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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Montevideo terminal sets MHC world record to handle bigger vessels in ECSA trades

Port of Montevideo Port of Montevideo

Uruguayan container operator Montecon has installed two of the largest mobile harbour cranes in the world to boost productivity and help handle the larger vessels, of up to 10,500 TEU capacity, that are now calling at the port of Montevideo.

Montecon, which operates out of two berths in the public part of the port of Montevideo ( managed by ANP, or the Administracion Nacional de Puertos), is the only competition to the main dedicated box terminal in the Uruguayan port city, which is Terminal Cuenca del Plata (TCP), owned and operated by Katoen Natie of Belgium.

And to maintain that competitive edge and allow it to handle the 9,000 to 11,000 TEU vessels that have been cascaded down to the East Coast of South America trade lanes from the East –West trades, it has installed two Liebherr LHM 800 mobile harbor cranes (MHCs) from Germany which have an overall reach of 22 containers, and are said to be the largest of their kind in the world.

Gonzalo Lopez Rodan, a commercial executive for Montecon, said that the Liebherr 800 Mobile Harbour Cranes (MHCs) that have just been installed and were the result of a three year collaboration between the German and Uruguayan companies.

"Our aim is to install rail-mounted equipment in the forthcoming future, ship-to-shore gantry cranes, in the Port of Montevideo" said Gonzalo Lopez Roldan, the commercial executive for Montecon. "But with the size of vessels being cascaded over to ECSA trades rising almost annually, from 9,000 TEU up to more than 10,500 TEU already, with 12,000 to 13,000 TEU just a couple of years ahead, we had to find a mid-term solution to this increase in size."

And the solution was to sit down with technicians from Liebherr, headquartered in Rostock, Germany, and create a new larger, MHC, that could spread its grabber across 22 containers: the Liebherr 800.
"There were some difficulties at first as the cranes we devised were too heavy for the substructure of our piers, many of which are more than 100 years old," Lopez elaborated. "Eventually we found a formula that worked and now the MHCs are up and running so we are delighted with the outcome and increased efficiency at our terminal."

Montevideo, which handled 850,000 TEU in 2016 is a key transhipment port in the ECSA nexus, and Montecon itself has six liner services calling, including all the key players such as Maersk Line, Hamburg Sud, MSC, CMA CGM, Evergreen and UASC all call, as well as key feeder services to Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil.

Members of the Von Appen, Schandy and Liebherr families all attended the baptism of the cranes and Leopold Berthold, Managing Director Sales of Liebherr-MCCtec Rostock GmbH, commented "The decisive link between the biggest mobile harbour crane in the world and a successfully running port business is the close and trustful cooperation of two leading family businesses. The LHM 800 represents a before and after, a new area for both family-owned companies: Montecon and Liebherr."
Last year Montecon, which is owned by the Von Appen and Schandy shipping families, handled around 450,000 TEU, up from the 420,000 TEU of 2015, and this year they are forecasting growth of 2.5 percent, in line with the forecast for Uruguay's GDP growth for 2017.

The capital of Uruguay Montevideo is also a key transhipment port for the River Plate, including Argentina and Paraguay, and is also served by TCP, which handled around 400,000 TEU in 2016 to give an overall throughput of 850,000 TEU for the historic port.

Montecon's range of equipment now includes seven Liebherr MHCs (with two LHM 500s and three LHM 600s as well as the LHM 800s) plus two Gottwald models, the HMK 280 and the HMK 6407, plus three RTGs and 14 reach stackers.

June 23, 2017


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