Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rail Freight and Handling Developments at Europe's Latest Container Deep Water Shipping Port

First Boxes Delivered as New Quayside Cranes Arrive
Shipping News Feature

UK – The pace is picking up as London Gateway, Europe’s latest deep water port, prepares to receive its first official cargoes. So far this month there have been several significant developments with the arrival of more of the giant cranes required to handle the anticipated flow of shipping containers and the naming of a locomotive to celebrate the partnership between port developers DP World and rail freight operator DB Schenker.

Observers had a taste of what is to come with the unanticipated arrival of the ZIM Rotterdam last month when she diverted from Felixstowe for maintenance following a fire, becoming the first ship to discharge at the Thames River port. After the initial tranche of containers had left the docks rail freight operator Freightliner also answered the call to provide support, arriving at 10am on Monday September 30 to scoop up import boxes destined for the Midlands and set out with a full train load for the Hams Hall interchange.

Now, in a ceremony earlier this week, Simon Moore, CEO at London Gateway, said he was honoured after Schenker christened a locomotive ‘DP World London Gateway’ to celebrate the inauguration of rail freight services from the Essex site to Trafford Park and Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal from day one of the port’s operations.

The ceremony took place just as the latest of the quayside cranes arrived with the three new gigantic units bringing the total of quay cranes to eight. All the cranes for Berth One are now in situ and operational and the latest tranche were installed to Berth number Two.

Our picture shows the Conquest MB1, a 136 metre long barge heading out of Vlissingen last week accompanied by tugs En Avant 20 and Sea Charly. The barge, with a free deck space of 3,700 m² for 9,000 tonnes of cargo can carry 20 tonnes per m² and is fitted with a 1,400 tonne crane, and is under contract of Dutch charterer DEME Environmental Contractors (DEC), specialists in dredging and environmental works for a project at London Gateway.