Northport and ISO trial loading logs with crane and grapple

August 25, 2022

Keen observers of the happenings on our wharf would have noticed one of our cranes loading logs onto a ship recently. This was part of a two-day trial we conducted with stevedoring company ISO, using our mobile harbour crane and ISO’s grapple to see how effectively we could enhance health and safety  on the port and tackle staffing shortages that continue to plague the sector.

Logs are usually loaded aboard ships using the vessel’s own on-board crane. There is never any guarantee about the condition of these on-board cranes.

This traditional way of loading logs requires a significant number of wharf hands to sling logs and operate a tally station.

Mobile harbour cranes fitted with a grapple can load a greater volume of logs in each lift than the traditional method of using a ship-board crane. This, along with other changes to the process, means that the only personnel required are crane and digger operators. This reduces the number of staff needed to load a ship and removes the risk of personal injury to those particular workers.

ISO is using this system at two other ports - Tauranga and Gisborne – using their own cranes. Some work was needed to ensure compatibility between Northport’s crane and ISO’s grapple but the trial provided a great opportunity for our organisations to work together to reduce operational risk while also addressing challenges posed by the national labour shortage.

Once again our mobile harbour cranes are proving their adaptability and versatility and we couldn’t be more delighted. Mobile harbour cranes remain very much part of our mid and long-term growth plans.