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Auckland's Big Port Move: Giant container cranes shifted to prepare for automation

Ports of Auckland has successfully moved two 1,100 tonne cranes to ready Fergusson Container Terminal for bigger ships and automation.

Fergusson Terminal has five cranes. The two older, smaller cranes were lifted off their rails so the three newer, larger cranes could be positioned at the north of the terminal, where they will be able to work bigger ships. This massive job was done in between customers at the busy terminal.

Ports of Auckland's CEO Tony Gibson paid tribute to the company's highly skilled engineering team who worked closely with crane manufacturing company ZPMC to carry out the project. "We run a very busy terminal, so getting this job done quickly and with minimum disruption to shipping was essential. It's a bit like doing knee surgery at half-time and then getting your player back on the field for the second half," he said.

The relocation means that the cranes are now positioned well to work on the bigger ships calling Auckland's port. This means a more efficient container terminal and a port that can cater to Auckland's growing freight demand.

"More people in Auckland means more imports and more shipping. This work is one part of our investment in the automation of our container terminal which will meet that growing demand. This phase of automation gives us enough capacity to handle the freight for an extra million people in Auckland – 30 to 40 years of capacity," says Mr Gibson.

Partial automation of the Fergusson container terminal will be a game-changer for Auckland's port, ensuring extra terminal capacity without reclamation. The technology will allow the port to handle up to 1.7 million TEU each year (1 TEU = 1 20ft container equivalent); enough to support an Auckland population of around 2.7 million. Future technology will give the port additional capacity to serve a regional population of 5 million – more than three times the current population.

NOTES: Check out this video of the crane relocation here on our Facebook page. For an original copy of the video, or for a version without music and keys, please contact Alexandra Ropati, Senior Communications Advisor.


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Matt Ball

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