Container bridge

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Container cranes

A container bridge , also known as a container crane or portainer , is a gantry crane with which ISO containers are handled between ship and quay . It is one of the hoists and consists of a crane system, a trolley and a rail system for moving across the quay. The container harness, the so-called spreader , is used as the support means for receiving the container to be reloaded .


Container loading in the port of Hamburg

Using a container bridge can container ships quickly and efficiently loaded and unloaded. A bridge can handle around 20 to 30 transshipment operations per hour, with a maximum of 400–900 t / h. Due to legal regulations, it is operated non-automatically by a bridge vehicle driver. The driver's cab is usually located directly on the trolley so that there is always a good view of the container to be handled from above.

The container bridge provides a runway for the trolley at right angles to the quay wall, which extends across the ship on the water side to the outermost row of containers and across the ship on the land side to the area behind the crane runway. This runway is higher than the highest stowed container layer on the ship. After the container bridge has been driven on the crane runway to the level of the bay of the ship to be loaded, the trolley with the spreader hanging on the ropes of the hoisting winches is placed over the container to be picked up and placed on the container for the actual loading or unloading . After the remote-controlled locking of the twistlocks , the container is lifted up until it is brought to shore or to the ship by moving the trolley, free of obstacles, where it is set down again. When stowed in the hold below deck, the container - guided by the Cellguides - often has to be lowered many levels into the hold or lifted up from there.

On the land side, the containers are transferred to or taken over by another means of transport that transports them to or from the storage location (container stack). For the transport of containers on the terminal will straddle carriers , reach stackers and / or automated transport systems ( Automated Guided Vehicle AGV, Automated Vehicle Lift ALV) is used. Ship-bound handling equipment (e.g. barge or port feeder barge ) is used for transhipment to the seaside . The entire transshipment is often computer-assisted.

The water-side jib of a container bridge can usually be folded up into an almost vertical resting position when not in use, so as not to hinder shipping traffic in the harbor basin and to prevent collisions with the deck structures of the berthing container ships.

Container cranes in Germany

Transport of container cranes on the Elbe to the port of Hamburg

The container cranes on the JadeWeserPort in Wilhelmshaven weigh 1750 t each and are 83 m high. The booms are 69 m long and can lift 120 t. The four new container cranes delivered by ZPMC in Shanghai to the Burchardkai (CTB) container terminal of HHLA in Hamburg in summer 2013 can serve container ships with up to 24 rows of containers side by side with their 74 m long jibs. The height is so great that nine containers can be stacked on deck. Tandem operation allows two 40-foot or four 20-foot containers to be handled with one lift. Each of these bridges has a payload of up to 125 t with a dead weight of 2400 t.

Transport of container cranes

The transport of the container cranes from the manufacturer to the installation site takes place in the fully assembled state on special ships such as the Zhen Hua 10 or the Zhen Hua 23 .


  • B. Brinkmann: Sea ports - planning and design . Springer, Berlin / New York 2005

Web links

Commons : Container cranes  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Bridges are firmly welded . In Wilhelmshavener Zeitung of March 7, 2012, p. 7
  2. [1] Short film about the arrival and construction of the new container cranes at HHLA
  3. Fit for eighteen-thousanders . In: Deutsche Seeschifffahrt , Issue 9/2013, p. 32, Association of German Shipowners, Hamburg 2013. - Twin-Fourty container cranes