Liebherr Reports Harbor Crane Success
Mobile harbor cranes (LHM) once again contributed strongly to the overall success of Liebherr Maritime Cranes. The 2013 year ranks amongst the most successful ever. Various highlights characterized the year, including the remarkable order intake for the 600 series in Latin America and the launch of the Liebherr Maritime Cranes simulator range.
LHM 600 – top pick in Latin America
Latin America has a clear preference for Liebherr’s largest mobile harbor crane model, type LHM 600. In the last twelve months twelve units of this model have been sold in the Latin American market. Three of these machines are Liebherr barge slewing (LBS) cranes, an efficient combination of the innovative mobile harbor crane concept and a fixed pedestal mounted on a barge. These orders underline the popularity of the LHM 600 and also the trend towards larger cranes in Latin America.
Two LHM 600s for Argentina and Uruguay are based on a special LHM design. An elongated tower extension ensures that the position of the tower cabin is higher than 37 meters. Besides better sight into the ship for the crane driver, one striking benefit is a higher fulcrum point which eases the handling of bigger vessels. All advantages come without any influence on safety or operational parameters like lifting capacity and travelling speed.
LiSIM – simulator-based crane driver training
In spring 2013 Liebherr launched its range of maritime crane simulators in order to increase port safety and productivity by providing a cost-effective and highly efficient crane driver training solution. Approved by training experts, the range of simulated cranes includes mobile harbor cranes, ship to shore, rubber tyre gantry and offshore cranes.
The installation of original Liebherr drive systems, software and hardware guarantees a realistic training experience. The drive systems reproduce all crane movements exactly both in space and in real-time. This allows for a highly professional training in a realistic but virtual environment which eliminates damage to maritime equipment and injuries to port personnel. Moreover, LiSIM is the only realistic virtual solution available in the market for learning the innovative and precise handling of Liebherr’s maritime cranes and their innovative features.
In 2013, Liebherr has already delivered several maritime crane simulators worldwide. Recently, Saqr Port in Ras Al Kaimah, United Arab Emirates, opted for the LiSIM LHM 550 classroom solution which can be easily integrated into existing training centers. Saqr Port’s crane drivers will gain additional experience when operating an LHM under challenging conditions in a safe virtual environment. Moreover, the order comprised a new LHM 550 which represents the sixth mobile harbor crane in their fleet. Their new simulator and mobile harbor crane will be commissioned in the first quarter 2014.
Sales review and outlook
In 2013, various tattered economies managed to recover but global growth is still slow and characterized by uncertainty, especially due to the finance sector. However, it seems that the turning point in terms of world trade volume growth has been left behind and that 2013 was already stronger than the year before, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). And the forecast for 2014 is even better.
For Liebherr mobile harbor cranes the 2013 year was another very successful one. Liebherr delivered almost 80 mobile harbor cranes across the globe and achieved a turnover of €280 million.
Having a closer look at the geographical distribution, Europe (including Russia) is still the main region for Liebherr mobile harbor cranes accounting for more than 40% of the annual deliveries. The African market was ranked second in 2013 with nearly 14%, showing a minus of 7% percent compared to its 2012 share. However, the order backlog for this region indicates that this is just a temporary downturn. Strong signals came from Australia (10%) and North America (7%), compared to 2012 both shares tripled. Also in the Middle East the demand for LHMs rose significantly. Further deliveries to Latin America, India and Asia complete the picture. Key arguments for LHMs valued by customers are versatility regarding application and outstanding efficiency, not only in times of economic uncertainty.
The outlook for 2014 is impressive. Order backlog is on a record level and is much higher than in 2012, which still represents the most successful year. The total order backlog is well above €150 million. This also goes in line with the positive IMF forecast regarding world trade growth. For that reason, Liebherr is optimistic that the demand for mobile harbor cranes will remain very healthy and that 2014 will be another very successful year for Liebherr mobile harbor cranes.