HHLA Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT) in Hamburg handled the first vessel by 5 new mega-STS cranes dedicated to serve ships with a capacity of over 20,000 TEU.
The 13,400 TEU-capacity COSCO Netherlands arrived at CTT last Friday, 20 October, and left on Saturday night. During this time, the 5 STS cranes discharged and loaded about 7,000 TEU onto the ship.
The five Liebherr mega-ship gantry cranes have a jib length of 74m and a lifting height of 51.5m above the quay wall, which enables them to handle ships of 24 transverse container rows and up to 9 containers high on deck.
According to HHLA, three of these high-performance cranes were put into service at CTT in the last few days and two identical cranes have been working at berth 5 since November 2016.
“Processing the COSCO Netherlands was a first test of our new mega-ship gantry cranes, which they passed with flying colours. Berth 5 is now perfectly equipped to efficiently process the largest ships in the world,” says CTT’s Managing Director Dr. Thomas Koch.
Being one of the major hubs on the Asia-North Europe trade route, the port of Hamburg clearly feels the current trend of growing container vessels. In the first half of 2017, ships with a capacity of 18,000 TEU or more called at the port 54 times – more than five times as much as in the first half of 2015. For the class of vessels with capacities between 14,000 and 17,999 TEU, the number of calls has more than doubled.
“HHLA made the necessary investment at the right time to make its container terminals fit for the largest vessels in the world, which are increasingly being deployed by the shipping alliances. This is not only beneficial to our customers – it also increases the attractiveness of the entire Port of Hamburg,” says HHLA Executive Board Member Jens Hansen.
Commenting on this news, JOC quotes Jonathan Beard, executive director and head of transportation and logistics Asia for Arcadis, who points out that although many large ports in Northern Europe, such as Rotterdam, Antwerp, Le Havre, Felixstowe, London, have invested heavily in infrastructure to accommodate the largest ships, the gains when set against the capital expenditure costs are not always clear. A crucial question that remains to be answered is: “What is the return on investment and are customers willing to pay for superior productivity?”