Gottwald and Liebherr review container crane segment

By Euan Youdale03 February 2009

Two Gottwald G HSK 6424 B four-rope grab portal harbour cranes, a variant of Generation 5, Model 6,

Two Gottwald G HSK 6424 B four-rope grab portal harbour cranes, a variant of Generation 5, Model 6, handle coal in the Port of Tyne, UK

Liebherr and Gottwald have released 2008 reviews of their container crane segments.

Liebherr says it has increased its market share of the mobile harbour crane market. With the delivery of 102 machines in 2008, the company sold 100 units for the first time.

The figure equates to an increase of 16% in deliveries compared to 2007, and is the third double-digit growth in a row. "In Europe Liebherr noticeably increased order intake. Once again, Europe was the largest market worldwide, where 50% of all mobile harbour cranes were purchased," said the company.

Europe was followed by the Middle East, with a 17% share. Third place was taken by Africa, with 13%, closely followed by South America, 9%. North America, India and the Far East shared the remaining 11% almost equally.

"The worldwide rise in demand for mobile harbour cranes had a positive impact on the development of sales. Top selling countries in 2008 were Spain and Kuwait with 13 machines delivered each. Brazil and Turkey, with six cranes each, increased their importance as sales markets. They were positioned just before Nigeria, UAE and Russia, taking five machines each, in third place. These seven nations account for over 50% of the total global consumption."

New customers in 2008 included Angola and Latvia. Now Liebherr says it will further expand its global presence in its major markets. In 2008 Liebherr Africa was founded with its registered office in Durban, South Africa. The company has also founded two new sales and service stations in Turkey and Romania.

New products included the LHM 180 and LHM 280. "Like their big brothers, the smaller cranes now all feature higher luffing, slewing and hoisting speeds as well as technical up-grades." Some 13 LHM 180s and LHM 280s, as well as an LPS 180, were sold during the year. The LHM 120 will follow in 2009. It will have a maximum lifting capacity of 42 tonnes and 30 m outreach of 30 m, and will complete the new lightweight range.

Top selling models in 2008 were the LHM 500, with 40 sold, and the LHM 400, 32 sold, accounting for over 70% of sales.

Gottwald Port Technology GmbH, a subsidiary of Demag Cranes AG, was looking back on a successful 2008, despite the global economic environment, it said.

"In the 2008 calendar year, we were able to sell 92 harbour cranes, including mobile harbour cranes and such derivatives as portal harbour and floating cranes. As a result, we were very close to the excellent result achieved in 2007, when we sold 96 machines. All this is quite pleasing but we cannot ignore the fact that we will also notice the economic crisis which is expected to deepen further in 2009 and also poses challenges for Gottwald. However, thanks to its innovative market approach and new developments of versatile technology, Gottwald sees itself as being well positioned to provide optimum solutions for customer-specific requirements," said Dr. Robert Wassmer, Gottwald CEO

Orders were, again, received from all geographical regions in 2008. New entries into the market included Georgia and Estonia, Oman, Guinea, as well as Paraguay and Suriname, in Latin America.

Of the 92 cranes sold in 2008, 34 were ordered by European terminals, representing 36.9% of order intake. Outside Europe, sales in Africa were particularly satisfactory with 16 cranes, 17.4% of orders, says the company. Latin America also continued to show growth with 13 cranes, 14.1% of orders, sold. Other important markets were Asia and the Middle East, with orders totaling 24. Together they accounted for 26.1% of orders.

Gottwald's Generation 5, Model 6, the company's new bestseller, accounted for 51.1% of orders with 47 units sold. Four-rope grab cranes for professional bulk handling accounted for 20.7% of orders, with 19 units sold.

The 140-tonne G HMK 7608 Mobile Harbour Crane, a Generation 5, Model 7 variant is scheduled to go into commercial operation at the end of April 2009 and will handle a broad range of cargo including containers, general and project cargo.

The total number of floating cranes sold to date has increased to 15 units since the launch in 2004. In addition, Gottwald won a new customer and sold its second floating crane for operations on the open sea. The G HPK 8200 B, was ordered by PT Indo Straits in Indonesia. "We are very pleased to note this positive development which clearly shows that our decision to combine our proven Mobile Harbour Crane technology with floating barges was absolutely right," said Wassmer.

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