Europe’s largest quay cranes arrive in UK to service mega vessels

Two giant cranes weighing more than 2,000 tonnes have been welcomed to a port on the River Thames in a rare event for the UK.

The mammoth quay cranes, the largest in Europe, were offloaded on Wednesday at DP World London Gateway after a two-month journey from China.

Sized to service some of the largest vessels in operation around the world, including 24,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) containerships, the cranes are expected to operate for a minimum of 25 years, making their arrival a rare event in the UK.

The cranes
The quay cranes weigh more than 2,000 tonnes (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The quay cranes are not only the largest in Europe, but also the most advanced, fitted with the latest automation technology and the ability to complete “tandem” lifts, which involves loading or unloading two 40ft boxes or four 20ft boxes in a single move.

Ahsan Agha, vice president of Port Operations at DP World London Gateway, said: “At a time when the pressure to manage costs, maintain reliability and improve speed has never been greater, DP World in the UK has been building a unique array of assets and suite of capabilities to help our customers stay competitive in a fast-changing and unpredictable trading environment.

The cranes were offloaded on Wednesday after a two-month journey from China (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“While they naturally choose us for our growing capabilities, it’s also the quality of our service that makes our customers stay.

“Thanks to the capacity soon to be provided by the quay cranes and the new fourth berth, that service at London Gateway is future-proofed for years to come.”

The cranes will come into service at London Gateway’s new £350 million fourth berth, which will open this summer.

Another two quay cranes are expected to dock at London Gateway later this year.