Port of Felixstowe is the UK’s busiest container port, dealing with almost half of the country’s containerised trade. It has been undergoing a series of upgrades over recent years, including the construction of additional storage yards and the dredging of 18m berths to accommodate modern container mega vessels.
A selection of the 51 ship-to-shore cranes at its Trinity terminal needed to be heightened, in order to allow cargo removal from this larger, taller generation of carrier. Main contractor ZPMC Netherlands, who specialise in crane upgrades and refurbishment services, selected ALE to assist, as its experience in port crane manoeuvres would allow it to realise several efficiencies during the project.
ZPMC subsequently oversaw the heightening of ten cranes, 5 weighing 1530t and 5 weighing 1650t. However, it was not possible to perform the heightening procedure in the cranes’ normal positions, as this would impact the productivity of the port.
Therefore, each crane undertook a separate transportation and heightening phase, during the moment of best fit for port management. First, each crane was transported out of the row to a location set aside for upgrades to take place. This was achieved using 80 axle lines of SPMT in 4-file 20 configuration for the lighter crane and 88 axle lines in 4-file 22 configuration for the heavier one.