HHLA expands mega-ship capacity with three new gantry cranes for Burchardkai

HHLA expands mega-ship capacity with three new gantry cranes for Burchardkai
The three new cranes onboard the Zhen Hua 27 vessel

Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) received three new container gantry cranes for its Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) to provide additional capacities for ships with cargo volumes over 23,000 teu.

The state-of-the-art cranes arrived at their temporary berth at Athabaskakai onboard the Zhen Hua 27 vessel on November 5, 2019, where preparations for the complex unloading process will take place.

Replacing three smaller units at CTB, the ZPMC gantry cranes’ final location will be at berth six in the Waltershofer Hafen and HHLA is expecting delivery of an additional two large cranes of the same type in the first quarter of 2020.

Once the new handling equipment has gradually commenced operating, HHLA will have an additional mega-ship berth at CTB.

Jens Hansen, HHLA executive board member, said: “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 (ULVCs) with a transport capacity of more than 23,000 teu.”

In 2018, the number of calls at the Port of Hamburg by container ships with a capacity of 18,000 teu to 22,000 teu increased by 47% to 150 calls and the trend is continuing as, in the first half of 2019, the number grew once again by almost 40%.

The increase in larger vessels has become a challenge for terminals worldwide and up to 14,000 teu per ship call must be loaded and unloaded within the shortest of time frames.

Hansen added: “The new container gantry cranes wil 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.”

Currently, the largest container gantry cranes at the Port of Hamburg can accommodate ships with a width of 24 containers side by side while the jibs of the new cranes are almost 80 m long and can reach across 26 rows of containers.

The new cranes can move two 40 ft containers or four 20 ft containers with a combined weight of 110 tonnes in one go, which is the same as about 70 mid-size cars.

HHLA’s CTB now has over 30 container gantry cranes in operation, of which 18 are “so-called mega-ship” cranes.

The investment in new container gantry cranes is part of an expansion programme at CTB which will also include the construction of new storage blocks and the expansion of the container railway station.

HHLA plans to invest €1bn (US$1.1bn) throughout the Group by 2022 and approximately €450m (US$498.3m) of this will be spent on container handling.