Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Latest Tranche of Quay Cranes Arrive at Britain's Newest Deep Water Container Port

London Gateway Third Berth Opening Will Mean Greatest Capacity in UK for Ultra Large Box Vessels
Shipping News Feature
UK – Under lowering skies our photo shows the Zhen Hua 10 positioned by her accompanying tugs alongside Berth 3 at London’s newest deep water port, London Gateway, on the north bank of the River Thames. The first two cranes for the new berth are to be offloaded by way of specially installed rail tracks over the next few days when time and tide are suitable. The cranes have completed the long three and a half month ocean voyage from China, with two more of their giant siblings due next week.

The new berth is a sister to the two already established quays meaning the new port will have 1250 metres of straight deep-water berths and more capacity for ultra-large container vessels than any other facility in the UK. Like their sisters, the new cranes stand as tall as the London Eye at 138 metres and are visible from many miles away. Each of the huge units weigh in at 2,000 tonnes and, when the ships deck and the quay have been levelled at the window of the turning high tide, each will be pulled onto the newly fitted rails using pulleys and winches in a well-rehearsed process which previously has taken just 45 minutes.

DP World, which owns the port, says the cranes provide the greatest lift-height above water of any quay cranes in the UK, future proofing them against the ever larger box vessels we see in play today, thus ensuring that whatever the European referendum brings the country can remain competitive, with the ability to handle the largest container ships in the world. The company installed a fleet of hybrid shuttle carriers in April to add to a further 20 automated stacking cranes and additional 10 modules, and London Gateway has the ability to certify the verified gross mass (VGM) of every export box, as required by law from July 1 this year under SOLAS regulations, using the installed technology on its container moving equipment.

With the adjacent logistics park now taking shape, tenants are beginning to occupy the facilities with work continuing apace on the new 35,000 m2 UPS parcel sorting hub, due to open next year and that company’s largest ever investment outside of its native US. Speaking of these latest developments at the port, Cameron Thorpe, CEO, DP World London Gateway, said:

“As an island nation, it is absolutely vital that the UK has world-class port infrastructure to facilitate trade. In addition to the eight already in operation here, the arrival of these quay cranes and further investment in supplementary infrastructure such as our fully automated truck handling capability, ensures that the UK is able to efficiently and reliably handle the largest container ships afloat. These cranes are unique in the UK. They are safer, more wind resilient, able to lift more containers in one movement and comfortably reach out across and above the largest container ships.

“With DP World London Gateway, the UK has a port and Logistics Park in the very best location for trade, able to meet the demands of the container shipping industry both now and in the future. That all contributes to ensuring those importers and exporters who use the facility, will be more competitive, have a more secure supply chain and experience a faster and more efficient delivery at a lower cost.”

Editor’s Note: For those still confused about the rapidly approaching changes to the SOLAS regulations, which mean every shipper must bear personal responsibility for the correct submission of export container weights, DP World has produced an excellent website dedicated to the situation which you can see here.