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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Christophe Colomb at Khorfakkan - Employment of 10 cranes

I had earlier posted an article on the giant Christophe Colomb, a big container vessel with capacity of 13344 TEU of which 800 are reefers. The vehicle fitted with modern Pre-swirl stator for increased propulsion efficiency is said to be a strategic asset to CMA CGM and is capable of operation at super eco speed closer to 15 knots. The vessel is the first of the series of 3 which are named after great explorers. Christophe Colomb is the largest container ship ever to sail under French flag. It has 365 M length and 52m breadth with DWT of 157092 & GT 153022.

As you would know, container vessels are cargo ships that carry all of their load in intermodal containers mostly standardized TEU of forty footers. By construction, above a certain size the container ships do not have their own landing gear. So loading and unloading from the vessel can only be done at the Port with the necessary cranes.

Container cranes stationed in Ports have a supporting framework that can traverse the length of a quay and moving platform known as spreader. The spreader can be lowered down on top of a container and locks on to the box at the four locking points known as corner castings using a twistlock mechanism. Typically cranes handle one container at a time, though there are some which have the capability of picking up more. The first use reportedly was at a terminal in Alameda, CA by Matson and was called a portainer.
There are gantry cranes which are overhead structures with hoisting machines mounted on frame or structure. Gantry cranes are for any type of cargo such as timber, paper rolls, containers and any kind of bulk material.
The marvel of vessel’s maiden call at Khorfakkan container terminal during Aug 10 was a record of sorts as 10 cranes were used at a time for unloading containers from the vessel. Gulftainer reports that it worked with a maximum of 10 cranes and a picture has also been released with cranes all over the ship. It is stated that technically it is feasible to fit 12 cranes within the lengthwise stack profile of 365 m LOA ship.

According to reliable reports, CMA CGM Christophe Colomb is the largest vessel ever to enter the recently expanded terminal at Khorfakkan. When the vessel made its maiden foray into the terminal, the operations commenced with 10 cranes lined up and with around 7000 moves a record breaking performance in offloading had been achieved.

Khorfakkan is a town located along the Gulf of Oman on the east coast of United Arab Emirates. It is scenically beautiful part and means creek of two jaws. It belongs to the Emirates of Sharjah but is geographically surrounded by the emirate of Fujairah. It has a natural deep water port and is a major container terminal. KCT is managed by international port management company Gulftainer on behalf of the Sharjah Ports Authority, and is widely considered to be amongst the most efficient terminals in the world, a crucial factor for companies operating large vessels between Asia and Europe. KCT has 1900 meters of quay, 20 world class gantry cranes and water depths allowing entry of largest vessels. It is a major transhipment port with numerous feeder connection to gulf ports of hinterland, Iran, East Africa. Gulftainer Co was established in 1976 and primarily manages and operates container terminals in Port Khalid and Khorfakkan.

It is claimed that the efficient operations ensured the leaving of the terminal by Christophe Colombo in 24 hours which then proceeded her eastward voyage to Asia.

Regards - Sampathkumar S


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