Two more of the UK’s most technically advanced quay cranes were brought up the River Thames on Wednesday. The cranes completed the long sea voyage from China on vessel Zhen Hua 10 via the Cape of Good Hope to arrive at DP World London Gateway Port, just 25 miles from Central London.
When installed they will match DP World London Gateway’s existing cranes in providing the greatest lift-height above water of any quay cranes in the UK.
They are for the third Berth at the state-of-the-art container terminal, providing additional trade infrastructure for the UK when the berth opens later this year.
This investment keeps the UK at the cutting edge of shipping technology and ensures the country remains competitive, by being able to handle the world’s largest container ships.
Another two cranes for the third berth are due to arrive in London next week, moving development of the terminal’s third berth onto the next stage.
At their highest point, the quay cranes stand at 138 metres (459 foot) tall – the same height as the London Eye. They weigh 2,000 tons and are unloaded from the vessel onto DP World London Gateway’s quay wall using pulleys and winches at high tide. The process of moving these mega-structures safely onto the quay takes 45 minutes.
A further 20 automated stacking cranes and additional 10 modules have already been installed, while in April, the port took delivery of a fleet of hybrid shuttle carriers.
Once the third berth is open, DP World London Gateway will have 1250 metres of quay wall, providing three deep-water berths and more ultra-large container vessel capacity than any other port in the UK.
Cameron Thorpe, CEO, DP World London Gateway, said: “As an island nation, it is absolutely vital that the UK has world-class port infrastructure to facilitate trade.
“In addition to the eight already in operation here, the arrival of these quay cranes and further investment in supplementary infrastructure such as our fully automated truck handling capability, ensures that the UK is able to efficiently and reliably handle the largest container ships afloat.
“These cranes are unique in the UK. They are safer, more wind resilient, able to lift more containers in one movement and comfortably reach out across and above the largest container ships.
“With DP World London Gateway, the UK has a port and Logistics Park in the very best location for trade, able to meet the demands of the container shipping industry both now and in the future. That all contributes to ensuring those importers and exporters who use the facility, will be more competitive, have a more secure supply chain and experience a faster and more efficient delivery at a lower cost.”
Located just 10 miles from the M25 and with a high-performing rail terminal providing direct services daily to all of the UK’s major rail freight hubs, the tri-modal terminal opened in November 2013 and is handling cargo from across the globe.
The port is located on the same estate as one of the UK’s largest logistics parks, where work is continuing apace on UPS’s 35,000m² parcel sorting hub. That development represents the iconic package and parcel company’s largest investment outside of the USA ever, with the facility due to open next year.