Ten new Rubber-Tyred Gantry Cranes (RTGCs), and one Ship-to-Shore Gantry Crane (SSGC) have arrived at the Port of Felixstowe from Zhenhua Port Machinery Company (ZPMC) of Shanghai. The shipment is part of an order for a total of ten RTGCs and three SSGCs.
Together with the remaining two SSGCs, which are scheduled for delivery in September this year and early 2005, the Port will boast a total of 88 RTGCs and 28 SSGCs. The order follows the delivery of ten RTGCs and two SSGCs from ZPMC for Trinity Terminal in 2002.
The cranes have been transported by sea from China, a journey of nine weeks, throughout which they were specially braced against bad weather and heavy seas. Once unloaded, it will be necessary to remove the sea-bracings to allow the cranes to be checked and any minor adjustments made. Following full commissioning tests, it is anticipated that all cranes will be fully operational within a short period of time.
The new quayside cranes will be amongst the largest in the Port, and are of a similar specification to the previous two ZPMC cranes, delivered in 2002. Each will be capable of handling containers stowed 22-wide, and will be equipped with twin lift capability and heavy lift capacity of 85 tonnes.
The new RTGCs will be capable of lifting one container over five, and will straddle seven rows of containers, plus a roadway. All of the new cranes will operate on the Port’s Trinity Terminal.
Commenting on the arrival of the new cranes, Richard Pearson, Managing Director of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, said:
“This new equipment will help increase UK port capacity at an important time. Together with the extension of Trinity Terminal, it will enable us to handle the future growth in essential import and export trade, and will secure the Port’s ability to compete commercially against other European ports.”
The new equipment is part of a number of initiatives at the Port to improve productivity and customer service. A crane-heightening programme has been in progress for some months, to enable some of the Port’s oldest quayside cranes to cope with the latest generation of container ships. Work on the final crane is expected to be completed in early March.
In addition, the Port is looking to bring on stream an additional 270-metres of deep-water container terminal at Trinity Terminal later in the year, which will enable the Port to accommodate two of the latest very large container vessels simultaneously.