High-tech cranes arrive at Port of Felixstowe

The first four RTG remote-controlled gantry cranes, of eight similar machines being installed at Hu

The first four RTG remote-controlled gantry cranes, of eight similar machines being installed at Hutchison Ports - Port of Felixstowe, have arrived at the Suffolk port. Picture: HUTCHISON PORTS - Credit: Archant

The Port of Felixstowe has invested millions of pounds in its first high tech remote-controlled gantry cranes.

Hutchison Ports’ the Port of Felixstowe has taken delivery of its first remote-controlled Rubber Tyred Gantry cranes (RTGs), costing more than £1m each.

The four cranes were built by ZPMC in Shanghai and are the first of eight similar machines to be delivered over the next few weeks.

These new cranes are electrically-powered and capable of stacking containers six high to enable more efficient use to be made of the new yard area developed at the port.

The port also has two remote controlled ship-to-shore gantry cranes currently undergoing manual testing before being deployed in full remote mode.

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.

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“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.”

The new gantry cranes will serve Berths 8 and 9 where an additional 18,000 TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit) of container storage has been created to meet growing demand at the UK’s largest container port.

These are the deepest berths at the port and able to serve the largest ships which arrive from around the world.