CALL +44 (0) 1926 611 700 
 
It was a privilege to listen to some excellent industry experts talking about the technical challenges of Ship-to-Shore and Yard cranes organised by PEMA this week. 
 
There is no doubt that cranes have become larger and more complex in the face of taller and wider container vessels. But complexity brings its own challenges with maintenance and servicing costs rising and the consequent need for new integrated skills to manage IT and engineering. 
 
Sadly, even bigger and faster cranes continue to face diminishing returns in delivering faster container handling and quicker turnaround of vessels, so more supporting initiatives are required. Digital initiatives are sometimes promoted as the silver bullet, however even joining together all the data will not solve the problems which also require engineering solutions. 
 
One of the most important factors slowing down crane productivity is the persistence of manual twistlock fitting and removal. Twistlock rationalisation and improved management leading to easier mechanisation of the process would be an obvious win/win. There is also considerable room for further development of ‘multiple handling’ of containers on and off vessels, an obvious way to speed up the process. To facilitate such initiatives level loading of containers on vessels with more efficient handling in mind would be worth the effort of collaboration. The result would be of mutual benefit to terminals who could work faster safely and shipping lines could reap fuel savings as a result of quicker turnaround and better maintenance of schedules. 
 
BLOK Container Systems manufactures Rigs, Trailers, and Spreaders and maximising crane efficiency with this equipment delivers STS crane cycle time improvements of up to 30%, at a small fraction of the cost of a new cranes. 
 
BLOK Rigs mechanically fit and remove all four Semi-Automatic Twistlocks (SATs) from a container in one action saving time when loading and unloading vessels. The Rigs are controlled remotely for safe operation and can be used singly or in pairs for either single or tandem spreader operations. 
 
For further information about these developments recently trialled in London and Shanghai and presented at IMO, please contact selwyn.rowley@blokcontainersystems.com or call 00441926611700. 
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