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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 16, 2024
Headline for Types of Cranes Used for Container Handling- Reaching Lofty Heights in Maritime Efficiency 
Joanna James Joanna James
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Types of Cranes Used for Container Handling- Reaching Lofty Heights in Maritime Efficiency 

Optimising port terminal efficiency requires state-of-the-art handling machines streamlined with power, speed, and precision to ensure maximum productivity and performance. Here are some vital crane types that play an essential role in the freight handling beehive. 


Ship-to-Shore Cranes

Marine cranes are crucial to enable the daily functionality of the container shipping terminal, such as loading or unloading massive containers, as well as lifting tonnes worth of loads for offshore platform construction, recovering equipment from the seabed, or submerging equipment under the ocean. The most iconic type of STS crane, which is specialised to lock onto an ISO container using a mechanism called ‘twist-lock’, is known as the Panamex crane. The ships they load and unload are typically twelve to thirteen containers wide, and Panamex cranes can be loaded with 40 to 50 tons on a single lift, with a lifting speed of 50 to 125 metres per minute. Post and Super Post-Panamex quay cranes can efficiently handle cargo from container ships 18 to 22 containers wide, with the latter able to accommodate 65 tons on a double lift. 


Gantry Cranes 

With regard to dockside operations, it’s imperative to select the crane based on the nature of the cargo being handled, the level of experience and expertise needed for operating it safely, and other application-specific requisites. The maritime industry is the backbone of the world’s trade, with containerisation raising the bar for operational excellence, as well as modern technology leading to speedier voyages and shorter port stays. The gantry or portal crane, the largest piece of equipment used for shipping operations, plays a significant role in this, responsible for the loading and unloading of cargo to and from container ships. A gantry operator, aided by ship and shore handlers, can typically lift up to four containers at a time during the unloading procedure, whereas during loading, each container is placed individually according to the cargo plan. For a South Asian port station utilising sophisticated container handling equipment, venture no further than the likes of South Asia Gateway Terminals. 


Deck Cranes

Whether it’s the onshore retrieval of goods that don’t possess unloading contraptions or the loading and unloading of cargo, these hydraulic-powered cranes are found on ships or boats, commonly on the upper deck, their compact structure optimising operational efficiency. These cranes are typically utilised at smaller ports that don’t have STS cranes and whose loads don’t have the required infrastructure. 


 Overhead Cranes  

While these suspended cranes are mostly used in factories, they also serve as goliath cranes in cargo terminals, powerfully lifting bulky containers with multi-purpose structures available for different industry applications. 


 Hammerhead Cranes 

Versatile for handling nearly all types of cargo, these reliable structures are found in shipyards and construction sites alike, equipped to handle loads weighing over 350 tons and optimally fitted with a back-extending jib for superior weight balancing. 


 Tower Cranes

Ideal for shipyard construction and handling containers in havens, these cranes can range up to 1000 metres in height and can lift loads to great heights while also gently lowering and moving around extremely hefty materials and bulk loads.