse weather conditions.

Therefore, the port specified the installation of SeaGuard foam fenders, which have an unsinkable cell polyethylene foam core and an outer skin that is able to absorb impact and, is highly resistant to wear and tear. Trelleborg also provided a unique core design for superior performance to address the challenging environment along with a thicker, more robust fender skin.

The fenders’ low reaction force combined with its durable, non-marking finish with low maintenance allows vessels with low allowable hull pressures to berth safely. SeaGuard foam fenders can be deployed floated or suspended, against a quay wall or for ship-to-ship operations. SeaGuard foam fenders also work equally well in harbors or between vessels.

I’ll leave you with some words from Otto Edwin Quevedo, Port Manager at Puerto Costa Maya:

“It was vital that we partnered with Trelleborg to guarantee the delivery of reliable foam fenders that would perform consistently. We also required a solution that was easy to install to minimize downtime. Trelleborg’s unrivaled reputation and design capabilities meant the company was a natural choice to supply the project. Trelleborg’s SeaGuard foam fenders and MSB-150 bollards provided the perfect solution and are performing as promised. We look forward to further strengthening our relationship in the future.”

For more information on Trelleborg’s range of advanced marine solutions, visit https://www.trelleborg.com/en/marine-and-infrastructure