Case study

Grupo CICE and Konecranes take cargo handling at Mexican Atlantic coast to a new level

Assembling of a mobile harbor crane

Greater handling capacity and a long service life: these two factors are often decisive when selecting cranes for container, general and project cargo handling. This is especially true in growth markets such as Mexico, where ships are getting bigger as cargo throughput increases. In Veracruz in the Gulf of Mexico, terminal operator Corporación Integral de Comercio Exterior S.A. de C.V. (Grupo CICE) commissioned a bona fide high performer in August 2022. It was a Konecranes Gottwald ESP.9 mobile harbor crane, already Grupo CICE’s 10th mobile harbor crane from Konecranes – and their first Generation 6 crane, but not for long. Just two months after the new crane’s commissioning, they ordered a second ESP.9.

Grupo CICE was founded in 1991 and is now one of Mexico’s leading logistics groups. In addition to its port activities, they provide logistics and transportation solutions. They are headquartered in the country’s largest Atlantic port, Veracruz. The terminal provides infrastructure and handling equipment for all types of cargo – with a strong focus on container operations. In addition to mobile harbor cranes, Grupo CICE has also been using Konecranes Lift Trucks and RTGs over the years – underlining Konecranes’ role as a provider of comprehensive handling solutions across the port.

Relying on Konecranes since 2001

Growing container handling activities have been pushing the evolution of the Veracruz terminal in the past decades. This is the main reason why Grupo CICE’s mobile harbor crane fleet has expanded steadily since 2001 as Leoncio Perez, CEO of Grupo CICE, explains: “We bought our first Konecranes Gottwald mobile harbor crane in 2001 and put our 10th into service as a Generation 6 ESP.9. All of the cranes have convinced us with their performance and reliability, and our first experiences with the Generation 6 crane have reinforced this positive impression.”

The ESP.9 provides more handling capacity and a longer service life. With its outreach being 7 m higher than their previously largest crane, it helps Grupo CICE serve the very large ships that call at their terminal in Veracruz. Says Leoncio Perez: “With the new crane we can handle containers up to the 20th row efficiently and safely. This represents a decisive competitive advantage for us, so we have already ordered another ESP.9 crane, which we foresee shall go into service by the end of the second quarter of 2023.”

A powerful crane that is comfortable and safe to work in

The Konecranes Gottwald ESP.9 is a large crane model in the Generation 6 line that was introduced in 2021. It provides a working radius of up to 61 m and a maximum lifting capacity of 125 t. It features a strong lifting capacity curve for excellent handling performance and A7 classification in container handling for a long service life. A 5 m tower extension gives an even greater reach and a clear view over ships and the working environment when containers are stacked high on deck.

The tower and cab design make work easier for the crane operator, as Francisco Díaz Trujillo confirms: “From the new Generation 6 tower cab, I have a very good all-round view and always have the feeling that I have everything visible and under control. Thanks to the floor window, I can look down, which makes my job easier. In general, the cabin is designed in such a way that you feel comfortable up there, and the work is really fun. And the fact that the stairs are inside the tower already makes the way up safe and comfortable.”

Grupo CICE and Konecranes:Growing together for more than 20 years

Konecranes works ceaselessly to innovate and provide valuable new features. This is why Konecranes Gottwald Mobile Harbor Cranes have been Grupo CICE’s technology of choice for more than two decades. Andreas Moeller, Senior Sales Manager Mobile Harbor Cranes, Port Solutions, Konecranes, points this out: “The port of Veracruz is of central importance to the entire region and has become increasingly important since the turn of the millennium. Since then, we have been here to help. Our more than 20 years of partnership with Grupo CICE is a fine example of how dynamic terminals can grow successfully with our mobile harbor crane technology. With the two new ESP.9 cranes, our cooperation is now entering its third crane generation, and that of course makes us very proud.”

The ESP.9 cranes for Grupo CICE confirm the success of the Generation 6 cranes in the Americas, Andreas Moeller continues: “Of the approximately 60 Generation 6 cranes we sold in the first 14 months after the market launch, around a quarter were delivered to the Americas. The generation 6 is successfully continuing a long tradition. Our first mobile harbor crane crossed the Atlantic to the Americas in 1971, and since then nearly 300 of our cranes have been put into service from Canada to Chile.”

Cranes and lift trucks: solutions for every challenge in Grupo CICE’s terminal

From Leoncio Perez’s point of view, there are many reasons for this success: “In addition to the products, service and consultancy are very convincing at Konecranes as well. Fast-growing terminals like ours require individual and flexible solutions, and Konecranes offers us this in every respect. The new crane can handle containers, general cargo and project cargo. In addition to our mobile harbor cranes, we also operate several lift trucks as well as two RTGs from Konecranes, and we recently ordered three more lift trucks and one RTG to increase our handling capacity from the quayside to the yard. In general, we have always found the right solution for our challenges together with Konecranes. With our new Generation 6 crane, the range of solutions at our disposal become even smarter, more powerful, and more eco-efficient.”