Sunday, February 1, 2015

Liebherr Continues to Break Records and Gain Ground in Australian Container Freight Handling Market

Two More Units Arrive to Boost Cargo Turn Around Times as Manufacturer Sets a Personal Record
Shipping News Feature

AUSTRALIA – This month saw the arrival of two new ship to shore Post-Panamax cranes at Flinders Adelaide Container Terminal from materials handling manufacturer Liebherr in Ireland. The order is yet another step forward for the crane maker following a return to the Australian market in 2012 after an absence of 35 years. The giant 65 metre high units are capable of lifting up to 80 tonnes using a hook beam and offer the ability to turn around 35 containers per hour, which should eventually see vessels on the berths for up to 25% less time than at present.

The cranes, a A$24 million investment by the Flinders Ports Group which purchased the terminal from DP World in 2012, are part of a 30 year plan to modernise and extend handling facilities. The new cranes join five Noell straddle carriers, delivered to Port Adelaide last year. An additional 7,500 square metres of hard standing at the terminal was made available in readiness for the new cranes which will become operational by April after the usual rigorous commissioning process.

The Liebherr units include central monitoring and diagnostic systems for maintenance and an ‘intelligent slow down’ feature for picking up and lowering containers and are specifically designed to cope with the new generation of box vessels with an operational outreach of 50 metres with a 38 metre lift height over rail and the ability to handle multiple containers. Speaking last year about the order Peter Cheers, General Manager of Flinders Adelaide Container Terminal said:

“We conducted rigorous supplier evaluations as part of our procurement process and assessed this in-line with our long-run planning for the terminal. The Post-Panamax Liebherr cranes were the best match for our requirements and will allow us to maximise the flow-on benefits for our customers. Investment in these cranes forms part of a suite of scheduled upgrades. Our aim is to put Port Adelaide on the map as a world class container facility servicing the hinterland. Increased efficiency, through reduced vessel time in port, will enable us to achieve our projected annual throughput target of over 700,000 TEUs.”

2014 proved a big year for Liebherr, exactly forty years after the delivery of its first mobile harbour crane, it supplied the highest number of annual deliveries ever achieved by a mobile harbour crane manufacturer, 112, already holding the record which it set in 2008 with 102 units delivered.

Europe (including Russia) was again the prime market for mobile harbour cranes. 42 units were supplied to this area, which is nearly 38% of all deliveries in 2014. Second is the African market, where 33 units (almost 30%) started operation last year. Thus, the annual number of units supplied to Africa has tripled, compared to 2013. Further deliveries to Asia, the Americas, Middle East and Oceania complete the picture.

The order backlog for this particular type of crane for 2015 is one of the highest ever with the demand for Liebherr mobile harbour cranes at a very high level throughout the world. For that reason, Liebherr says it is optimistic that 2015 will be another successful year.