#Ports&Shipping - Earlier this year, Afloat highlighted the arrival of Irish built ship-to-shore container cranes worth £10.5 million to the UK North Sea Port of Hull where further business has since taken root, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The growing trade of containers is thanks to the new infrastructure which will double the capacity of the Hull Container Terminal (HCT) to around 400,000 containers annually. The 10-acre facility located on the Humber Estuary, operated by Associated British Ports (ABP) is the third largest short-sea container port on the UK's east coast.
The addition of the new pair of 600 tonne cranes constructed by Liebherr outside Killarney, brings to four container cranes in total located at HCT. The Irish built cranes service ships of up to 500 standard containers, had arrived fully assembled to Hull in April having been transported as deck cargo on board heavy-lift ship HHL Lagos from Cork Dockyard in Rusbrooke.
Port of Hull now handles seven additional vessels per week to include the most recent new operator, I-Motion that began a trading link in the Port of Ghent, Belgium. This development marks the first ever container service linking the Ghent port area and the UK. Of the two ships serving the route, Marus, Afloat adds was the one-time Bell Atlas of the former Bell Lines, which had major operations based out of Waterford City followed downriver at Belview Container Terminal.
The Belgium based operator, I-Motion's arrival on the Humber follows as previously reported the debut in March of Samskip's operations between Hull and Amsterdam in neighbouring Netherlands.
The upgraded facility at HCT comes equipped with four ship-to shore-cranes that operate container handling operations alongside three berths capable of berthing vessels up to 199m in length.
As for the Irish built cranes they form part of a £15 million investment by ABP Port of Hull which also includes the purchase of terminal reach stackers and tug trailers.
In addition the port has created 9,000 square metres of new storage for customers.