First remote control gantry cranes arrive at the Port of Felixstowe

The two new remote-controlled gantry cranes which have been delivered to the Port of Felixstowe.

The two new remote-controlled gantry cranes which have been delivered to the Port of Felixstowe. - Credit: Archant

The Port of Felixstowe has taken delivery of its first remote control ship-to-shore gantry cranes.

The two new cranes, the 32nd and 33rd at the UK’s largest container port, were delivered on the heavy load vessel Zhen Hua 23 from Shanghai where they were built by port machinery specialist ZPMC.

The new cranes are capable of working vessels with containers stowed up to 11-high and 24-wide on deck but, instead of being in a cab 50 metres above the quay, the “drivers” will be located in a nearby operations centre.

Clemence Cheng, chief executive at the Port of Felixstowe and executive director of Hutchison Ports, said: “These new cranes are the latest acquisition in our ongoing investment programme to provide the best equipment, infrastructure and systems for our customers. They will further enhance our capability to work multiple mega-vessels simultaneously.

“Remote control quay cranes have been pioneered at other Hutchison Ports terminals. Their introduction at Felixstowe will improve the working conditions of the drivers, enhance safety and benefit communications within operational teams.”

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In addition to the new cranes, the port is increasing its container storage capacity by 18,000 TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units - the standard industry measure of container capacity), upgrading its terminal operating system and raising the height of 10 ship-to-shore cranes at its Trinity Terminal. It also has eight additional yard cranes on order for delivery in early 2019.

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