The London Gateway container terminal has received the first three of 24 giant gantry cranes from China as it prepares to handle its first container ship in the final quarter of 2013.
The 2,000-ton cranes, the first in the U.K. to be able to lift four containers at once, arrived at the terminal on Friday after a two-month-long sea voyage from the Port of Shanghai.
Two more of the 453-feet-tall cranes, built by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries, left China last week and a further 19 are planned for delivery to the DP World-owned terminal during the coming years.
The $1.5 billion London Gateway terminal on the north bank of the River Thames will have an initial handling capacity of 1.6 million 20-foot-equivalent units, and includes Europe’s biggest logistics park.
“A world-class deep-sea container port requires a world-class set of cranes. They will be the lynchpin of the operation — the biggest, most modern and most efficient the U.K. has ever seen,” said Simon Moore, chief executive of DP World London Gateway.