Investment in the latest dry-bulk cargo and container handling equipment significantly improves efficiencies at ports and terminals and minimises the environmental impact of handling operations, says Durban harbour-based material handling specialists BLTWORLD.
“We have seen a global trend in port infrastructure improvement initiatives, with maritime authorities considering more critical factors when selecting capital equipment than a machine’s performance merits,” says BLTWORLD MD Ken Mouritzen.
In addition to handling efficiencies, he adds that important features to consider in the selection of handling equipment include the machine’s durability for operation in harsh marine conditions, its certification for safe use in potentially explosive atmospheres, as well as the alleviation of environmental damage from fugitive dust.
Mouritzen says BLTWORLD’s service to the shipping sector encompasses a detailed analysis of the port’s supply chain requirements, prior to the recommendation of equipment for improved efficiencies. “Our team, with a thorough understanding of port logistics, offers custom-designed solutions designed to enhance handling performance and improve on-site safety, in line with the latest environmental regulations.”
A recent success for BLTWORLD was the installation at Kenya’s Port of Mombasa of four Samson Eco Hoppers, which are used for the discharge of dry bulk materials. This equipment, which has significantly improved efficiencies of dry bulk cargo handling at the port, also mitigates environmental damage from fugitive dust.
According to port authorities, combining a receiving unit with a mobile shiploader offers a viable and economical alternative to fixed conveyor installations, without compromising performance or reliability.
Samson shiploaders have minimal impact on existing port operations because it can be moved clear of the berth when not in use. Diverse cargoes can also be handled without cross contamination. These shiploaders have integrated specialised facilities to speed up vessel loading and trimming, which significantly reduces freight rates. Shortened loading periods enables fast ship turnaround, which also lowers harbour charges.
The Stormajor boom feeder – which forms part of the Samson range of bulk handling equipment for shipping – also offers high handling rates. This compact unit combines the benefits of the Samson material feeder, with a radial offloading and luffing boom conveyor, into a single integrated mobile machine, that is able to receive material from tipping trucks and loading shovels.
The Stormajor’s cantilevered slewing offloading boom enables a stockpiling stacking capacity up to a 15 m height, with minimal machine movements and loading rates of 1 500 t/h. Integrated trimming systems with rotating chutes, radial thrower or dust-controlled solutions, enable accurate cargo placement, with minimal environmental pollution.
Meanwhile, BLTWORLD’s Mobicon mobile container handling system efficiently lifts loads onto and off trucks and carries containers around sites at harbours. Containers can be efficiently moved through warehouse doors, effectively taking the container to the stock or the stock to the receiving point. This capability also increases goods security and safety.
An important advantage of this system is that it uses all parts of the yard and operates on pavements and in restrictive areas where a forklift or heavy equipment cannot go. This mobile container handler can turn in tight spaces and is also able to travel under awnings, inside buildings and up to docks.
The Mobicon also eliminates the need for costly yard repairs. One of the biggest problems associated with using conventional equipment to load and unload containers, is damage caused to yards and pavements that are not suitable for carrying heavy weights.
These container handlers ensure improved productivity, faster handling times and reduced capital investment costs. Maintenance requirements are minimal and safety for workers, equipment and containers is significantly improved.
Further, container mover Meclift’s heavy lifting variable reach trucks and side reach stackers machines are designed for swift, efficient and safe handling of heavy loads at ports. Unlike conventional forklift trucks, these machines can drive into containers, or reach inside a container, for easy loading and unloading of goods and equipment.