WWL participated at a trio of RoRo rodeos in Panama and the USA through April and May. Terminal workers and longshoremen gathered at each location to receive hands-on training from equipment manufacturers on how to properly handle and drive equipment with care. Almost 500 longshoremen participated in the three events.

Beneficial training on Texas debut

Building on successful rodeos in Maryland and Panama, WWL collaborated with terminal operator Ports America to launch a new event in Galveston, Texas.

Local branch members of the International Longshoremen Association (ILA), the largest union of maritime workers in North America, worked with nine pieces of equipment including those provided by WWL customers such as Case New Holland (CNH) and Caterpillar.

Read more: Winning teamwork at RoRo Rodeo

Hank Bivins, WWL Port Manager at Galveston, says the additional training longshoremen received at the rodeo increases the quality, safety and productivity of operations as well as reducing the potential damage to cargo:

“We are very thankful for Ports America, ILA leadership, the West Gulf Maritime Association, CNH and Caterpillar who all supported our first RoRo Rodeo in this location.”

Latin America gathering in Panama

In Manzanillo, Panama, longshoremen and terminal workers from across Latin America gathered for the rodeo including WWL, Eukor, and agent representatives from Panama, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Mexico and Costa Rica.

Several WWL customers provided equipment for the Rodeo including Komatsu, Furukawa Rock Drill, Tadano and Caterpillar. In addition to learning how to drive and handle equipment, longshoremen were taught proper lashing techniques for securing different kinds of cargo to roll trailers and bolsters.

A Baltimore tradition

The rodeo series concluded with Baltimore’s 21st annual event where longshoremen were trained on 68 different pieces of equipment across four sessions.

WWL has held a leadership role since the rodeo’s infancy and has continued to support the event’s growth with Captain Jon Streett, Vessel Operations Team Leader, serving as WWL’s committee chair.

WWL also treated several customers’ technical representatives from John Deere, Ponsse and CNH to a tour of WWL vessels Theben (a HERO vessel) and Figaro (a large car and truck carrier) which were in port on the day of the rodeo.

“Our customers, especially those who have never seen our vessels before, are always in awe at the size, cleanliness and versatility of the vessels,” says Doug Peterson, VP of Corporate Accounts, who provided several of the customer tours.