New container crane is opened at the port of Riga

This crane is able to unload and load containers on board the vessel to the required width, eliminating the need to move the ship at the berth during loading, thus providing much faster cargo handling.

New container crane is opened at the port of Riga
Photo: Port of Riga

On August 25, in a solemn ceremony, unloading the first containers from the COSCO container line ship, a new container crane, which will further complement the most modern container handling logistics system in the Baltics and facilitate faster container handling, was opened at the Baltic port company Baltic Container Terminal (BCT).

Mr. Talis Linkaits, Minister of Transport, in his congratulations to the company, emphasized:

"Container cargo is the safest and most environmentally friendly way of transporting and storing cargo, which every port wants to ensure in its cargo handling environment. It is an opportunity to develop logistics centers and create added value by cargo handling and its further distribution using multimodal transport options. I would like to express my satisfaction with the fact, that the companies operating in the Port of Riga are developing and investing in growth, modernization and technologies that strengthen not only their own, but also the overall offer and competitiveness of the Port of Riga.”

The impressive 100-meter-high (98.5 m) and 870-ton container crane with a lifting capacity of up to 45 tons and a lifting speed of 1 meter per second provides the opportunity to promptly and safely service the state-of-the-art container carriers with up to 15 container rows across the overall breadth. This means that this crane, unlike the smaller ones, is able to unload and load containers on board the vessel to the required width, eliminating the need to move the ship at the berth during loading, thus providing much faster cargo handling. The crane’s lifting capacity provides perfect handling of any type of container. Like all other Baltic Container Terminal STS cranes, it is equipped with the Quay Crane Automation System - a smart, unique solution that fosters increase of the vessel loading efficiency, as well as ensures work safety in the berth area.

Mr.Ansis Zeltins, the CEO of the Freeport of Riga, noted:

“We have determined that one of the important measures for improving the competitiveness of the Freeport of Riga is the introduction of modern technologies and solutions, increasing the efficiency of the port's operations and the speed of cargo handling. The example of the Baltic Container Terminal proves that modern technologies are one of the cornerstones of international competitiveness. Our goal is to become a leader in the implementation of smart or digital port solutions in the Baltic region.” 

The new container crane is made in China by SANY Marine Heavy Industry. At the end of January this year, it was loaded onto a barge and transported by water to the port of Riga, where it arrived in May. After the crane assembly, installation of systems and technologies, which was carried out with the participation of Chinese specialists, the crane has been commissioned and now is fully operational.

The new powerful SANY container crane is an important addition to the BCT container logistics system, which is already considered to be the most up-to-date in the Baltic States. The BCT is the largest specialized and technologically best-equipped container terminal in the Port of Riga, which invests significant funds into smart terminal management and cargo movement automation technologies, providing efficient cargo movement, accounting and tracking. Already in January of this year, the Baltic Container Terminal put into operation a new, modern warehouse for general cargo handling and storage with a total area of 11,700 m2. The heated warehouse is equipped with energy-efficient LED lighting and a railway ramp, which provides direct access to each section of the warehouse.

Mr.Gerard Sammut, the CEO of the BCT, at the opening of the new container crane, said:

“The Baltic Container Terminal works relentlessly to remain the Client's first choice in the field of container cargo handling not only in the port of Riga and Latvia, but also in the entire Baltic region. Our competitiveness is based on efficiency and productive capacity provided by a continuous process of innovation, investment in new technologies and modern equipment. The new container crane will further increase the efficiency of our terminal by providing faster and safer ship service to meet the growing demands of our clients.”

The BCT is the second largest terminal in the port of Riga in terms of cargo turnover. In the seven months of 2020, the BCT has handled 65% of all containers in the port of Riga and 9% of all sea-borne freight in the port of Riga. In the first seven months of this year, the terminal has already handled 179,037 TEUs or 1.8 million tons of cargo.

Over the last ten years, the volume of container cargo in Riga has grown by an average of 7% per year, reaching a turnover of 4.9 million tons in 2019. In 6 months of this year, 2.123 million tons of container cargo were handled in the port of Riga.

The main parameters of the container crane SANY:

  • Lifting capacity: 60 tons;
  • Lifting capacity under the spreader: 45 tons;
  • Boom length (outreach): 47.0 meters (which allows to handle container vessels with bigger breadth);
  • Lifting height: 48 meters (34 meters above the berth and 14 meters below the berth in the ship's hold);
  • Lifting speed: 1m / second.

Crane dimensions:

  • Width: 27 m;
  • Height (with raised boom): 98.5 m; 
  • Weight: 870 tons.

COSCO Shipping Lines, owned by the Chinese COSCO SHIPPING Holding Co., Ltd, is one of the world's largest international sea container shipping companies, which regularly arrives at the BCT terminal in the port of Riga within the Baltic Sea route.