Investment in straddle carriers at Scotland's largest container terminal to facilitate growth

THE Port of Grangemouth has taken delivery of five new straddle carriers as part of a multi-million-pound investment in terminal equipment.

Arriving at Scotland’s largest container terminal within the Port of Grangemouth, the Kalmar/Cargotec straddle carriers are the first phase of taller straddles purchased by Forth Ports north of the Border. Built in Port of Gdynia, Poland and shipped into the port aboard the specialist cargo ship Taiga Desgagnes, they will increase capacity by 50% at the terminal by allowing containers to be stacked up to three high instead of the existing two.

The diesel-electric straddles are fuel efficient, low noise and compliant with the latest exhaust emission regulations.

Senior port manager Derek Knox said that the new straddles will facilitate increased container volumes moving through the port in the coming months and years. "This investment builds on a year of growth in container volumes in Grangemouth despite the current economic uncertainty," he said.

"The additional capacity that will be created further secures our position as Scotland’s largest container terminal with a modern fleet of equipment and the supply of storage capacity to meet future demands.

"In Grangemouth we handle some of the country’s most valuable exports, such as fine foods and drinks, so flexibility and durability of our equipment is essential with further investment in our straddle carrier fleet planned over the next few years.”

The straddles will be put into operation next month following an induction period and training for straddle drivers. More than £6 billion worth of goods passes through Grangemouth each year including food and drink, steel plate, timber, paper and equipment for the oil and gas industry.

Forth Ports owns and operates eight commercial ports in the UK – Tilbury on the Thames, Dundee on the Firth of Tay and six on the Firth of Forth – Leith, Grangemouth, Rosyth, Methil, Burntisland and Kirkcaldy.