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            december 17, 2017

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Indiaexportnews.com

4,000-14,000-TEU ships are best for crane productivity

  05.12.2017    

Quay crane productivity is weaker on mega ships versus midsize vessels, according to 2017 performance data from a selected world ports, reports IHS Media.
Productivity at Busan, Tanjung Pelepas, Shanghai-Yangshan, Ningbo, Hong Kong, Jebel Ali, Shenzhen-Yantian, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Qingdao, Antwerp and Bremerhaven from January to June shows performance on ships larger than 14,000-TEU drops sharply.
Data also show productivity is optimal for vessels in the 4,000- to 14,000-TEU range but lower for smaller and larger ships.
"Smaller vessels, especially feeders, tend to experience trim trouble and cell-guides are less than optimal with the ship far below the crane operator's cabin," said Singapore CTI Consultancy terminal operations expert Andy Lane.
There are also fewer moves per hatch-cover or gantry; twist locks are normally manual rather than auto-locks, contributing to lower crane productivity.
Crane productivity hit a peak average of around 26.5 moves per hour within the 7,000- to 10,000-TEU capacity range in the period under analysis, before dropping to 24 moves within the 14,000- to 18,000-TEU range.
The need for higher spreader hoists and longer trolley distances is likely the cause of the drop in performance on vessels larger than 14,000 TEU, as crane cycles take longer on ships that have 19 to 22 containers across instead of 13 to 19.
Terminal operators complain that working mega ships is not efficient for them, and there is little upside in cases where call sizes increase just marginally.
Terminals at Zhoushan handle 30 per cent of their business on Saturdays, but just six per cent on Thursdays. Shanghai handles 36 per cent of its business on two days Sundays and Mondays.
Hong Kong and Shenzhen handle more business on weekends. "There is every probability that the larger ships call during the peak days, creating the peaks," said Mr Lane.
"The larger ships will get higher crane intensity, and the terminal will work the maximum of cranes, and therefore this is maybe not so surprising. Ports have sufficient quay cranes for the peaks, but these sit idle during the troughs," he said.



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