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The Port of Hamburg biggest container terminal operator, HHLA, has chosen Kalmar Industries for the supply of its automatic stacking crane (ASC) system and related technology for the first step in the conversion of its Container Terminal Burchardkai facility to a semi-automated operation. In phase one of the terminal conversion, Kalmar will equip the first five yard stacking blocks with 15 ASCs, along with their automation and control systems, during 2007 and 2008. The first cranes will arrive at Burchardkai at the beginning of 2007.

The Burchardkai terminal handled approximately 2.7m TEU last year. HHLA plans to increase its capacity to 5.2m TEU by re-engineering the operation and converting the main part of the conventional straddle carrier container storage area to an ASC system by the year 2015. HHLA also expects to improve productivity significantly. During the conversion process all present terminal operations must be able to continue uninterrupted, while capacity increases gradually.

By 2015 Container Terminal Burchardkai will be operated as a ‘block’ system, with 30 yard blocks stacking ten containers wide, five high and 44 TEU (330m) long. Each block will employ two smaller ASCs capable of straddling the ten-wide, five-high blocks and one wider and higher ASC, capable of passing over the smaller machines with a loaded container. Operating on separate sets of rail tracks, the cranes are capable of moving freely within the block.

From the quayside, containers will be transported by straddle carriers to a buffer area, where they will be collected by the ASCs. Outgoing containers will also be handled through the buffer area using the same system.

On the landward side of the block, the ASCs will either perform loading and unloading of road trucks, operated through a remote control system by terminal control room staff, or handle containers automatically in a straddle carrier buffer lane.
The contract includes an option for an additional 75 ASCs.

Commenting on the decision to cooperate with Kalmar, Container Terminal Buchardkai Managing Director, Christian Blauert, said:

Kalmar has been a long-term partner for HHLA and has shown, over many years, true dedication to developing the business. We are convinced that we benefit from Kalmar combined knowledge of equipment, container handling systems and automation features. It makes life much easier for us to deal with one responsible supplier.

Kalmar places strong emphasis on automation development through its business unit, Intelligence & Automation, which focuses on the marketing and development of onboard smart features for container handling equipment, integrated automation systems and on-line remote maintenance products and services.

Jorma Tirkkonen, President of Kalmar Intelligence & Automation, said:

We are very proud that HHLA has chosen to work with us on this project, which is leading the way for the whole industry. Automation will be a solution for many terminals looking for ways to improve their capacity and productivity in a safe and environmentally friendly way.