The Port of Hamburg recently took delivery of three new container gantry cranes for its Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) in Hamburg that will provide the Port of Hamburg with additional capacities for handling ultra-large container vessels with a cargo volume of 23,000 standard containers (TEU) and more.
In a statement, the port, which is one of the busiest in Europe, said the new gantry cranes manufactured by Shanghai-based ZPMC will replace three smaller units at CTB, which have already been dismantled.
Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) is expecting delivery of another two large container gantry cranes of the same type in the first quarter of 2020.
Mega ship port calls increasing
“By investing in five new container gantry cranes and creating another mega-ship berth, we are providing our shipping company customers with additional capacities and greater flexibility in handling ultra-large container vessels with a transport capacity of more than 23,000 standard containers,” says HHLA executive board member Jens Hansen.
Last year, the number of calls at the Port of Hamburg by container mega-ships with a capacity of 18,000 TEU to 22,000 TEU increased by 47% to 150 calls.
The port expects the same trend to continue noting that in the first half of 2019, the number already grew once again by almost 40%.
“The new container gantry cranes will ensure that our customers continue receiving the same high quality of handling in the future. At the same time, the competitiveness and attractiveness of the Port of Hamburg will be strengthened in connection with the fairway adjustment of the river Elbe,” Hansen added.
The largest container gantry cranes currently at the Port of Hamburg can accommodate ships with a width of 24 containers side by side. The jibs of the new cranes are almost 80 metres long and can reach across 26 rows of containers. These giants, each weighing 2,480 tonnes, can move two 40-foot containers or four 20-foot containers with a combined weight of 110 tonnes in one go — the same as 70 mid-size cars.
The Port said over 30 container gantry cranes are now in operation at HHLA Container Terminal Burchardkai and 18 of these are so-called mega-ship cranes.
More investments at Port of Hamburg
After the new handling equipment has gradually commenced operating, HHLA will have an additional mega-ship berth at Burchardkai — both the oldest and the largest container handling facility at the Port of Hamburg.
The number of mega-ship berths at CTB will also increase from two to three. HHLA also has another mega-ship berth in the Port of Hamburg at Container Terminal Tollerort.
The investment in new container gantry cranes is part of an expansion programme at CTB. In addition to new container gantry cranes and other handling equipment, this includes the construction of new storage blocks and the expansion of the container railway station in 2019.
HHLA said it plans to invest €1 billion (US$1.11 billion) throughout the Group by 2022, approximately €450 million (US$498.5 million) of which will be spent on container handling.