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How investment in container handling equipment is boosting port efficiency

Home Transport & Logistics Materials Handling How investment in container handling equipment is boosting port efficiency

ACCORDING to Durban-harbour based material handling specialists, BLTWorld, investment in the latest dry-bulk cargo and container handling equipment significantly improves efficiencies at ports and terminals and minimises the environmental impact of handling operations.

“We have seen a global trend in port infrastructure improvement initiatives, for maritime authorities to consider many critical factors in the selection of capital equipment – apart from a machine’s performance merits,” said Managing Director Ken Mouritzen.

“In addition to handling efficiencies, important features to consider in the selection of handling equipment include the machine’s durability for operation in harsh marine conditions, its certification for safe use in potentially explosive atmospheres and the alleviation of environmental damage from fugitive dust.”

He said the company’s service to the shipping sector encompassed a detailed analysis of the port’s supply chain requirements prior to the recommendation of equipment for improved efficiencies.

“Our team, with a thorough understanding of port logistics, offers custom-designed solutions designed to enhance handling performance and improve on-site safety, in line with the latest environmental regulations.

“A recent success for BLTWorld, was the delivery last year, of four new Samson Eco Hoppers to Kenya’s Port of Mombasa, which are used for the discharge of dry bulk materials. This equipment, which has significantly improved efficiencies of dry bulk cargo handling at the port, also mitigates environmental damage from fugitive dust.”

Mouritzen said the hoppers were designed to handle the characteristics and flow properties of bulk materials, including cement clinker, coal and gypsum. They also provide dust and spillage-free unloading through a dust control system, that minimises the escape of dust during the grab discharge cycle.

“Samson Eco Hoppers are manufactured to withstand tough conditions and are supported by ATEX certification for safe use in potentially explosive atmospheres. Fully mobile with powered travel and crabbing functionality for easy positioning alongside the vessel during unloading, the hoppers can be manoeuvred off the quay, freeing up space when they are not in use.”

The company’s range of Samson bulk handling equipment also includes material and boom feeders for loading and high capacity stockpiling, link conveyors and grab hoppers, as well as mobile shiploaders.

Mouritzen said that according to port authorities, the benefits of combining a receiving unit with a mobile shiploader offer a viable and economical alternative to fixed conveyor installations, without compromising performance or reliability.

He said Samson shiploaders have minimal impact on existing port operations because they can be moved clear of the berth when they are not in use. Diverse cargoes can also be handled without cross contamination.

“These shiploaders have integrated specialised facilities to speed up vessel loading and trimming, which significantly reduces freight rates. Shortened loading periods enable fast ship turnaround, which also lowers harbour charges.”

BLTWorld’s range of materials handling equipment for the shipping sector also includes a fleet of refurbished forklift trucks, container handlers and reach stackers. Mouritzen said that with banks now offering limited finance options, there is a growing trend for companies to rent equipment, rather than make a substantial investment in new machinery.

For this reason, BLTWorld supports its entire range of new and reconditioned machines with a rental option. A maintenance programme designed to suit each customer’s requirements, is tailored for optimum performance and extended service life of every machine.

The company – with a branch network in Africa, North America and Australia – offers a technical advisory and original spare parts service to all sectors, including shipping, mining and quarrying, civil engineering and construction, general engineering and agriculture.

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