Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Massive Crane Order to Service Container Freight and General and Bulk Cargo

Versatility Required at Different Shipping Ports in North African Market
Shipping News Feature

ALGERIA – Although crane and materials handling group Liebherr have a long tradition in the country dating back 35 years, a commitment reinforced in 2012 by the launch of a joint-venture with the Algerian public company SOMATEL which included the installation of a factory in Ain Smara, Constantine for the production of earthmoving equipment, the crane business has been a steady, but slow burner for the group. The company’s first mobile harbour cranes were delivered around two decades ago but a recent order has seen deliveries due to Algeria almost double the previous 20 year total. The new cranes will service all manner of movements including bulk and general cargo plus ocean freight containers for various shipping groups around the country’s ports and harbours.

The huge order, for a purchasing association of Algerian port operators, is for 20 Liebherr mobile harbour cranes (LHM) for delivery around the country’s coastline. The purchasing association consists of seven Algerian port companies and the units will be spread around an equal number of destinations at Algiers, Annaba, Béjaia, Ghazaouet, Mostaganem, Oran and Skikda and all will be up and running this year. A spokesperson for the purchasing agency said:

“Liebherr turned out to be the best supplier for us. Short delivery times, local staff and state-of-the-art equipment convinced us. Moreover, Liebherr had the right solution at hand for each port operator involved in this large order. Due to this huge investment in advanced port equipment, Algerian ports will significantly increase their competitiveness in the maritime industry, ensure smooth flow of cargo and are well-prepared for future challenges.”

The solution indeed turned out to be one which could only be tailored by a manufacturer with the sort of range of equipment which Liebherr can manufacture. Preferred choice of the Algerian ports involved is the LHM 280 model. Eleven units of this type will be delivered and each of above-mentioned ports will soon operate at least one LHM 280. This mobile harbour crane model is well-proven across the globe with deliveries to more than 25 countries.

Two ports will add even more capacity to their operation, opting for Liebherr’s newest model, type LHM 420. Introduced in 2011, the LHM 420 model is the successor of the LHM 400, which represents the most successful LHM with 250 units sold worldwide. Entreprise Portuaire de Skikda has ordered two LHM 420s and another unit of this series will soon start operation for Entreprise Portuaire de Béjaia.

Additionally Entreprise Portuaire d’Oran has opted for four LHM 120s and will soon operate a total fleet of six Liebherr mobile harbour cranes, designed for state-of-the-art cargo handling. Entreprise Portuaire d’Annaba has ordered two additional LHM 120s which will work side-by-side with the new LHM 280. Based in Algiers and Hassi Messaoud, Liebherr Algérie currently employs a work force of close to 180 people including a host of trained technicians to install the vast stock of spares the company retains to service its North African customers. Matthias Mungenast, Sales Director for Liebherr mobile harbour cranes was clearly delighted at the size and scope of the order and commented:

“We succeeded in a number of comprehensive tenders in the past, but this order is really unique. It underlines the current market situation, which is treating us very well. We look forward to a great 2014 year.”

Photo: On the left celebrating the commissioning of LHM280’s and at the right a batch ready to set off for North Africa.