New cranes improve port safety

Two new mobile cranes arrive at Eastland port. Photo: Supplied

Two mobile harbour cranes at Eastland Port in Te Tairāwhiti Gisborne will ensure safer and more efficient handling of cargo for port workers and truck drivers.

Mt Maunganui-headquartered port logistics company ISO installed the two cranes in November.

Chief executive Paul Cameron says the “world leading” technology would help transform the port operations.

“The new technology will remove our people from high-risk areas on the wharf and enable cargo to flow more efficiently through the increasingly pressured supply chain.”

The company is upskilling and training staff and moving them out of high-risk areas into other machinery-based roles within the business.”

The German-manufactured Liebherr mobile harbour were chosen because they suit the operating environment, with advanced technology and safety specifications.

Four of the cranes were installed at the Ports of Tauranga at Mt Maunganui last year with good results. One of those cranes will be shofted to Te Tairāwhiti so there is three cranes at each site.

ISO chief operating officer Andrew Davies says they have seen significant improvements in safety and productivity in Mt Maunganui with the introduction of mobile harbour cranes, including a 75 per cent reduction in incidents.

“The cranes provide a safer, more efficient and reliable method of loading logs directly from trailers into the vessel’s hold with mobile cranes instead of ships’ cranes.

“We expect to see similar results in Te Tairāwhiti. The mobile cranes allow us to handle all types of cargo for a wider range of vessels, which increases handling cycles, lift capacity and vessel turnarounds – which means a better result for our customers, our business, and the port.”

Eastland Port Infrastructure Manager Marty Bayley says they have the largest infrastructure developments in a century happening at Eastland Port over the next few years, including stage one of the Twin Berth project beginning in a few months.

ISO is the sole stevedore operator at the port, and their new mobile cranes will help keep exports moving as volumes grow in Te Tairāwhiti.

The mobile cranes weigh 465 tonnes each, with a 51-metre maximum lifting height, 54-metre maximum outreach, and a maximum load of 124 tonnes.

ISO handles more than half of New Zealand’s log exports, and is applying robotics, automation and IT across its operations nationwide to minimise exposure to hazards and move its people into more skilled roles.

Over the past three years, thirteen Robotic Scaling Machines (RSM’s) for scaling logs have been installed across ISO’s North and South Island operations to automate the accurate volumetric measurement (scaling) of export logs on trucks and trailers. The world-first robotic technology was developed by Tauranga-based Robotics Plus in collaboration with ISO.

Earlier this year, ISO started the rollout of its Automatic Tally Stations, developed by its technology team, to replace manual scanning of tickets on packets of logs at the wharf following scaling through the RSM offsite.

When the truck drives through the new stations, tickets attached to the logs are scanned automatically while drivers safely stay in the truck. In addition, mobile harbour cranes allow logs to be loaded directly from trucks onto vessels.



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