Port upgrades for ultra-large ships

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Thamesport is enhancing its operations having embarked upon an ambitious modification programme to five of its quayside cranes. The five post-Panamax cranes are now 15 years old and are being upgraded to enable them to handle the latest generation of ultra-large container ships now calling at this deep-water facility.

The maximum hoist height will be increased by 3m and the outreach extended by 2.5m to make it possible for the cranes to handle ships that have containers stacked seven high on deck, and 17 rows across.

The operation started in mid-January and is expected to take six months to complete, at a cost of £2.4M.

David Gledhill, chief operating officer of Thamesport, comments: “This is a major step forward for Thamesport. It is important that the Port is able to provide its customers with the very best equipment and infrastructure, and this crane modification programme will mean that the Port will be even better placed to serve their needs.

“Thamesport is now attracting some of the largest vessels in operation today, such as the 6,332-TEU Hatsu Envoy, employed on Evergreen’s Far East – Europe CEM service, and this programme will help to secure the Port’s competitiveness well into the future.”Gefco, one of Europe’s leading transport and logistics groups, is applying a growth strategy based on logistic integration and international development, first launched in 1999. Bolstered by its success over the last five years, Gefco now aims to promote its expertise by developing integrated logistics services to industry. This decision to specialise in logistics for industry – covering both manufacturing and distribution – is justified by Gefco’s experience in the automotive sector, whose logistic requirements are among the most complex in the world.

Poole-based TestLink has opened a purpose-built European service hub in Prague to support the overnight repair of IT hardware and other electronic equipment for UK manufacturers, maintenance providers, and corporate users. TestLink offers managed services for customer call response, equipment repair and distribution of some 250,000 PCs, mobile phones, ATMs and other electronic equipment annually in the UK, valued at £6.5M.

A suite of brand new national qualifications, designed specifically for lift truck technicians, has been launched by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI). Developed in association with leading organisations in the lift truck industry to provide a benchmark of technical competence, they will be awarded exclusively by the IMI. The new qualifications cover areas from lift truck construction and routine maintenance right through to advanced power-shift transmission systems, advanced engine operations, auxiliary systems and complex diagnosis.

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