Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) took delivery of three new container gantry cranes for its Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) in Hamburg on Tuesday afternoon, 5 November 2019. This will provide HHLA with additional capacities for handling ultra large container vessels with a cargo volume of 23,000 standard containers (TEU) and more.
The three state-of-the-art container gantry cranes arrived at their temporary berth at Athabaskakai on board the special ship “Zhen Hua 27” after a journey of almost eight weeks. Preparations for the complex unloading process will take place there before the “Zhen Hua 27” shifts to the final location at berth 6 in the Waltershofer Hafen.
The new gantry cranes manufactured by ZPMC will replace three smaller units at CTB, which have already been dismantled. HHLA is expecting delivery of another two large container gantry cranes of the same type in the first quarter of 2020. After the new handling equipment has gradually commenced operating, HHLA will have an additional mega-ship berth at Burchardkai.
“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 with a transport capacity of more than 23,000 standard containers,” says HHLA Executive Board member Jens Hansen.
Last year, the number of calls at the Port of Hamburg by container mega-ships with a capacity of 18,000 TEU to 22,000 TEU increased by 47 percent to 150 calls. And this trend is continuing: in the first half of 2019, the number grew once again by almost 40 percent.
This development is a challenge for terminals worldwide. Up to 14,000 TEU per ship call must be loaded and unloaded within the shortest of time frames. “The new container gantry cranes will 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,” emphasises Hansen.
The largest container gantry cranes currently at the Port of Hamburg can accommodate ships with a width of 24 containers side by side. The jibs of the new cranes are almost 80 metres long and can reach across 26 rows of containers. These giants, each weighing 2,480 tonnes, can move two 40-foot containers or four 20-foot containers with a combined weight of 110 tonnes in one go. That is the same as 70 mid-size cars. Over 30 container gantry cranes are now in operation at HHLA Container Terminal Burchardkai. 18 of these are so-called mega-ship cranes.
Burchardkai is both the oldest and the largest container handling facility at the Port of Hamburg. The first container ship in Hamburg was handled here in 1968. It had a capacity of just 1,200 TEU. Today, the biggest container ships in the world are handled at Burchardkai. After the five new container gantry cranes have commenced operating, the number of mega-ship berths at CTB will increase from two to three. HHLA also has another mega-ship berth in the Port of Hamburg at Container Terminal Tollerort.
The investment in new container gantry cranes is part of an expansion programme at CTB. In addition to new container gantry cranes and other handling equipment, this includes the construction of new storage blocks and the expansion of the container railway station in 2019. HHLA plans to invest € 1 billion throughout the Group by 2022, approximately € 450 million of which will be spent on container handling.