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Everything in its place

August 29, 2018

At inland logistics terminals like Conterm in Israel, land area is a precious resource. The ingenious containerized delivery method of the Konecranes BOXHUNTER RTG made the most of the available space, resulting in swift and straightforward assembly.

The Gold Bond Group operates its inland container and cargo terminal, Conterm, under the supervision of the country’s customs and port and railway authorities. The terminal specializes in storage and handling services, offering importers and exporters logistics services for all types of cargo and containers. Located close to Ashdod, Israel’s largest port and an important regional industrial center, Conterm has a private railroad extension that expedites the shipment of containers to all parts of the country.

The Konecranes BOXHUNTER Rubber Tired Gantry (RTG) was an ideal machine to fulfill the facility’s varied requirements, including the loading of trucks and trains with containers. Thanks to the fully containerized delivery concept, transporting and assembling Conterm’s two new BOXHUNTERs was a straightforward process.

“The BOXHUNTER RTG crane is constructed with flange connections, because we wanted to create a crane that we could fit entirely into standard 40-foot containers. The crane can be shipped to customers in containers, a great logistical advantage especially when shipping to rural areas and inland terminals. We can offer a short delivery time, keeping costs down, which the customer appreciates,” explains Juha Rantala, Product Manager for the BOXHUNTER at Konecranes.

A recipe for success

Careful design and planning goes into packing the containers used for transporting the BOXHUNTER. Each part has a specific place in each container, much like what professional chefs call “mise en place,” a phrase that roughly translates from the French as “everything in its place.”  Carefully preparing and organizing all the ingredients in advance takes the hassle out of delivery and erection at the customer’s site. 

The crane can be shipped to customers in containers, a great logistical advantage especially when shipping to rural areas and inland terminals. We can offer a short delivery time, keeping costs down.

The BOXHUNTER RTG is packed into its containers in a precisely designed sequence with the help of detailed process instructions. It is quickly unpacked at the customer’s site in a similar fashion.

 “When unpacking the containers in sequence at the customer site, we keep to a rule of thumb of only one move per component. Once we unpack a part, it is taken directly to its place in the assembly layout, so we don’t have to shift it around on the erection site,” Rantala says. This is a big plus at a busy terminal like Conterm, where reach stackers continued to operate in the middle of the yard, leaving an area about the width of a container stack for the BOXHUNTERs to be erected on.

“The containers were delivered to the site about five at a time. We emptied them when the components were needed and then returned them,” recounts Konecranes’ project manager Christian Nötscher. In total, 32 containers were used to ship the two BOXHUNTER RTG cranes, powered by cable reels.

“We used the available area very efficiently by making sure that there was nothing on the site that wasn’t required,” Nötscher sums up. He adds that due to the tough space constraints, once assembled, the first crane needed to be moved out of the way to make room for erecting the second crane.

Judging from the feedback of Arnold Livshits, Project Manager at Gold Bond, the precise planning of the delivery and assembly made a real difference in terms of time efficiency.

“The key factor that made this project a success was the tight control of the project scheduling,” Livshits says, pointing to frequent meetings and close correspondence between Gold Bond and Konecranes prior to delivery.

The key factor that made this project a success was the tight control of the project scheduling.

“We coordinated each and every site action together with operations and the customer directly,” Nötscher says. Gold Bond’s team informed the Konecranes project team about potential obstacles in advance, making it possible to plan with even greater precision. As a result, the delivery was practically fault-free.

“The teams were very professional and knew exactly what they were doing,” reflects Livshits, who was on-site during the delivery. “It went well. There were no unintended moves.”

A radical departure from conventional RTGs

When Gold Bond needed new RTGs for Conterm, they chose Konecranes for a number of reasons, a major one being the accessibility of service support. Livshits explains: “The Port of Ashdod already operates 24 RTGs made by Konecranes, so if we need some support we can always get it.”

Another reason was Gold Bond’s confidence in the BOXHUNTER RTG’s operating concept. With the BOXHUNTER, Konecranes reinvented the RTG by putting the operator in focus in the crane’s ergonomics and user interface. The BOXHUNTER’s cabin is located down at the truck lane, allowing the operator to quickly climb in and out and sit and work in a natural heads-up position with direct line-of-sight to the truck loading and unloading action. At the same time, advanced video and laser technology provide clear visibility where needed.

“We really believe that the crane operator shouldn’t have to climb and sit 16 meters above ground in an un-ergonomic position. Current video technology is good enough to make crane operation safe from the height of the truck lane,” asserts Livshits. 

Another characteristic that makes the BOXHUNTER radically different is its exceptionally modular and standard design. For Gold Bond, it all came down to the right product at the right price.

“Conterm is an inland terminal where the intensity of cargo movement is less than at a seaside container terminal, so Gold Bond could go with a slightly slower crane,” explains Livshits.

That said, he anticipates that adding the two new cranes to their fleet will boost Conterm’s efficiency in more ways than one:

“We expect that the two BOXHUNTERS will allow us to more than double terminal capacity with respect to container storage, and significantly reduce our stack-to-stack moves. At the same time they will reduce fuel costs since they operate on electrical power, and reduce diesel emissions,” he says.

Text: Patricia Ongpin Steffa
Photos: Konecranes, Shutterstock