The 5,000th Kalmar straddle carrier will be rolled out of the assembly unit in Stargard Szczecinski, Poland, this week. This Kalmar AutoStrad(TM) is a part of 44 electric straddle carriers to be delivered to Asciano’s Patrick Port Botany terminal in Sydney, Australia early 2014.
“We are extremely proud to receive the 5,000th Kalmar straddle carrier in Sydney. The first automated Kalmar straddle carriers were used in commercial operations in 2005 in our Brisbane terminal. This fully automated container handling system was the first of its kind in the world and we are now building a similar system in our Sydney terminal. The unmanned Kalmar AutoStrads(TM) can operate 24/7, delivering significant improvements in onsite safety and also enhancing service delivery to all our customers,” says Alistair Field, Director, Patrick Terminals & Logistics.
The history of the Kalmar straddle carrier dates back to the late 1940s. Many Finnish factories were required to produce items that had never been manufactured before in Finland to aid in war reparations to the former Soviet Union. One item was an odd looking machine that Finnish engineers dubbed the “spider”. Designed for carrying boards at sawmills, the machine was recreated from a small, grainy photograph. In the years that followed, this vehicle was to become the blueprint for the modern straddle carrier.
The first 1,500 straddle carriers were used for transporting boards and other heavy cargo. As the modern shipping container became a worldwide standard, the straddle carrier evolved to meet this new need. The first prototypes for container straddle carriers were built in 1975-76, and they have since become an essential tool at ports and terminals of all sizes.
“Kalmar equipment is continuously being developed and enhanced with incremental improvements for each individual project,” says Tero Kokko, Vice President, Horizontal Transportation Kalmar. “The most notable improvement over the past year is our new engine portfolio designed to meet the increasingly stringent exhaust emission regulations. In addition, energy efficiency, automation, safety and ergonomics are critical areas of development in the next generations of Kalmar straddle carriers.”
As automation is a key element in keeping today’s terminals competitive, it is not surprising that the 5,000th Kalmar straddle carrier is an electric AutoStrad(TM).
It is a long way from the sawmills of 1940s’ Finland to today’s major container ports around the world, but Kalmar straddle carriers continue to draw upon an unparalleled technical heritage and experience in fulfilling their purpose – to improve the efficiency of our customer’s every move.
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