New ‘megamax’ cranes arrive at Port of Liverpool after 18,000-mile journey

Trio of 92 metre-high cranes set off from Shanghai on September 15 and will be installed by Peel Ports at the Liverpool2 container terminal. Tony McDonough reports

Peel Ports
Three megamax cranes arrive at the Port of Liverpool from China


Peel Ports has taken delivery of three ‘megamax’ quayside cranes that have travelled all the way from China and will be installed at the Liverpool2 container terminal.

The cranes, which were seen sailing up the River Mersey, are part of work on the second phase of the Liverpool2 project to provide additional capacity for growing volumes of cargo.

Their arrival follows Peel Ports announcing a record-breaking month for its container operations at the Port of Liverpool. Quayside and landside throughput in October exceeded all previous figures on record with year on year growth of 12%. 

Peel Ports handles 60m tonnes of cargo every year – 13% of the total UK major ports traffic flows through ports operated by the group, which include Liverpool, Heysham, Manchester Ship Canal, Medway (Sheerness / Chatham), Clydeport and Great Yarmouth. 

The cranes arrived on the ZH25 transporter vessel and are now alongside the berth at the south of the Liverpool2 terminal ready for offloading. They originally set off from Shanghai on September 15 passing south-east Asia, India, the Arabian Peninsula and Africa via the Cape of Good Hope en route to Liverpool in a journey of more than 18,000 miles.

Mark Whitworth, chief executive of Peel Ports, said: “An increasing number of businesses are understanding that it makes more sense to ship products closer to their end destinations.

“The investment we’ve made in these cranes and elsewhere at the port is crucial to providing us with the capacity to meet growing demand, especially with Liverpool handling record container volumes in October.”

Peel Ports’ three megamax cranes arrive in the Mersey from China


The super-structures were produced by Chinese company, Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co (ZPMC), the largest heavy-duty equipment manufacturer in the world, as part of a contract with Peel Ports worth more than £100m. A total of eight ship-to-shore megamax cranes and 22 cantilever rail-mounted gantry cranes are being supplied to Peel Ports.

Each crane measures 92 metres-high to the top of the frame, approximately the same as Liverpool’s iconic Liver building, and 132 metres high when the boom is raised. Each crane weighs around 1,600 tonnes. 

The cranes can operate at speeds more than 30 moves per hour and facilitate 1,500 moves in each tidal window. They are capable of twin-pick and outreach of 24 containers up to 10 high on deck, and safe working loads of up to 85 tonnes. They can operate in wind speeds of up to 55 miles per hour.

Peel Ports recently entered into an agreement with global terminal business, Terminal Investment Limited Sarl (TiL). The proposed joint venture involves the development of the Liverpool2 container terminal and will enable Peel Ports to accelerate its ambitious growth plans.

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