The first three giant cranes destined for London Gateway's deep-water port, which measure 138 metres, have started their journey from China.
The semi-automated cranes, which were manufactured by Shanghai’s Zhenhua Port Machinery Company (ZPMC), stand taller than the London Eye.
Their boom has a reach that will allow them to pick up containers 25 rows across deck, beyond the width of the world’s largest container ship.
Tim Halhead, London Gateway operations director, said: “The size of the cranes future proofs the port, allowing London Gateway to handle the next generation of ultra large container ships. These cranes are among the most advanced in the industry.”
The cranes are also connected directly to the Terminal Operating System, which tracks the containers and sends work orders to the crane operator.
The port will start operations on the first berth in Q4 of this year with five quay cranes, and two rail mounted gantry cranes provided by ZPMC, while Cargotec will provide 10 automatic stacking cranes and 18 straddle carriers for the first berth.
London Gateway, the 3.5 million TEU container port, is expected to bring significant supply chain savings to importers and exporters.
Maritime consultancy Drewry has indicated that shippers will be able to reduce round-trip transport costs by £59 pounds per container to the Midlands and the North West and £189 per container for London and the South-East, representing about 90% of the UK deep-sea market.