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Hamburg port readying to serve more mega boxships with three new cranes

Germany’s Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) has taken delivery of three new container gantry cranes for its Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) in Hamburg, providing additional capacities for handling ultra large containerships with cargo volume of 23,000-teu and more.

The three state-of-the-art container gantry cranes manufactured by China’s ZPMC will replace three smaller units at CTB, which have already been dismantled.

HHLA is expecting delivery of another two large gantry cranes of the same type in the first quarter of 2020.

After the new handling equipment has gradually commenced operating, HHLA will add one more mega-ship berth at CTB from its existing two.

“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,” said Jens Hansen, executive board member of HHLA.

Last year, the number of calls at Hamburg port by boxships with a capacity of 18,000-22,000 teu increased by 47% to 150 calls. HHLA noted that this trend is continuing, with the figure going up by almost 40% in the first half of 2019.

HHLA observed that 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.

Currently at HHLA CTB, over 30 container gantry cranes are in operation, including 18 suitable for mega-ships.

The investment in new container gantry cranes is part of an expansion programme at CTB. In addition to new 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 EUR1bn ($1.1bn) throughout the group by 2022, approximately EUR450m of which will be spent on container handling.