London Container Terminal in Tilbury today (11th May) welcomed the arrival of their eight new Kalmar straddle carriers aboard the specialist vessel the BBC Nordland as part of the port’s growing container business.
The eight Kalmar ESC450W carriers have been made with specifications to match the 14 straddles acquired in 2013 to ensure consistency in the fleet. The new carriers have a 50tonne load carrying capacity with twin-lift spreaders capable of handling the full range of container sizes.
Three of the new straddles are part of LCT’s equipment replacement programme, with the other five going into service to meet the increase in container business at the terminal. The current fleet at the terminal is now 40 straddles.
Stuart Wallace, Divisional Director of Forth Ports (owners of LCT) said: “It’s great to see our new straddles arrive this week. With this further investment we continue to secure Tilbury’s position as a key shipping and distribution location with unrivalled access to London and the South East of England. LCT is one of the most efficient UK ports for handling containers, bringing benefits to our customers with improved turnover of vessels and road side trucks. Tilbury handles in excess of half a million containers each year, and is the only UK port truly servicing both deep sea and short sea customers. Customers also benefit from access to Europe’s largest portside chill store which NFT opened at the port this year.”
Over the past four years, LCT has invested in two Paceco ship-to-shore cranes, a Liebherr 550 mobile crane, 14 new Kalmar straddle carriers, a single reception gate covering both security and container processing, new cranes, a bespoke ICT system and surfacing work. Forth Ports’ investment programme at London Container Terminal comes to around £20million in total.