Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Port of Liverpool Sees Big Investment in Container Freight Cranes to Increase TEU Turnover

Five Quayside Giants Arrive and More Straddle Carriers En Route
Shipping News Feature
UK – This week saw five giant quayside cranes sail up the River Mersey for installation at Peel Ports new Liverpool2 container handling facility having travelled the 30,000 kilometres from Shanghai after setting off in August. Meanwhile ten more straddle carriers are due to arrive in Liverpool before the end of the year to support five already installed and working. Peel claims Liverpool2 is the UK’s largest transatlantic deep-sea port and container freight terminal and the overall investment in facilities will allow it to accommodate the majority of the world’s current container fleet, including vessels up to 20,000 TEU or two 13,500 TEU vessels simultaneously.

The giant ship to shore cranes were produced by Chinese company, Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co (ZPMC), the largest heavy duty equipment manufacturer in the world, as part of a contract with Peel Ports worth over £100 million. A total of eight ship to shore Megamax cranes and 22 cantilever rail-mounted gantry cranes are being supplied to Peel Ports as part of the company’s £300 million investment programme to expand and develop the existing Port of Liverpool.

Each of the five new goliaths measures 92 metres high to the top of the frame, approximately the same as Liverpool’s iconic Liver building, and 132 metres high when the boom is raised, with each one weighing in at around 1600 tonnes. The cranes will have the ability to operate at speeds in excess of 30 moves per hour and will facilitate an anticipated 1,500 moves in each tidal window. They will be capable of twin-pick and outreach of 24 containers up to 10 high on deck, and safe working loads of up to 85 tonnes. They will also have the ability to operate in wind speeds of up to 55 miles per hour (88kmph). Mark Whitworth, chief executive of Peel Ports, commented:

“This is a truly unique day in Liverpool’s long maritime history. The spectacular sight of these cranes sailing up the Mersey to the L2 site is unprecedented. Our investment in leading-edge infrastructure and technology will allow Liverpool to offer the quickest and most cost-effective route to market, not just for goods destined for the north of England, but also for Scotland, Ireland, North Wales, opening up new logistics routes estimated at four million TEU every year and increasing potential import and export trade.”

The fleet of STS and CRMG cranes is supported by a multi-million pound investment in state-of-the-art quayside facilities and support technology, including a fully-integrated Navis N4 terminal operating system, AutoGates and ABB equipment controls. The combination of infrastructure and technology will reduce the time taken to transfer containers from port to road or rail, helping the Port of Liverpool to achieve targets of 65% of haulage turned round in 30 minutes and 95% of haulage turned in 60 minutes.

Terex Port Solutions (TPS) is supplying the order for the 15 diesel-electric Terex® N SC 634 E straddle carriers. The straddle carriers are designed for handling 1-over-2 high-cube containers and incorporate particularly eco-friendly diesel engines, which meet the requirements of the EU Stage IV (EPA Tier 4 final) emission class. The machines also feature the new Vetrocab, designed to offer drivers an excellent all round view for safe, efficient and ergonomic operation. David Huck, Port Director Peel Ports Liverpool, said:

“We value the professionalism and passion of the TPS team and were impressed with the conceptual design and product innovation, demonstrated by these straddle carriers. The features incorporated within these machines, together with the high standards of after sales support provided by the TPS UK service team, will help to increase our productivity further.”

Photo: The giant quayside cranes make their way up the Mersey.