Technical Papers - Container Handling
When extreme winds blow, cranes sometimes collapse. If one tie-down fails, a crane can break loose and roll down the rails, destroying neighboring cranes. Although other crane structural failures can occur during extreme winds, crane to-wharf tie-down systems are often the weak link for full crane collapse, and thereby deserve more attention.
Kuenz has been working on rail mounted gantry (RMG) cranes for intermodal terminals and river harbor terminals for many decades. As the market leader throughout Europe and North America, Kuenz has installed several hundred cranes throughout the world. Kuenz engineers in 2014 recognized that designing a RMG had become harder for the following reason: The cranes had become bigger. The largest Kuenz Cranes have a main girder length of over 140 metres, stack one over five, and their weight is over 700 tonnes. They are also faster, as the gantry speed for such a crane is 120 metres per minute, and trolley speed is 150 metres per minute. The wind surface of the structures had increased because of new codes and regulations. Customers were operating the cranes with wind speeds up to 28 metres per second.
In recent years there has been moderate annual growth in global container handling volumes – reaching around 700 million TEU in 2017. Meanwhile, the capacity of the world container vessel fleet has increased considerably to over 20 million TEU. Because of this, shipping lines are increasingly operating in global alliances, giving them scope to optimize their services and increase their buying power.
The much trumpeted container weighing regulation which exercised much of the freight industry last year is hoped to be the mere overture to a concerted effort to bring about significant behavioural change. This paper assesses the degree of compliance with the VGM regulation that has been achieved but also looks forward to what needs to be done to further ensure safety and sustainability in the global supply chain.