UK’s Secretary of State for Transport Sees Arrival of New Cranes at Felixstowe Port

UK’s Secretary of State for Transport Sees Arrival of New Cranes at Felixstowe Port

The UK’s Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, has visited the Port of Felixstowe, the country’s largest container port, to see it take delivery of its latest consignment of new cranes.

Whilst at the port, the Secretary of State met with senior management of the port, before a tour of the facilities. During the tour she was shown the port’s new Berths 8&9 where she took the controls of one of the port’s gigantic gantry cranes under the supervision of a qualified crane-driving instructor and visited the site of the new rail terminal to be built in 2012.

The port already has the country’s busiest intermodal rail freight operation, and the new terminal will be the first in the UK to be designed to handle longer, 30-wagon, freight trains. The longer trains will allow more containers to be moved on the same infrastructure and provide greater carbon savings.

The two new ship-to-shore gantry cranes and ten rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGs) arrived at the port onboard a special heavy-lift vessel from the Zhenhua Port Machinery Company (ZPMC) of Shanghai.

The cranes will be used on the port’s new Berths 8&9. The new ship-to-shore cranes are the biggest of their type in the world, capable of handling container ships with 24 containers wide on deck.

Commenting on the Secretary of State’s visit and the arrival of the cranes, Clemence Cheng, Managing Director of Hutchison Port Holdings Central Europe division, said:

 “We are honoured that the Secretary of State has chosen Felixstowe for her first visit to a major port. The Port of Felixstowe is uniquely located to serve the UK’s deep-sea container trade and these new cranes further enhance its unique capability to do so. No other port offers the same combination of marine access, proximity to the major shipping routes, and ease of access to the whole national hinterland as Felixstowe.

”The range and frequency of services calling at the port, together with an unrivalled choice of feeder services and inland rail destinations, make it the right economic choice and the best environmental solution for UK importers and exporters.”

Justine Greening said:

 “Felixstowe has a key role to play in the life of the UK, both as a major local employer and as a gateway for over 40% of goods entering and leaving the country. This is one of the reasons our recent spending review included improvements to the A14 – one of the country’s major freight arteries, and why I was delighted to see for myself the excellent work being done at the port to accommodate some of the world’s biggest container ships.”

With the new arrivals, there will be seven ship-to-shore cranes on Berths 8&9 and 37 in total across the port. Each of the new cranes weighs approximately 2,000 tonnes and is capable of lifting 2 containers simultaneously up to a total of 70 tonnes.

The cranes will undergo a commissioning process before entering service in the new year. The commissioning will include final installation of local operational and communications systems, as well as checking the full functionality of all the cranes operating systems.

The cranes are fitted with a number of automated driver aids that have been proven to improve the speed of handling. The Automatic Skew Control corrects any skew movement of the spreader caused by wind, vessel cell guides, or load imbalance, and a semi-automatic positioning system allows the crane operator to pre-select a ship discharge or loading operation from which the system will automatically calculate and position the crane with an optimised path and with anti-sway control.

Port of Felixstowe (PFL) is the largest container port in the UK, and one of the largest in Europe. PFL is a member of the Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) Group. Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH), a subsidiary of the multinational conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL), is the world’s leading port investor, developer and operator. The HPH network of port operations comprises 52 ports, spanning 26 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia. Over the years, HPH has expanded internationally into other logistics, transportation-related and hotel businesses. These include cruise ship terminals, airport and hotel operations, distribution centres, rail services, and ship repair facilities. In 2010, the HPH port network handled a combined throughput of 75 million TEU worldwide.


Dredging Today Staff, December 6, 2011; Image: Port of Felixstowe