UK's Largest Container Port Takes Delivery of Remote-Controlled RTGS
#ports - One of Europe's largest container ports and the UK's biggest is the Port of Felixstowe which has taken delivery of its first remote-controlled Rubber Tyred Gantry cranes (RTGs).
Hutchinson Ports which operates the Suffolk port on the North Sea can handle the world's largest container ships. Among the leading major container shipping giants calling to the port which is pivotal to UK trade are operators CMA-CGM, Maersk Line (see related story) and MSC UK. In addition OOCL which operates the world's largest containerships with leadship OOCL Hong Kong (as Afloat pictured above) which serves the Ocean Alliance-Asia-Europe service.
The introduction of the RTG cranes to the Port of Felixstowe, follows the four electric-powered cranes built in China by ZPMC in Shanghai. They are the first of eight similar machines to be delivered over the next few weeks. The UK port also has two remote controlled ship-to-shore gantry cranes currently undergoing manual testing before being deployed in full remote mode.
The new RTGs will serve Berths 8&9 where an additional 18,000 TEU of container storage has been created to meet growing demand at the UK’s leading container port. The new cranes are electric-powered and capable of stacking containers 6-high to enable more efficient use to be made of the new yard area.
Commenting on the latest equipment, Robert Ashton, Operations Director at the Port of Felixstowe, said: “The new cranes represent an important step towards a greater degree of remote working at the Port of Felixstowe. Remote working will deliver benefits for both our employees and our customers.
“For the drivers, the ergonomics are much better than a traditional operation. The physical stress to a driver’s back, neck and shoulders will be significantly reduced and the vibrations experienced as cranes operate will be eliminated altogether. Operationally, we will be able to deploy equipment more dynamically to meet peaks in demand and locating operators, vessel controllers and supervisors closer to one another will lead to improvements in alignment and communication.”
Hutchison Ports is a leading port investor, developer and operator with a network of port operations in 51 ports spanning 26 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia.
Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals.