Edinburgh-based Forth Ports hails arrival of towering 'straddle carriers' as part of major investment

Two major container terminals operated by Edinburgh-based Forth Ports have welcomed new lifting cranes as part of a multi-million-pound investment in equipment.

The dozen “straddle carriers” were shipped from Poland aboard the specialist vessel the MV Aura which delivered five to the Port of Grangemouth, no the River Forth, and then sailed down the east coast to the London Container Terminal (LCT) in Tilbury with the remaining seven machines. The carriers are fitted with the latest low emission engine technology which is capable of accommodating a transition to alternative non-fossil fuels. They have a 40-tonne load carrying capacity capable of handling the full range of container sizes.

The 12 new straddles form part of Forth Ports’ equipment replacement programme. The current fleet at LCT is 36 while 16 are deployed at Grangemouth. Forth Ports owns and operates eight commercial ports in the UK - Tilbury on the Thames, Dundee on the Firth of Tay and six on the Firth of Forth: Leith, Grangemouth, Rosyth, Methil, Burntisland and Kirkcaldy.

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Chief operating officer Stuart Wallace said: “Our container terminals in Tilbury and Grangemouth are key shipping and distribution locations and it’s essential that we keep investing in our equipment and infrastructure to ensure that we continue to deliver industry leading service provision. These new straddles form part of our multi-million-pound investment in our two busy container ports in Grangemouth and in Tilbury. We strive to ensure that our customers benefit from our investment and see improved turnaround of vessels, efficient landside service as well on-site access to warehousing and key road and rail links.”

The 12 new straddles form part of Forth Ports’ equipment replacement programme. Picture: Robert Perry

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