January 31 - With the impending delivery in March of its one hundredth mobile harbour crane for the African continent, Liebherr is set to celebrate a major milestone.

The type LHM 550 crane will be delivered to APM Terminals Apapa, Nigeria.

Its fleet will then comprise nine heavy-duty machines operating at terminals in Benin, Luanda and Apapa. Being one ofLiebherr's major customers in Africa, APM Terminals Apapa has played an important role in helping the crane manufacturer to reach this 100th delivery milestone.

In 1976, just two years after entering the mobile harbour crane business, Liebherr supplied its first two LHMs to Africa.

The company says that on-going economic development in several African countries has favoured an increased demand for highly competitive and top quality products, which provide maximum flexibility. The effect has been a massive increase in mobile harbour crane deliveries to Africa in recent years.

Since 2007, more than 70 Liebherr mobile harbour cranes have started operation in Africa, with diverse range of models covering various applications in container, bulk and general cargo handling

When it comes to geographical distribution, Nigeria accounts for almost one quarter of all Liebherr mobile harbour cranes in Africa with a total of 24. Taken together, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia represent the African region with the largest number of Liebherr mobile harbour cranes - 43 in total machines.

Regarding Liebherr's competitive product range, so far LHM 400 and LHM 250 represent the most important models in Africa, each with 19 machines in operation. Considering the quite recent market launch of the LHM 550 in 2010, this type truly has potential to become the best selling mobile harbour crane in Africa with already 8 machines in operation and several orders in the backlog, Liebherr claims.

The global trend towards heavy-duty cranes may even increase the demand for LHM 550s, which is the second biggest mobile harbour crane in Liebherr's portfolio. In addition to that, Liebherr wants to further expand its market presence in Africa with its newest model, type LHM 420, designed for versatile and efficient cargo handling with a maximum lifting capacity of 124 tonnes.

Don't forget that the March/April edition of HLPFI will contain our first ever supplement on the state of the heavy lift and project forwarding market in West Africa. To promote your involvement in the region's heavy lift and project forwarding logistics activities, contact us now.