DCT tests its new STS cranes

1-st December 2011

DCT Gdansk, the Baltic’s most modern container terminal, is now capable of operating more efficiently than ever. New post-Panamax STS cranes from Liebherr delivered to DCT on 8th of August 2011 and assembled on site were deployed in mid November, more than 2 weeks ahead of schedule.

DCT tested 5 crane operations for 10 hours on an E class vessel during discharge on 9th of November 2011 – sums up Boris Wenzel, DCT CEO, and achieved a productivity level 60% higher than with three cranes on our first attempt”

DCT will continue to test the new cranes and upgrade existing cranes with enhancements to increase its productivity during the next 3-4 weeks.

“Operating with 5 STS cranes means higher productivity, but most importantly for a medium sized terminal like us, it starts to give us the necessary flexibility to operate multiple vessels at the same time” – adds Boris Wenzel.

In recent months DCT has been growing significantly its Polish import/export volume market share with monthly peaks over 40%, but transhipment volumes remained limited due to DCT’s crane limitations. With the ability to deploy 5 STS cranes on deep-sea vessels and the high productivity levels achieved by its operations team, DCT will significantly reduce the turn-around time of larger vessels allowing the discharge of more significant transhipment volumes.

According to a report from Ocean Shipping Consultants Ltd, DCT Gdansk provides very substantial cost savings to Lines that use it as a hub to serve Russia and other Baltic Sea destinations.

Authors of the report have developed two scenarios: deep-sea call originating in Asia using 8,500 TEU vessels and 1,000 TEU feeders; and an alternative scenario using 12,500 TEU vessels (10,800 TEU in case of Hamburg due to its draught limitations) and 1,500 TEU feeders.

“It is not just in terms of stevedoring costs that we are cheaper than other Northern European ports – refers Boris Wenzel – it is as an overall transhipment solution for shipping Lines that DCT can provide over 10% cost savings in comparison to Rotterdam, and over 15% in comparison to Hamburg. Gdansk is just much closer to the eastern Baltic markets than Hamburg or Rotterdam: while the incremental deep sea cost to Gdansk is marginal, the shorter transhipment legs provide substantial savings.”

As the Asia – Europe trade lane gradually splits into Asia – West Europe and Asia – Baltic trade lanes, the cost of serving the Baltic Sea from distant German and Benelux ports will become increasingly uncompetitive. In addition to lower unit transportation costs to service Baltic destinations, Gdansk offers the advantage of requiring just a single vessel to service a weekly loop to St Petersburg, whereas at least 2 vessels are required on loops from Hamburg or Rotterdam.

“Lines which do not recognize and adapt to these market changes are likely to lose their market share in the Baltic Sea. Gdansk is naturally advantaged with its ability to serve efficiently 15,500 TEU vessels, and with a very strategic position in the region” concludes Boris Wenzel.