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More Kalmar RTGs for Norfolk Southern

US railroad opts for process automation rather than brute force with its new RTGs.

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Kalmar has signed a deal to supply Norfolk Southern with four Kalmar “SmartPower” RTGs. Two machines will be installed at Norfolk Southern’s Landers terminal in Chicago, Illinois and two at Rossville in Memphis, Tennessee. The order was booked in Cargotec’s 2018 Q4 order intake with delivery scheduled to be completed by the end of Q4 2019.


Norfolk Southern already operates two Kalmar RTGs (with 8-wheels, 6+1 span and stacking height of 1-over-4) at Landers, after earlier redesigning the terminal to feature a separate stacking block. The redesign project also incorporated implementing a container position system for real time container inventory.


Norfolk Southern had ambitions goals when it introducing stacking RTGs at Landers, targeting a 60% improvement in trucker dwell time for international import containers, and a more than 100% increase in capacity. Opting for Kalmar SmartPower RTGs, however, shows that the railroad is not looking to high crane speeds to achieve its targets.


Kalmar claims its SmartPower diesel genset “uses up to 10 litres less fuel per hour than most diesel RTGs on the market, thanks to its significantly smaller diesel engine and intelligent power management system”. The trade off of using a smaller genset without a hybrid system to supply additional power is lower operating speeds, particularly for the hoist. At 20m/min with a 41t load the hoist is 50% slower than other RTGs on the market.


Norfolk Southern seems to subscribe to the view that it is better to purchase more energy efficient cranes and achieve productivity by organising the workflow efficiently and eliminating delays identifying and locating containers. To keep the cranes working efficiently Norfolk Southern has ordered Kalmar’s SmartRail automated gantry steering solution, Kalmar SmartStack container positioning system, and the Kalmar SmartMap visualisation tool. To identify containers under the spreader the cranes will be equipped with an OCR system. They will also be equipped with an electro-mechanical anti-sway system and a rotating Bromma spreader.

Troy Thompson, Vice President, Sales, Kalmar Americas congratulated Norfolk Souther on the order: "We are very pleased to be able to continue our collaboration with Norfolk Southern and to support them with the optimisation of their intermodal operations. The proven Kalmar SmartPower RTG provides the perfect balance between productivity and cost efficiency in a variety of container-handling applications."

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