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DP World welcomes ‘Europe’s largest’ quay cranes

Posted on April 24, 2024

The newly arrived quay cranes at London Gateway are expected to operate for at least 25 years, and are sized to accommodate world’s largest container ships.

Giant quay cranes, weighing more than 2,000 tonnes, have arrived at London Gateway, the flagship logistics hub of Dubai-based ports and logistics major DP World.

DP World said the cranes are intended for the London Gateway’s new £350m (US$ 432 million) fourth berth, set to open this summer, and described them as ‘Europe’s largest quay cranes’.

The cranes have been produced and delivered by crane builder ZPMC.

The cranes have a lifting height of 56m, an outreach of 73m, backreach of 30m, and a rated load of 80t with two spreaders under the single trolley.

Following a two-month journey from China, the quay cranes arrived at London Gateway over the weekend and were offloaded on Wednesday. They are expected to operate for a minimum of 25 years and are sized to service the largest vessels currently in operation around the world – including 24,000 TEU containerships and even bigger vessels in the future, according to DP World.

“At a time when the pressure to manage costs, maintain reliability and improve speed has never been greater, DP World in the UK has been building a unique array of assets and suite of capabilities to help our customers stay competitive in a fast changing and unpredictable trading environment,” Ahsan Agha, Vice President Port Operations at DP World London Gateway, said.

“While they naturally choose us for our growing capabilities, it’s also the quality of our service that makes our customers stay. Thanks to the capacity soon to be provided by the quay cranes and the new fourth berth, that service at London Gateway is future-proofed for years to come.”

The cranes are fitted with the latest automation technology and can complete ‘tandem’ lifts, which involves the loading or unloading of two 40ft boxes or four 20ft boxes in a single move.

Another two quay cranes are expected to dock at London Gateway in early summer. These follow the arrival of the £56m automated stacking cranes (ASCs) in November 2023, provided by Finnish manufacturer Konecranes, and £12m electric straddle carriers, which are also set to go into operation at the new fourth berth.

London Gateway opened in November 2013 and handled its 11 millionth TEU in 2023.

DP World Antwerp Gateway

In early April, three new quay cranes arrived at DP World Antwerp Gateway, also delivered by China’s ZPMC, capable of handling 24,000 TEU container ships.

As explained by DP World, unloading the massive quay cranes from the ship to the rail tracks at the dockside typically takes four to six hours, facilitated by a specialized footbridge. This operation demands optimal conditions, including favourable weather, visibility, and water levels, over approximately one week. Following unloading, the cranes are connected to the high-voltage grid, their movements calibrated, and a container registration system installed.

The cranes, which can handle up to a width of 26 container rows on a ship, join the existing fleet of 10 cranes at the DP World terminal on the eastern side of the Deurganck dock.

The delivery is part of DP World’s €200 million terminal expansion and modernisation plan. The plan was launched in 2019 and supported by the European Commission aimed at bolstering the terminal’s capacity to handle projected volume growth in the upcoming period. Since the launch of the program a new operational building and two automatic stacker crane modules have been delivered and became part of the improved operations at the terminal.

In addition, DP World will be commissioning three new yard crane blocks this year, and plans to add two more quay cranes, taking the terminal to a total of 15 STS (ship-to-shore) cranes.


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