The 5,000th Kalmar straddle carrier rolls out of the assembly unit in Stargard Szczecinski, Poland, part of an early 2014 delivery of 44 electric carriers for Asciano's Patrick Port Botany terminal in Sydney, Australia.
"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.