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First Giant Cranes Arrive at London Gateway

Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS), the world’s leading maritime services provider, was called on to act as agent for the arrival of the first giant cranes at the UK’s new global container port, DP World’s London Gateway.

As the largest quay cranes in Britain, bigger than the London Eye and weighing 2,000 tonnes each, ISS arranged the complex operation of easing the heavy-lift vessel operated by Shanghai Zhenhua Shipping Co, the Zhen Hua 26, onto the berth ready to start the delicate process of discharging the leviathans. This included coordinating pilots, tug assistance and a berthing party to moor the vessel alongside.

With the cranes arriving after a two month voyage from Shanghai and London Gateway the first port of call within the European Union, ISS was responsible for declaring the vessel and her precious cargo to the central European reporting system for customs clearance, as well as the local UK inbound Customs reporting. ISS was also required to compile a report for the port health authorities certifying the ship’s sanitation condition and the crew’s medical status.

ISS was in constant liaison with the operations team at London Gateway keeping them fully advised on the vessel’s progress from China, as well as routine but crucial details such as confirming which side to berth the vessel and calculating tidal passages in unison with harbour masters and port authorities to ensure safe berthing.

Manufactured by ZPMC the new cranes are the first in the UK to be able to lift four containers at once to speed up the unloading of the world’s largest ships when DP World’s US$1.5 billion London Gateway opens in September this year as a new world-class deepsea container port.

Other work included making sure the Master was fully prepared for visits from customs, immigration, port health and ensuring all locally required documentation was in place including charts and publications. ISS is also now responsible for co-ordinating the shifting operations of the vessel so each of the cranes can be discharged at high tide to the strengthened section of quay, as well as preparations for the vessel’s scheduled departure on Sunday 10th March after the three cranes have been discharged.

Says Harry Corkerry, ISS Port Manager: “We began work on this project in October last year and it took a great deal of planning and reconnaissance with ourselves and the berthing party at the terminal to ensure we were fully prepared and had eliminated any potential problems.

“We were very pleased that all our hard work paid off and look forward to completing the remainder of the project this week.”


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