Port of Sunderland is flexing its muscles, after undertaking two tandem lift projects in two days, using its pair of Liebherr 420 harbour mobile cranes.
The North East port has completed two project cargo operations – one export, one import – from its Corporation Quay deep-water river berth, that required tandem lifting with these assets.
Investment in the Liebherr equipment means Port of Sunderland is able to react to the immediate demands of an increasingly dynamic marketplace, for the handling out of gauge project cargo items – where the weight or size of the cargo item would make it difficult or impossible to handle with just one crane.
Matthew Hunt, port director at Port of Sunderland, said: “We invested in additional cranage in 2019, as our view of the marketplace at this time was that this would give us a more comprehensive handling capability, including being able to offer tandem lifting, something that allows us to support our customers’ demands more fully.
“It’s clear that Port of Sunderland is building a reputation for not only its materials handling capabilities, but its flexibility and supportive approach which has seen us win new business and increase tonnage volumes during a period in which many ports have been hit hard by COVID-19.
“These latest projects really illustrate the range of opportunities we are able to support using our cranes in tandem lifting mode, and we’re sure they’re just the latest in a long line of projects that we will successfully execute for customers who want to make use of our operational infrastructure.”
The port invested in a second Liebherr LHM 420 crane in 2019, allowing it to handle the most demanding of cargo projects and unlocking the ability to conduct tandem lifts with a maximum lifting capacity of up to 240T.
Its enhanced handling capabilities have played a key role in the port reporting year-on-year rises in cargo volumes. From April to June alone, the port handled some 71,748 tonnes of cargo set for export – compared to just 38,661 tonnes for the same period last year – as it helped keep goods flowing in and out of Britain during the pandemic.
Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council and chair of Port of Sunderland, said: “We’ve continued to invest in Port of Sunderland over recent years and it’s fantastic to see this really starting to bear fruit.
“Over £8 million will be pumped into the port over the coming years as we look to attract more businesses and this continued growth would never have been possible with Matthew and the team constantly looking to improve operations and ensure the port punches well above its weight.
“The tandem lift was a stunning sight and to be one of the few ports able to conduct such a demanding exercise shows just how far we’ve come in recent years. However, we’re not resting on our laurels and are fully focused on the future as we look to continue growing and investing in the port post-pandemic.”