Extraordinary shipments are a common sight at the Wallmann terminal in Hamburg. The breakbulk terminal, in which Rickmers-Linie holds a share of just over 25 per cent, specialises in the handling of out-of-gauge, heavy lift and project cargo. At the end of September 2010, a particularly unusual cargo was loaded onto the multipurpose vessel Rickmers Jakarta: three rail-mounted cranes manufactured by Kirow AG en route for the Far East. The shipment is bound for Xingang, China, where it is scheduled to arrive on 24 November 2010. Kühne & Nagel in Markranstädt and Hamburg participated in the forwarding arrangements involved in the transport from Kirow’s plant in Leipzig, Germany, via Hamburg to Xingang.
Each railway crane has a length of 19.5m and weighs 167 tonnes. They can be combined to form a block train. Rated at 160 tonnes, these cranes are even able to move whilst under load. The customer in China is the Chinese Ministry of Railways, which will utilise them in various locations.
This shipment is part of a larger project that in total will have seen 16 railway cranes shipped to China between December 2009 and November 2010. Previously Rickmers-Linie has carried Kirow railway cranes from Hamburg to China between 2006 and 2008. Some of these cranes are today being used in Tibet, under extreme conditions such as temperatures of minus 40 degrees Celsius and altitudes of around 5,000m.
Rickmers Jakarta is one of nine identical ships which were phased into service between 2002 and 2004. Operating in Rickmers-Linie’s highly successful eastbound Round-the-World Pearl String service, these vessels connect the world’s major industrial centres. The service offers fortnightly sailings from Hamburg, Antwerp and Genoa to Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and China. From there, the ships sail via Japan and South Korea to North America. In New Orleans, Houston and Philadelphia, they load cargo for both Europe and Asia.