Two older cranes weighing 1100 tonnes were lifted off their rails at the port’s Fergusson Container Terminal making way for three newer and larger cranes at the northern end of the terminal.
The new position of the cranes meant the terminal was better equipped to work on bigger ships and improved automation.
Ports of Auckland’s chief executive Tony Gibson paid tribute to the company’s highly skilled engineering team who worked closely with crane manufacturing company ZPMC.
“We run a very busy terminal so getting this job done quickly and with minimum disruption to shipping was essential. It’s a bit like doing knee surgery at half-time and then getting your player back on the field for the second half,” he said.
Partial automation of the terminal would be a game-changer for the port, ensuring extra terminal capacity without reclamation.
The technology would let the port handle up to 1.7 million twenty-foot equivalent units each year; enough to support an Auckland population of about 2.7m.
Future technology would give the port more capacity to serve a regional population of 5m – more than three times the current population of about 1.4m.