Latest photos of high tech Webb Dock

By Margaret Bux
clock 3 min

The New International Container Terminal Development at Webb Dock East recently took delivery of 3 “Post-Panamax” ship to shore cranes (or quay cranes), as part of its high-tech fully automated container terminal operation, which is on track to open for business in late 2016. It will be one of the world’s most automated container terminals, lifting containers between ships and trucks with superior operating efficiency.

The towering quay cranes are part of an entire computer automated operation that also includes stacking cranes that lift inbound containers from low level shuttle carriers which have in turn collected them from the giant quay cranes that have lifted the containers from vessel to wharf.

The automated stacking cranes will enable higher and more densely packed container stacks in the 10 hectare container park (up to 5 containers high and 9 containers wide) without any manual handling and with the benefit of increased terminal stacking capacity.  When required, the stacking cranes will move the containers to the loading area and place them on trucks.  The last metre of the truck-loading operation will be remotely controlled from an operations centre.  The reverse process will be used for export containers.

The automated cranes will work at a steady 24/7 pace, enabling the combined operation to better manage peak periods, decrease equipment damage and noise.  As there is no personnel activity within the container stacks, employee safety and container security will also improve.

This first phase will deliver an estimated capacity of 350,000 teu’s (containers), utilising one 330 metre berth fitted with 3 “Post-Panamax” cranes, 23.7 hectares of yard and off-dock area with fully automated operations from the gate to the quayside.   The terminal will be able to handle ships able to carry up to 8,000 standard teu and the container park will have a capacity of about 200,000 teu annually.

A second phase, which will see full development of the terminal by 31 December 2017, will include an additional 2 “Post-Panamax” cranes on a second 330 metre berth.   When fully developed and as required by volume growth, the 35.4 hectare terminal  will be able to handle up to 1.4 million standard containers annually with the container park’s capacity rising to 280,000 teu.

The new facility will create around 200 new jobs at the port and has not been without consideration of community and environmental impacts in this highly populated area.  The high tech lifting machines are quieter, with new low-level lighting and even the colour of the cranes does not stand out in the skyline.


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