PD Ports has installed new multi-million pound cranes to enhance its container handling capacity at Teesport, allowing direct access for global shipping lines to northern UK markets.
Under a £10m investment, the port has been incorporated with three 24.6m tall rubber tyre gantry cranes (RTGs), worth £3.2m, each of which weighs 141t and can lift containers weighing up to 40t and stack them five-high.
The cranes were manufactured by Liebherr Container Cranes at its factories in Ireland and Spain, and were ferried in several sections by sea.
They join the existing four RTGs, which have been in service since the expansion of Teesport Container Terminal 2 in 2011.
An order valued at over £6m has also been placed with Liebherr for a ship to shore crane at Teesport to complement the two currently in operation, as well to increase the port’s capacity further.
It is expected to improve capacity at the port, as well as customer service by facilitating a quicker turnaround of vessels, and has up to 99.6% availability during actual vessel operation, in turn ensuring reliability and productivity.
Since 2007, Teesport has been experiencing a constant growth in container volumes of 13% year on year, with 466,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) handled in 2015.
PD Ports has also bolstered its capacity through a recent £35m redevelopment, offering 550m of deep water quay and providing one of the deepest water facilities in the UK.
PD Ports CEO David Robinson said: "We’ve invested over £80m at Teesport over the past five years in developing, upgrading and enhancing capacity to meet the demands of our customers and position the port as the northern gateway for containerised goods serving northern UK markets.
"As Teesport continues to thrive in the container market, we must ensure the port will have the right infrastructure and equipment to help provide shippers with more direct and efficient trade routes to northern markets.
"The addition of these cranes at Teesport provides a platform for further significant growth and ensures we continue to be a key driver and enabler of the Northern Powerhouse Strategy. Our continued investment in the port will ensure it is fit for purpose to create new opportunities, attract inward investment and support sustainable growth across the north."
Image: RTG cranes during assembly at Teesport. Photo: courtesy of PD Ports.