The Port of Felixstowe has received three new ship-to-shore (STS) cranes from Chinese manufacturer ZPMC as part of the port’s investment programme to double its capacity by 2030.
The STS cranes will be operated at Berths 8 and 9 of the port, which are currently being extended to increase the port’s ability to handle the latest ultra-large container ships.
The cranes, which are designed to handle ships with containers stowed up to 24-wide, have a lift-height of 49.5 m above the quay to allow them to work containers stacked up to 10-high on deck at all states of the tide.
The new units for the port, which is owned by Hong Kong-based port operator Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH), are designed to work with tandem-lift spreaders, thus allowing two 40 ft containers to be handled at the same time. The cranes are also equipped with driver aids, which include partial automation of the loading cycle to reduce strain on the drivers and to increase productivity.
Clemence Cheng, CEO of the port and managing director of HPH Europe division, said: “The project to extend Berths 8 and 9 at the port, on which these cranes will operate, will allow us to work more mega-vessels simultaneously.
“We will commission these cranes over the next few weeks and the extended terminal will be operational during the fourth quarter this year.”
The port, which currently accounts for more than 40% of the UK’s container trade, is undergoing a programme of investment that has also seen the opening of a third rail terminal and the announcement of a new 1.4m sq ft logistics park.
Felixstowe has also obtained planning permission for its Bathside Bay project, a new container port that will be developed across the estuary in Harwich. When complete, the proposed new terminal is expected to increase the port’s capacity to 8m teu, which is more than the current box total for the whole of the UK.
The port of Felixstowe ranked 34th in the 2015 issue of CM’s World Top Container Ports, having handled 4.1m teu in 2014.