The Port of Hamburg’s biggest container terminal operator, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA), has turned to Kalmar to supply three more crane blocks with its automatic stacking crane (ASC) system and related technology for the second phase in the conversion of HHLA Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) to a semi-automated operation. The new order is in addition to the first five yard stacking blocks currently being commissioned by Kalmar. Delivery of this second order for nine cranes, along with their automation and control systems, will commence in 2008.

The total number of ASCs operating at CTB will reach 24 units in 2009. The contract includes an option for an additional 63 ASCs.

Christian Blauert, Managing Director of CTB, comments on the latest order: ‘The second phase of expansion emphasizes the commitment of both parties to roll-out the conversion of the terminal as soon as possible. We chose to cooperate with Kalmar because of its combined knowledge as a crane supplier and system integrator. The company’s commitment to this project is evident in its extensive testing of the system and technology as the first lot of cranes is being assembled and erected on site.’

HHLA aims to double CTB’s capacity from 2.6m 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 existing terminal operations will continue uninterrupted as capacity gradually increases.

By 2015 CTB will be operated as a block system, with 29 yard blocks stacking ten containers wide, five high and 44 teu (330m) long. Each block will employ two smaller ASCs capable of traveling over the ten-wide, five-high stacking blocks, and one wider and higher ASC capable of passing over the smaller cranes.

From the quayside, containers are to 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 via 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.

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.