Freightliner Ltd, the intermodal division of Freightliner Group, has announced the investment of nearly £4 million in new equipment for their Birmingham terminal. Two rail head gantry cranes have been ordered from supplier Liebherr Container Cranes Ltd, who are the leading manufacturer of container cranes in Europe. They are to replace the existing cranes. Senior management from both companies met this week at the Liebherr headquarters in Killarney, Ireland, to formally sign the contracts and consolidate the partnership.
A major benefit of the new Liebherr rail mounted stacking cranes is their outstanding speed characteristics, which sees the cranes accommodate up to 25 lifts every hour. This is 10 lifts per hour more than the current equipment, allowing the terminal to significantly increase its container handling ability. With the cranes working 24 hours of 5.5 days per week, this investment will help maximise efficiency, and reduce the time taken to upload containers to move by road for the final leg of their journey to local distribution centres.
Peter Maybury, Managing Director, Freightliner Ltd commented:“Freightliner Group have consistently demonstrated that they are committed to making the necessary investments which enable us to set the highest possible standards of efficiency and reliability in the markets in which they operate. The deep sea intermodal market is set to grow by around 50% over the next ten years with around two million boxes more expected to arrive at our deepsea ports. The midlands remain a key area of inland demand and this investment is important to ensuring we have the capacity in place to accommodate this growth.”
The two cranes for Birmingham are commissioned to be assembled in spring 2008. Over the next 10 months they will be designed and manufactured in Ireland, before they are erected in Birmingham. Operations will continue as normal throughout the preparation of the cranes and the transition between existing to new will be seamless.