The first of the large quayside cranes to be employed at the Liverpool 2 container terminal, due to open next month, sailed up the River Mersey on Monday at the end of their journey from China.
The cranes set off from Shanghai on the Zhen Hua23 ship in August and travelled through South East Asia, past India and the Arabian Peninsula before rounding the Cape of Good Hope and South Africa and pausing in the Canaries for the past few weeks before the Port of Liverpool was ready to receive.
In total the journey took 18,000 miles.
The super-structures were produced by Chinese company, Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co, the largest heavy duty equipment manufacturer in the world, as part of a contract with Peel Ports worth more than £100m. A total of eight ship-to-shore megamax cranes and 22 cantilever rail-mounted gantry cranes are being supplied to Peel Ports as part of the company’s £300m investment programme to expand and develop the Port of Liverpool.
Liverpool2 is the UK’s largest transatlantic deep-sea port and container terminal and the investment in facilities will allow it to accommodate the majority of the world’s current container fleet, including vessels up to 20,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) or two 13,500 TEU vessels simultaneously.
Mark Whitworth, chief executive of Peel Ports, said: “The spectacular sight of these cranes sailing up the Mersey to the L2 site is unprecedented. Our investment in leading-edge infrastructure and technology will allow Liverpool to offer the quickest and most cost-effective route to market, not just for goods destined for the north of England but also for Scotland, Ireland, North Wales, opening up a new logistics routes estimated at four million TEU every year and increasing potential import and export trade.”
The cranes will have the ability to operate at speeds in excess of 30 moves per hour and will facilitate an anticipated 1,500 moves in each tidal window. They will be capable of twin-pick and outreach of 24 containers up to 10 high on deck, and safe working loads of up to 85 tonnes. They will also have the ability to operate in wind speeds of up to 55 miles per hour.