We built it... and they came.
The development of MIT is actually two success stories. The first involves the amazing whirlwind of activity required to get a project of this scale up and running so quickly. In those 16 months, we created a partnership; obtained the government concession; designed, financed, and built the terminal; dredged the channel; ordered equipment; installed the cranes; and hired and trained over 600 employees. The facility now serves over 25 customers and has moved over 1.4 million TEUs last year.
The second success story is what made so much of this project possible -- the development of the workforce. When operations began, the local economy in Colon had a 50% unemployment rate, and 10,000 people arrived to apply for jobs. Those chosen, many of whom didn't even know what a container was before 1995, are now doing over 42 moves per crane hour. An international operation is truly international only when local staff are included in management positions. Through training, fair treatment, and productivity incentive pay, that's now the case at MIT. Motivated, steady employees who began as secretaries, janitors, and general stevedores are now vice presidents, vessel operations managers, gate managers, and more. Now we also offer services like an employee credit union and medical clinic for more than 1,000 MIT staff. Successful development involves dedication, and we've believed in this operation, and the people that make it happen, since day one. It's our field of dreams.