The RAM SingFlex was in the news again this week as DPW London Gateway deployed the system to work a record breaking USAC ship

In order to attract big ships to the port, shipping lines are requiring fast turn arounds and the SingFlex is helping by handling up to 60 boxes an hour.

The news article, published by World Cargo International on the 2nd January 2016 describes how the record breaking achievement was reached.

The 18,800 TEU vessel called London Gateway on 2nd January 2016, as the first port of call in Europe after leaving Port Klang on 17th December, and unloaded 3800 containers.

AL MURAYYKH sailed from Port Klang on 17th December, with 18,600 TEU on board, claimed to be a world record.

The vessel is deployed in the AEC1 service of the Ocean 3 alliance, and was due to call at Felixstowe. It is not clear why UASC chose London Gateway instead.The Met Office showed winds at Felixstowe on New Year’s Day in the 18-24 mph range with gusts up to 35 mph – not enough to close the port.

Instead this ad hoc call at London Gateway appears to have been on the cards for some time and was related to a guarantee of berth and labour availability in the immediate aftermath of the Christmas and New Year holidays. Clearly, too, it could be another “testing the water” call. In February 2015 London Gateway handled a Maersk Triple-E vessel call, when MUNKEBO MAERSK called specifically to pick up empty 40fts before heading back for Asia. However, UASC has discharged loaded containers at the port. Milking the call, DP London Gateway stated: “Many of the goods being unloaded will be on the high streets of the UK in the coming days for the January sales…DP World London Gateway is located closer to key population centres reducing time and costs in UK supply chains.”

In summer this year London Gateway will commision its third ULCS berth capable of handling 400m-plus vessels stacking 23/24-wide on deck. This gives carriers a clear opportunity to play off Felixstowe’s Peter against London Gateway’s Paul.

Commenting on the AL MURAYKH call, Waleed Al Dawood, COO at UASC, was quoted: “We are extremely proud to have achieved a world record breaking load on board AL MURAYYKH , the greenest vessel in the world and one of the largest in operation today. Moreover, this voyage marks a very important milestone in our newbuilding and environmental sustainability program with this being the highest utilisation of our 18,800TEU eco-efficient class to date.”

Simon Moore, CEO, DP World London Gateway, said: “This is a great start to 2016 and we welcome UASC’s world record breaking ship to DP World London Gateway. The ship’s Master, Captain Spisak Andrezej and I, were able to wish each other Happy New Year whilst watching London Gateway’s port cranes unload four containers at a time using our quad-lift innovative technology [Ram Spreaders’ Singflex tandem 40ft/four 20ft spreaders].

“This ship demonstrates the port can take any vessel afloat and provide world class services to carriers. We are now focused on providing this world class service to cargo owners as cargo is collected. Trucks picking up containers are able to pick up faster and safer than ever before.”