ULCV Number at Hamburg Port Rises Rapidly

Terminal Tollerort: The five new mega-ship gantry cranes are handling the COSCO Netherlands. Image Courtesy: HHLA

The Port of Hamburg has seen a steep rise of ultra large container vessels (ULCVs) visiting the port over the past two years. 

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 compared to 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.

Last year, port operator Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) ordered three additional gantry cranes for the Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT) to be able to handle 20,000 TEU+ ships.

“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… We have three highly efficient berths in Hamburg that are able to process the largest class of vessels,” Jens Hansen, HHLA Executive Board Member, commented.

On October 20, COSCO Netherlands became the first ship to be processed by the five new container gantry cranes at the CTT. Three of these gantry cranes have been put into service at Tollerort during the last few days. Two identical gantry cranes have been processing mega-ships at berth 5 since November 2016.

The 13,400 TEU COSCO Netherlands arrived at CTT on Friday and left again on Saturday. During this time, the gantry cranes discharged and loaded approximately 7,000 TEU onto the ship.

“Processing the COSCO Netherlands was a first test of our new mega-ship gantry cranes, which they passed with flying colours. The five gantry cranes are very reliable and perform as expected. Berth 5 is now perfectly equipped to efficiently process the largest ships in the world,” Thomas Koch, CTT’s Managing Director, said.

The five mega-ship gantry cranes at CTT have a jib length of 74 m and a lifting height of 51.5 meters above the quay wall. They are designed for containerships with 24 transverse container rows and can discharge and load two 20-foot containers simultaneously when operating in twin mode. Each container gantry crane weighs 1,500 tons and can handle a maximum payload of 63 tons.

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