Thursday, February 27, 2014

Netherlands Bulk Freight and Container Handling Proves Rich Pickings for Liebherr Cranes

Mobile Harbour Equipment and Straddle Carriers both Popular with Dutch Customers
Shipping News Feature

IRELAND – GERMANY – THE NETHERLANDS – Crane manufacturer Liebherr has seen success recently in the Dutch market with the commissioning of seven of the groups straddle carriers and one of its versatile mobile harbour cranes (MHC) all in the past few weeks. The straddle carriers, capable of stacking 1 over 2 containers high, with a safe working load of 40 tonnes, were for the ECT Delta Terminal in Rotterdam whilst the MHC arrived at a new export terminal in Amsterdam.

ECT Delta Terminal is the largest terminal in Europe and one of the major continental trade gateways and the straddle carriers, supplied with a Stinis spreader, operate in the landside interface zone, shuttling between the automatic stacking cranes and trucks. In addition the straddles will handle multi trailers for intra terminal transfer for onward transport by train or barge. The Liebherr straddle carriers are linked to a remote positional tracking system, providing real-time accurate information on the position and handling rates of containers within the terminal. Liebherr’s Product Manager, Mobile, Paul Bolger, commented:

“The purchase by ECT Terminal in Rotterdam of Liebherr straddle carriers illustrates our capacity to deliver a cost effective state of the art product with the ability to work in the world’s most advanced facilities.”

Nothing could illustrate the efficiency with which Liebherr can operate so much as the recent MHC order. In late November, the Maja Stuwadoors Group B.V. (Maja) and Liebherr were in touch for the first time. After negotiations in December, the contract was signed in January. Manufactured and tested in Rostock, the crane was delivered fully assembled, just one month after signing. Right after rolling-off the barge, the crane was ready for operation in mid February.

Established in 1972, Maja is well-known for its expertise in loading and unloading of bulk goods, operating a fleet of seven floating cranes in various ports. In view of increasing business, the company opted for this, its first Liebherr mobile harbour crane a type LHM 550, in order to upgrade its facilities. Providing a maximum lifting capacity of 124 tonnes and an outreach of up to 48 metres, the crane is equipped with two winches for highly efficient scrap handling. In four-rope grab operation the maximum lifting capacity is 75 tonnes and more than 40 tonnes at 43 metres outreach.

The new crane was needed to equip a new export terminal opened by the ALBA group which provides a range of environmental services and is a major client for Maja Stuwadoors. The machine in question was chosen simply because of its versatility, the main cargo concerned being scrap which can be a tricky proposition due to its variable nature, and therefore before any work was undertaken with the new machine Maja’s crane drivers underwent thorough instruction covering all operational topics as well as safety features. Arie Holleman, Director at Maja Stuwadoors explained why the company chose the Liebherr machine, saying:

“The LHM 550 significantly increases our scrap handling capacity. Moreover, our portfolio comprises many other materials and thanks to its flexibility the new machine can be operated wherever it is required, especially in peak times. For that reason, our customers will also strongly benefit from this investment.”

The delivery of this latest LHM 550 also represents a milestone in orders for Liebherr Maritime Cranes, in total the manufacturer has now delivered thirty mobile harbour cranes to the Netherlands. Maja Director Marco Holleman, concluded:

“Business is on the rise and fast delivery was very important for us. The close and professional collaboration between both partners was impressive and facilitated a short delivery time.”

Photo: The freshly painted LHM 550 arrives fully assembled at quayside by barge.