Dockside cranes will get bigger

26 June 2012

APM Terminals’ Laem Chabang port in Thailand

APM Terminals’ Laem Chabang port in Thailand

As with many sectors for the crane industry, dockside cranes are destined to increase their capacities to deal with the larger vessels carrying bigger modules and components. Euan Youdale reports on developments

A growing concern in some quarters is the suitability of crane equipment in ports and terminals to handle the next generation of ultra-large container vessel (ULCV).

Speaking at the TOC Container Supply Chain Asia Conference in Hong Kong, Halfdan Ross, APM Terminals Crane & Engineering Services managing director, said studies have been completed on the feasibility of constructing container ships of 22,000 TEU (tonne equivalent unit) capacity. "There are issues of structural stiffness, weight, visibility and wind load which all must be taken into account with cranes of such dimensions, along with the question of upgrading existing equipment or installing new cranes entirely," Ross explains.

As of 1 February 2012 there were 153 container ships on order with capacities in excess of 10,000 TEU, including 20 of the 18,000 TEU capacity EEE Class vessels ordered by Maersk Line, the first of which is expected for delivery in 2013. There are 121 vessels of 10,000 TEU capacity and above in service worldwide.

An example comes from Istanbul, Turkey where APM Terminals is proposing enhancing container port equipment at Sea of Marmara facilities Marport, Kumport, Yilport and Evyap. The Sea of Marmara lies between the Aegean and Black Seas astride an increasingly important sea lane serving Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

"Handling mixed cargoes, the balance of trans-shipment and gateway cargoes, and equipment intensity are the primary drivers of differences in productivity," said Michiel Ybema, European director of port investments and projects.


Other significant factors that affect productivity at individual Marmara facilities are lengthy average container dwell times due to cargo clearance and payment processes, and the lack of adequate transportation infrastructure, both in terms of physical assets and rail and highway accessibility, adds Ybema. "We believe there would be great benefit from electronic cargo clearance in advance of arrival rather than after the vessel has been fully discharged, for example," said Ybema.

"A lot of terminals we see have grown organically over the years and have structural inefficiencies designed in," explained Ybema, "This is typically because they mix different cargoes over single berths or simply because they were designed for different cargoes or vessel sizes."

Power saving and environmental concerns are increasingly considered. At Thailand's busiest port LCB Container Terminal 1 rubber tyred gantry (RTG) cranes are being converted from diesel to electric power, which will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at the point of use by 1,300 tonnes a year.

The conversion of RTG power from diesel to electricity is made possible through flexible automatic power connections linking the RTGs to a conductor rail. Conductix-Wampler will be installing more than 2.5 km of conductor rails at the terminal to accommodate the electric power link.

Diesel-powered RTGs account for about 20% of all CO2 emissions from terminal operations, according to APM Terminals and there are 158 diesel-powered RTGs in operation at Thai ports.

APM Terminals holds a 35% minority share in LCB1, which opened in 1995. The conversion of LCB1's RTGs is scheduled to be completed next year, with the considerably larger RTG fleet at the Malaysian Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP), another member of the APM Terminals Global Port, Terminal and Inland Services Network next scheduled for conversion. PTP handled 7.5 million TEUs in 2011.

Demag Cranes update

Last year saw a transfer of ownership at Demag Cranes, with Terex Corporation acquiring 81.83 % of the company's shares. Following that the parties signed a domination and profit transfer agreement at Demag Cranes' annual general meeting in February.

Demag Cranes, however, has stressed that it will remain a separate operating segment in the Terex group. "Strategic and operating responsibility for the business will remain within the Demag Cranes AG Management Board. Terex fully supports the Demag Cranes strategy."

This includes an agreement by Terex not to impose any redundancies for three years in direct connection with the takeover and Terex has given a five year protection to its German production facilities.

Sales of the Demag industrial and Gottwald port cranes business acquired late in 2011 are included in the Terex Material Handling & Port Solutions segment. Net sales in MHPS for the first quarter of 2012 were $367.5 million. Income from operations was $2.9 million. Demand was for industrial cranes, primarily process cranes and handling technology, and mobile harbour cranes, the manufacturer said. MHPS backlog was about $492 million at 31 March 2012, up 5% compared to the previous quarter.

International round-up


A Liebherr LHM 550 will be the manufacturer's hundredth mobile harbour crane in Africa. Almost a quarter of all the manufacturer's mobile harbour cranes sold in Africa have been delivered to Nigeria. Neighbouring Algeria, Libya and Tunisia have 43 machines, with the southern and western regions catching up, mainly driven by Nigeria and South Africa, respectively, says the company.

The LHM 400 and LHM 250 are the most popular models in Africa, with 19 of each in operation. There are eight LHM 550s in operation, plus a number of orders in backlog. Four of them have the Pactronic hybrid drive system.


Cargotec has confirmed a contract worth around €10 million from a Chinese shipyard to deliver twenty 120 tonne capacity MacGregor GLH cargo handling cranes for ten general cargo vessels. The cranes will be delivered during 2012 and 2013. The order is booked in the first quarter of 2012.


Liebherr has received its 1,000th order for a mobile harbour crane. The LPS 550 is destined for the Montoir Bulk Terminal in France. The order came from Montoir parent company SEA-invest Group, one of the world's largest terminal operators for dry bulk, fruit and liquid bulk, operating 25 ports spread across three continents. The LPS 550 has a capacity of 144 tonnes and a 48 metre boom.

Latin America

*Demag Cranes commissioned its first Generation 5 Portal Harbour Crane in Latin America. This G HSK 4316 B, a variant of Model 4, is being used to handle fertilisers and construction material for Fospar S.A. Fertilizantes Fosfatados do Paraná (Fospar) at its terminal in the Brazilian Port of Paranagua. The crane is based on the manufacturer's mobile harbour crane technology and is adapted to run on rails.

*Liebherr Container Cranes delivered its first ship-to-shore (STS) container cranes to Brazil. Two STS cranes were delivered to the Port of Paranagua's Terminal de Conteineres de Paranagua (TCP), the third largest container terminal in Brazil. "The addition of these cranes to the current operation, allows terminal capacity to increase to more than 1.2 million TEU per year," says Gerry Bunyan sales and marketing manager.

TCP saw its year-on-year volumes increase 50% in 2011 to 1.2 million TEU, following TCP's recent expansion. In March, terminal productivity increased from the 30 moves per hour averaged at the terminal in 2010 to 56 moves per hour.


London Gateway Port Limited has selected Navis, part of Cargotec, terminal operating system (TOS) for UK's automated deep-sea container port London Gateway. It will supply 40 Kalmar automatic stacking cranes with related technology and 28 Kalmar shuttle carriers to London Gateway. This project is the first joint Navis-Cargotec deployment of software with automated container handling equipment.

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