A “conveyor belt” between offshore and onshore terminals
Thanks to the creation of a sort of “continuous conveyor belt” between the offshore terminal and the onshore terminals (and vice-versa), it is possible to abolish downtime in the loading and unloading phases of containers and their transfer onshore.
The conveyor combines the synergistic work of cranes, automated straddle carrier and the “mama vessels” – LASH vessels which, exploiting the Archimedes’ principle and the compressed-air technology of the British Royal Navy submarines, transfer containers to onshore terminals.
Such a perfect mix is able to sharply reduce offshore-onshore travel time compared to the normal boats now on sale and, combined with the barges (“cassettes” which carry 384 containers each), allows for continuous-cycle handling and a system which always works at full working capacity.
This way, it is possible to manage working peaks as flexibly as possible giving priority to ready containers and managing the delivery of less urgent containers at soft times.
Some terminal performance data with 2 “mama vessels” and 20 “cassettes”:
- Oceangoing ships (up to 18,000 TEUs) will be loaded/unloaded in less than 24 hours,
- Maximum productivity of the offshore quay cranes: 34 movements/hour
- Transit time of one import container from the berth of the oceangoing ship at the offshore terminal to the container warehouse at Porto Marghera: minimum 5 hours, maximum 25 hours, 15 hours (average)
- Transfer of containers from offshore terminal to onshore terminal by “Mama Vessel”: 3 hours and 20 minutes
- Productivity per quay metre in line with international standards, top ranking at a European level: onshore 986 TEUs/metre; offshore 1,040 TEUs/metre.