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Sunday, November 3, 2019

On Container handling - what is a Portainer ?

Dear (s)
Recently, I had detailed something on a Reach stacker.  That was an equipment a la fork lift used for lifting and stacking containers.  There are some more equipments which handle containers - one such is called a Portainer.   A portainer, also known as a container crane is a large dockside crane in the form of a specialized type of gantry crane used to load and unload container ships.  These are seen in modern ports and container terminals.   Here is how it looks :
 Container Cranes are generally classified by their lifting capacity, and the size of the container ships they can load and unload containers. A modern container crane capable of lifting two 20 foot long containers at one time will generally have a rated lifting capacity of 65 long tons from under the Spreader.   Here is a photo of containers getting loaded onto a ship. 
Container cranes have a special lifting device called a spreader bar for loading and discharging of containers. The spreader bar has four or eight (twin-lift) twist locks which lock and unlock into the corner castings of the containers and can be used in 20', 40', or 45' positions depending on the size of the containers.  Horizontal gantry rails and their supporting structure are cantilevered out from between frame uprights spaced to suit the length of a standard freight container, so that the gantry rails project over a quayside and over the width of an adjacent ship allowing the hoist to lift containers from the quay and move out along the gantry rails on its trolley to place the containers on the ship.
In any busy port it would be a common sight to see trucks and container lifters manoeuvring underneath the  base of the portainer and collect the cargo boxes. But for a Man, it  is quite awesome and walking under the equipments handling bulky containers could well be an exercise of trepidation.   This is how the walk under could be ……………….
Scientific advances are to be marvelled but personally a walk under such equipment would evoke rather queer thinking.  Such fear of course would subside with experience and confidence or perhaps would  just fade away when one has to think of so many other things not mundane.
To conclude, understand that this term  Portainer is a registered trademark of Paceco Corp. who is generally believed to have delivered the first Container Crane to a marine terminal in Alameda, CA in the 1960s.    Not sure whether this company has anything connected to the namesake  small town in Sicily, Italy which has inhabitants of around 11000 only.  Bigger the equipment, bigger could be the magnitude of loss .

With regards  -   S Sampathkumar

PS :  Shared with my group on 10/12/2007; made as draft in Feb 2012   and posted on the blog now.

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