The Cook Islands Port Authority
The Cook Islands Ports Authority is responsible for the Ports of Avatiu on Rarotonga and Arutanga on Aitutaki. This port handles a relatively small number of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) but it is an important logistical and supply link for the country and wider Pacific Islands.
The Port Authority provides marshaling services for the movement of containerized, break-bulk, and homogeneous cargoes through the ports. They process two major container ships per month, with current cargo tonnage in excess of 150,000 tonnes per annum.
Overweight Containers, Health and Safety Risks & Damaged Port Equipment
The Cook Islands Ports Authority faced a critical problem; some importers and exporters were pushing overweight and unbalanced containers through the ports. Some containers were more than 4,000 kg (8820lb) over their declared weights. Some had over 70% of the load sitting in half of the container, posing serious risks to the people, vessels, and equipment moving the container. With port forklifts screaming, spreaders occasionally getting twisted and hydraulic breakages adding serious cost to the port operation, it was obvious that some containers were overweight and not safely balanced. The big challenge for the Authority was - how to prove this?
Portable Shipping Container Scales - Calibrated & Legally Certified
During a trip to New Zealand, Andre Turiavakai (Assets and Operations Manager) spotted Bison Container Scales in action on the National TV One news channel. He immediately knew that this was the solution they were looking for. Andre liked the idea of a certified container weighing system that would give a highly accurate gross weight and confirm the container's load distribution. The system had the added advantage of being portable, easy-to-use and, unlike weighbridges or truck scales, it could be easily calibrated with a Bison calibration kit, or periodically shipped back to New Zealand for scale certification to meet legal requirements
Non-compliant, Overweight & Unsafe Containers Eliminated
As soon as the Pacific Islands shipping industry got wind of the new Bison container scales at the port, it was a huge deterrent. When overweight or imbalanced containers were identified, the Authority sent out warning letters to the offenders, and everyone soon got into line declaring accurate container weights and taking more care to load containers evenly.