In March 2019, Ports de Lille ordered four SMV 4545 TCX4 BH barge handlers, as their operations have been growing in the north of France. Two reach stackers will go to Port de Santes and two will be at Port de Béthune-Beuvry.
Lille is the third-largest inland waterway port in France, behind only Paris and Strasbourg. In 2018, it handled over 7.9 million tons of freight. As it continues to manage such large volumes, it must periodically upgrade its container handling equipment to ensure a continuous, efficient flow of traffic through such an important European transport hub.
This isn’t their first experience with Konecranes equipment and services – they already had a SMV 4527 CB5 reach stacker. So when the need arose to start a new traffic line, intended to link Santes to Béthune, Konecranes was the obvious choice. The two barge handlers at the Santes terminal will help load departing ships, while the other two will stay at the Béthune facility to unload vessels upon arrival.
Barge handlers are reach stackers that have been specially adapted for loading and unloading the floating barges used on inland waterways. Scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2019, all four of the barge handlers going to Lille have a first- and second-row capacity of 45 tons. With a wheelbase of 9,000 mm, they provide excellent stability and reach, and can lift up to 28 tons on the fourth row across a barge, which in terminal mode goes up to 34 tons.
TRUCONNECT Remote Services will provide both maintenance support and safety features like height warning alarms and speed limits.
”This is a very busy port,” says Alain Lefebvre, Directeur General de Port de Lille. “With our new traffic line, we needed to strengthen our fleet to maintain our current level of throughput with equipment that does much more than just lift cargo. Konecranes has offered us exactly what we want.”
Heavy Handling, the Belgium-based dealer that placed the order, also impressed Lille with their professional sales approach, prior experience with Konecranes products and fully-equipped mobile workshops for fast on-site technical assistance when needed.
“We’re excited to be working with the Port of Lille,” says Tobias Åkesson, Area Sales Manager, Konecranes Lift Trucks. “These reach stackers will help them to keep their operations smooth and efficient as they expand into additional working areas.”
The fact that Konecranes Lift Trucks had previously joined together with Heavy Handling to deliver several machines of this size to various river terminals in Belgium in the last couple of years assured Ports de Lille that they could trust both the technology and service back-up for their new reach stackers.
“We are extremely satisfied with this great order,” says Christophe Crombez, COO of Heavy Handling. “The experience and drive of our sales team combined with the skills of our factory-trained technicians makes Heavy Handling the perfect partner for your logistical challenges.”