Follow us: Entypo-facebook Entypo-twitter


Freeport Bahamas Expansion

Plans for major expansion of Freeport container terminal


The management and staff of Freeport Container Port Ltd in Grand Bahama are determined in their quest to be the world’s number one transshipment terminal.

For over 15 years, the port has been growing steadily and has matured into what the company now regards as ‘the transshipment hub of the Americas’.

As ships expanded in size from post panamax to new panamax to the new ultra large container vessels, the port acquired the infrastructure to keep pace with the industry. This progression was part of a carefully laid plan to establish Freeport Container Port. According to a company slogan: ‘After all, we were post panamax ready from berth’. 

Freeport Container Port commenced operations in 1997 with four post panamax cranes (at that time the largest and most efficient in the industry), 10 straddle carriers, a stacking area of 18.4 hectares and a berth length of 550 metres.


The port has recorded significant growth from the outset, in both container moves and total teu handled, increasing every year until 2009 when the world recession took its toll. With strategic planning, realistic target setting and proper execution, Freeport Container Port was able to weather the global recession. During this time of downturn, workers at the port remained positive and productive, setting records for crane moves per hour and straddle moves per hour, sometimes exceeding 30 moves per hour (average monthly productivity records).


“With the expansion of the Panama Canal and the foresight of the visionaries of this port, Freeport Container Port is ready,” said a company statement.

Freeport has a depth of 16.0 metres. The terminal has nine post panamax cranes, one super post panamax crane, 72 straddle carriers, a stacking area of 72 hectares and a berth length of 1,036 metres. It has 47 acres for expansion of the stacking area and 1,125 metres for berths.


On the northern side of the 1,036 metre berth stands the 300 ft. crane No. 11. Painted navy blue with the company’s name, logo, location and motto, ‘Safety is our priority’, its giant features dominate the terminal. Its size puts it in a league of its own. Capable of handling the largest vessels in the world, with the ability to reach across 24 rows of containers, crane No. 11 is the latest addition to Freeport Container Port’s terminal capability.


There are plans for further infrastructural development involving the addition of three new super post panamax cranes and 60 straddle carriers. An additional 15.2 hectares of land has been earmarked for yard stacking of full containers; 8.5 hectares for empty stacking; and 285 metres for berths. On completion of Phase V development, Freeport Container Port will have 13 gantry cranes, 132 straddle carriers, 114.2 hectares of stacking area and a berth length of 1,294 metres. This is the short-term expansion. 

Longer-term, the plan is to expand the terminal to 12 berths with a total length of 3,848 metres and 45 gantry cranes. It will be able to handle 6.7 million teu per year.