Modern reefer ship calls

Jul 25, 2003
Author: P&S

One of the more modern reefer ships to call at a South African port arrived at Durban last week to load citrus for Europe.

The 15,890-dwt reefer Luzon Strait is one of two state-of-the-art vessels built in Taiwan for the Dutch Seatrade Groningen company, having entered service in August 2002. Until recently Luzon Strait has been deployed on the New Zealand-Europe service and this marked her first visit to southern Africa.

The ship illustrates most well how reefer shipping is not only about ‘old’ technology and suggests its operators clearly intend meeting the challenges of containerised reefer traffic.

The 167m long ship has a capacity of 7 340 m˛ or 626 010 cubic feet, with an under deck capacity for 5 750 standard pallets. Palletised cargo is stowed on five decks but what really sets this ship apart are the four cargo loading side doors each equipped with 12-tonne capacity pallet lifts, not unlike container gantry cranes, designed by Bergen-based TTS Ships Equipment.

These allow for weather-free cargo handling operations, with pallets being loaded either 8 or 12 at a time, which are lifted and then lowered via a lift shaft into the holds for stowage. Discharge time from the lift cradle was measured at 28 seconds while in Durban, and that was on the first day of operation with the Fresh Produce Terminal people using strange equipment!

The ship carries two 45-tonne SWL cranes with deck space for 220 x 12m containers (440 TEUs) on deck with 200 reefer plugs.

Luzon Strait, as with the sister vessel Lombok Strait, has a Hyundai-MAN B&W main engine delivering 21 490 BHP and a service speed of 21.5 knots, enabling the ships to maintain tight schedules.

Sister ship Lombok Strait is due in Durban in mid-August.

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