Global cargo volumes have doubled in the last twenty years, requiring many of the world’s ports and container terminals to expand, upgrade, widen and deepen. The surge in demand for cargo and globalization, in general, is also bringing about the need not just to modify existing sites, but also to build brand new ports in geographically strategic areas. DP World’s recently completed greenfield container port in Yarimca, Turkey – with eighteen RTG (Rubber Tired Gantry) cranes supplied by Konecranes – is a primary example.
Ports are to containers and goods as airports are to people and their luggage: the focal points for millions of daily crossings, transactions and deliveries. Airport arrival and baggage services are becoming more automated, and so are container ports, which now tend to feature state-of-the-art traffic control towers, management nerve centers tracking hundreds of ships, thousands of containers, container cranes and horizontal transports. Also essential to the ports are the high-tech, manned (or automated) container cranes doing the stacking work in the container yard.
Turkey’s newest deep-sea container terminal is DP World Yarimca, located in the automotive and manufacturing hub of Izmit in the country’s northwestern region. The site will have a 1.3M TEU (twenty-foot equivalent container units) capacity when at full strength, three berths big enough to accommodate the latest container megaships, a water depth of 16m at the quayside. The area it occupies covers 480,000 square meters, the equivalent of approximately 67 football fields.
DP World is currently the third largest port operator in the world, with a portfolio of more than 65 container terminals across six continents. With an ambitious blueprint of future development and expansion, the company is expected to raise its global capacity to more than 100 million TEUs by 2020. The December 2015 opening of Yarimca marked an important step towards achieving that goal.
From negotiation to implementation
“It was an interesting project because it has a lot of automation. It’s a very advanced RTG terminal in that sense, with lots of special features in addition to the automation,” states Ville Kosonen, Project Manager, RTG Cranes, Konecranes.
“It was a very important deal for us,” adds Antoine Bosquet, Sales Director, Port Cranes, Region IMEA (India, Middle East and Africa), Konecranes. “DP World is one of the biggest port operators globally. Over the years we have built up a good relationship with them and finally we managed to get this project, which was a critical one for them. It was their first greenfield electric RTG project.” A greenfield is an undeveloped tract of land that is a potential site for industrial development, while electric RTG refers to a rubber tired gantry crane that is driven by electrical power from the grid.
Automation technology at work
The eighteen cranes delivered to the Yarimca site are equipped with an array of automation features that are set to boost the productivity of manned RTG operations in the container yard. Notable ones include Auto-steering, Auto-truck Guiding, Auto-positioning, Auto-TOS reporting, Truck-lift Prevention, Stack Collision Prevention and Real-time RTG Positioning. DP World ordered the cranes with a vision of giving its drivers maximum advantages in both efficiency and safety.