Container Terminal and Container Crane

A container terminal is a facility where cargo containers are transshipped between different transport vehicles, for onward transportation. The transshipment may be between container ships and land vehicles, for example trains or trucks, in which case the terminal is described as a maritime container terminal. Alternatively the transshipment may be between land vehicles, typically between train and truck, in which case the terminal is described as an inland container terminal.
Maritime container terminals tend to be part of a larger port, and the biggest maritime container terminals can be found situated around major harbours. Inland container terminals tend to be located in or near major cities, with good rail connections to maritime container terminals.
Both maritime and inland container terminals usually provide storage facilities for both loaded and empty containers. Loaded containers are stored for relatively short periods, whilst waiting for onward transportation, whilst unloaded containers may be stored for longer periods awaiting their next use. Containers are normally stacked for storage, and the resulting stores are known as container stacks.
In recent years methodological advances regarding container terminal operations have considerably improved. For a detailed description and a comprehensive list of references see, e.g., the operations research literature.  

A container crane (also container handling gantry crane or ship-to-shore crane) is a type of large dockside gantry crane found at container terminals for loading and unloading intermodal containers from 
Container cranes consist of a supporting framework that can traverse the length of a quay or yard, and a moving platform called a "spreader". The spreader can be lowered down on top of a container and locks onto the container's four locking points ("cornercastings"), using a twistlock mechanism. Cranes normally transport a single container at once, however some newer cranes have the capability to pick up two to four 20-foot containers at once. 


Container cranes are generally classified by their lifting capacity, and the size of the container ships they can load and unload containers.


A "Panamax" crane can fully load and unload containers from a container ship capable of passing through the Panama Canal (ships 12–13 containers wide).

Post Panamax

A "Post-Panamax" crane can fully load and unload containers from a container ship too large (too wide) to pass through the Panama Canal (normally about 18 containers wide).

Super-Post Panamax

The largest modern container cranes are classified as "Super-Post Panamax" (for vessels of about 22 or more containers wide). A modern container crane capable of lifting two 20-foot (6.1 m) long containers at once (end-to-end) under the telescopic spreader will generally have a rated lifting capacity of 65 tonnes. Some new cranes have now been built with 120 tonne load capacity enabling them to lift to four 20-foot (6.1 m) or two 40-foot (12 m) containers. Cranes capable of lifting six 20-foot-long containers have also been designed. Post-Panamax cranes weigh approximately 800–900 tonnes while the newer generation Super-PostPanamax cranes can weigh 1600–2000 tonnes.

Smaller sizes

Smaller sizes of container cranes, such as small straddle carriers, are used at railway sidings to transfer containers from flatcars and well cars to semi-trailers or vice versa. Both the rolling stock and the trailers may pass under the base. Smaller sizes of container cranes are also used at break-of-gauge transloading facilities.


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