From Hamburg to Xingang on a Pearl String

By: | at 07:00 PM | Channel(s): Maritime  Ports & Terminals  

Extraordinary shipments are a rather common sight at the Wallmann terminal in Hamburg, Germany. The terminal, in which the breakbulk, heavylift and project cargo expert Rickmers-Linie holds a share of just over 25 per cent, specialises in the handling of out-of-gauge, heavy lift and project cargo and thus deals with noteworthy shipments on a regular basis. However, a particularly unusual cargo was recently spotted being loaded onto the multipurpose vessel Rickmers Jakarta, a ship employed in Rickmers-Linie’s highly successful eastbound Round-the-World Pearl String service: three rail-mounted cranes, manufactured by the German company Kirow AG, en route to Xingang, China.
The railway cranes had a length of 19.5m each and weighed 167 tons. Rated at 160 tonnes, these cranes are even able to move whilst under load, which proves to be very useful for works such as rescue operations. They can also be combined to form a block train. The cranes were destined for the Chinese Ministry of Railways, which distributes the cranes to various locations.
Gerhard Janssen, Director Marketing and Sales at Rickmers-Linie, explains: “These cranes were part of a larger project that in total saw 16 railway cranes shipped to China between December 2009 and the end of 2010. Between 2006 and 2008, we already carried Kirow railway cranes from Hamburg to China. Today, some of these cranes are being used in Tibet, where they operate under extreme conditions such as temperatures of minus 40 degrees Celsius and altitudes of around 5,000.”
The vessel Rickmers Jakarta is one of nine identical ships, which were phased into the Pearl String Service between 2002 and 2004. This unique concept offers fortnightly sailings, fast transit times and reliable schedules. It connects the world’s major industrial centres such as Hamburg, Antwerp, Genoa, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and China. From there, the ships sail via Japan and South Korea to North America. In New Orleans, Houston and Philadelphia, they load cargo for both Europe and Asia.

American Journal of Transportation