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Liebherr reports strong year for mobile harbour cranes

With sales of 83 cranes in 40 countries, the company claims that its share of the MHC market reached around 65% in 2018

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Liebherr reports strong year for mobile harbour cranes

This claim is based on Liebherr’s "observations of all sales of MHCs in the market, but it is an approximate market share, because we cannot say with certainty how high the sales of the competition are."


Highlights of the year included growing demand for the world’s largest MHC, the LHM 800, with six sales in 2018. For the first time, Liebherr has disclosed that SCT Salerno Container Terminal took delivery of a LHM 800. Previously both Liebherr and Gallozzi group reported delivery of a LHM 600 HR (high rise tower extension variant) in 2017 and an order for two more LHM 600 HRs.


SCT thus operates the largest MHC in Europe.


“Demand for our state-of-the-art handling solution was very stable at a high level during the course of the year," said Andreas Müller, Sales Director for Liebherr mobile harbour cranes. "In addition, we have succeeded in reviving countries and even entire regions that have shown almost no turnover development in recent years. A record year in the UK and an impressive result in Africa are two positive examples.


"In addition, we have continued our success story with the LHM 800, strengthened our existing customer relationships and gained new important accounts. At this point I would like to emphasise very clearly that all this could only be achieved through teamwork across all departments and branches worldwide.”

Shipment of two LHM 600s for Yilport Holding in Guatemala and one LHM 800 for OCUPA in Mexico
Shipment of two LHM 600s for Yilport Holding in Guatemala and one LHM 800 for OCUPA in Mexico

At the beginning of the year, Liebherr received an order for a LHM 420 for Qube Ports in Australia.


While the crane was on its way to Bell Bay, Tasmania, Qube ordered a second crane, type LHM 550, for its operation in Whyalla, South Australia. The new machine will start operation at the beginning of February and represents the ninth LHM crane ordered from Liebherr by Qube in the past five years.


“It’s another exiting investment and a demonstration of Qube’s commitment to SIMEC and the port of Whyalla,” said Todd Emmert, Director of Qube in WA. “Liebherr has worked very hard to shorten our delivery to suit our client’s needs.”


In March, Liebherr delivered a LHM 120 to the Belgium port worker-training centre OCHA. The new machine is the third training device Liebherr provided to OCHA.


In April, Liebherr Maritime Cranes launched the first purely electrical port crane, the LPS 420 E at the Transrussia exhibition in Moscow, Russia. The newly-designed machine is a purely electric driven portal crane. All crane movements like luffing, hoisting, slewing and travelling are done by electric motors.


The forward-looking machine is designed for ports and terminals with an electrical infrastructure. Equipped with two winches, each with a powerful 190 kW electric motor, the LPS 420 E provides a maximum load capacity of up to 124 tonnes. The first unit has already been sold and will be delivered in the course of the year.

Typical short sea shipment: MeriAurora flat deck ro-ro with LHM 420 for Greenore Port, Ireland
Typical short sea shipment: MeriAurora flat deck ro-ro with LHM 420 for Greenore Port, Ireland

In the second half of the year, Karmsund Havn IKS purchased the biggest mobile harbour crane in Norway, an LHM 550. The machine will be used in the new Haugesund Cargo Terminals, Husøy, Norway’s most modern port terminal.


Yilport Holding, a subsidiary of Yildrim Group, recently acquired a multi-purpose terminal in Quetzal, Guatemala. At the beginning of October, two Liebherr mobile harbour cranes type LHM 600 were delivered from Liebherr’s maritime production facility in Rostock, Germany to the facility. The machines are equipped with a tower extension of 12m, which provides a maximum cabin height of more than 37m.


2018 was also the year of the LHM 800, the largest mobile harbour crane in Liebherr’s portfolio. At the beginning of the year, Saqr Port Authority received the delivery of two LHM 800s. These two cranes are the first LHM 800 in bulk handling configuration delivered by Liebherr.


OCUPA received an LHM 800 in container handling configuration for its terminal in Manzanillo, Mexico - again, this order has not previously been reported.


In 2019, Liebherr will also deliver two more LHM 800s to existing customers for them. Fenix’s Port of Bronka was the first customer of the LHM 800 and will receive another unit this summer. These two heavy lift types will be the strongest MHCs worldwide, each with a maximum lifting capacity of 308 tonnes. With the order for the third LHM 800, Montecon is now the world’s largest operator of the LHM 800 in terms of numbers. The device is also the 10th Liebherr mobile harbour crane operated by Montecon at its terminal in Montevideo.


“We feel confident as we rely on the trustworthiness of Liebherr and its entire staff; they are strategic partners in the development of our business," said Juan Olascoaga, General Manager of Montecon.


"Our mobile harbour cranes are doubtlessly our main fixed asset, and they determine the service level that we provide to our customers. This is why Liebherr’s reliability and aftersales support are essential values to us.


The Africa region revived for Liebherr in 2018. In addition to the LHM 420, which is extremely popular in Africa, an LHM 280 and several large machines with a maximum capacity of up to 154 tonnes were sold.


Liebherr also sold the largest MHC for container handling in North America to Canaveral Port Authority in 2018. The device was recently delivered. “We very much welcome the decision of Canaveral Port Authority to invest in Liebherr mobile harbour crane technology type LHM 600 high rise," said Andreas Ritschel, Area Sales Manager for Liebherr MHCs and reach stackers.


"The rapidly growing number of Liebherr mobile harbour cranes in North America confirms our leading position in this area. The new crane provides the port flexibility for all their upcoming operations due to the special double layer winch providing an outstanding lifting height of up to 85m."


Another record was achieved with a total of eight units sold in Great Britain. Machines with lifting capacities from 64 to 144 tonnes were represented here. An LHM 550 delivered to Rosyth for the customer Forth Ports also marks the largest mobile harbour crane in Scotland.


Looking ahead, Leopold Berthold, Managing Director Sales for Liebherr Maritime Cranes, said: “Despite unstable political and economic conditions, some of which are difficult to predict, the outlook for 2019 is positive.


"The existing order backlog is promising and indicates that the Liebherr mobile harbour crane will continue on its successful course. We would like to thank all our customers for the trust they have placed in us. We will work hard as a team to meet their expectations.”

Italgru IMHC 2120 in operation in Terneuzen
Italgru IMHC 2120 in operation in Terneuzen
Genma is introducing intelligent grabbing technology in its new third generation MHCs
Genma is introducing intelligent grabbing technology in its new third generation MHCs

There is a separate report in this weekly alert about some of Konecranes Gottwald’s 2018 activities. Clearly, Liebherr and Konecranes Gottwald are the biggest suppliers in the global mobile harbour crane market, but Italy’s Italgru Srl and China’s Genma (Rainbow Heavy Industries) should not be discounted.


Italgru reports that 2018 was a very good year for it. It delivered a total of 18 mobile harbour cranes and pedestal offshore cranes and says that the outlook for 2019 is very positive, with turnover set to increase by 30-40%.


Gemma has two GHC 150 mobile harbour cranes for delivery to Acajutla, El Salvador this year. The company claims that its new third generation crane offers up to 20% more productivity, due to improved sway control in container/other piece goods handling and "intelligent" grab fill control in bulk handling mode.

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