Investment vs. operating costs: a comparison of automatic stacking cranes and RTGs



Hans Cederqvist, Manager – Terminal Projects, & Clara Holmgren, Product Manager, ABB Crane Systems, Sweden



Automatic stacking cranes are breaking ground in all parts of the world. For medium-size as well as large terminals, even in areas with low labor cost, automation is often both economically and operationally the best alternative.

ABB has been active in supplying cranes and equipment for over 100 years and to this day has supplied electrical and automation equipment to more than 1,200 cranes of all types and in all parts of the world.

To date, ABB has commissioned over 300 automatic stacking cranes (ASC), with another 50+ scheduled for delivery in 2010- 2011, representing the majority of all ASCs in the world. The state-of-the-art technology used by ABB Crane Systems facilitates safe, cost effective and highly productive handling of containers for terminal operators.

This article will discuss the differences between ASCs, RTGs and electrical RTGs (ERTGs) and compare investment and operating costs.

Crane type overview

ASCs, RTGs and Electrical RTGs are all crane types that can be employed when the available yard area is limited and high stacking is beneficial. Automation is being introduced all over the world to ensure low operating cost, high availability and high utilization of the yard capacity. Another parameter that is becoming more and more important is the reduction of emissions from diesel engines.

The Automatic Stacking Crane, ASC

There are two types of ASCs: cantilever (side-loaded) cranes, where container transfer in and out of the stack is made alongside the gantry; and end-loaded ASCs, where the containers are

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