Jumbo Maritime has shipped two ship-to-shore cranes from Taicang, China, to the port of Immingham in the UK.

The cranes, which had a combined weight of more than 1,500 tonnes, were moved onboard Jumbo’s J-Class heavy lift vessel Fairpartner on behalf of Chinese crane manufacturer Nanhua International.

Both cranes stood 75 m tall above deck. One weighed 788 tonnes and the other 810 tonnes.

Aside from the weight, the footprint of the cranes also created some challenges. Jumbo’s senior project engineer Otto Savenije explained: “We used the vessel’s own deck-mounted cranes to lift the first container crane onto temporary rails placed in the middle of the deck. We then moved the container crane forward to its stowage position behind the ship’s accommodation.”

To make this possible, however, Jumbo had to widen the portside of the deck by using the vessel’s own tweendecks as deck extensions. “This created the additional 6.1 m necessary to hold the rails. However, to offset that extra weight on the portside, we had to position a 100-tonne counterweight on the starboard side during lifting operations.”

Fairpartner took just 36 days to arrive at Associated British Ports’ (ABP) facilities in Immingham. Upon arrival, Jumbo had to overcome the most technical part of the transport – accessing the port via a lock that accepts a maximum vessel beam of 26.8 m. Due to the overhanging deck extensions, as well as the protruding jibs of the cranes, standard entry through the lock would not be feasible.

Jumbo decided to raise the jibs of the cranes and pass through the locks at high tide. Savenije said: “After changing our ballast configuration to stabilise the effect of raising the jibs, this meant that we could pass the locks safely, without risking collision with things like buildings, bollards or lampposts on the quayside.”

The passage of Fairpartner through Immingham’s locks can be seen below.