There’s a new beast on the bayou
In early 2000, a Konecranes sales manager was scouting around Louisiana in the USA for new business. On the Mississippi River, he noticed that there was a big need for new bulk handling equipment that could be maneuvered on the water. The existing equipment was old and inefficient. An idea came to him: our existing mobile harbor crane concept could be placed on barges, making something uniquely suited to the region – like the alligator. On his next visit to the mobile harbor crane technology center in Germany, he put his idea in front of the engineering team. They were excited by the engineering challenge. They went to the drawing board and came up with initial drawings that married the mobile harbor crane concept and a floating barge. They had developed a special pedestal to put between the crane and the floating barge, making the marriage a happy one.
The sales manager took the drawings and showed them to several potential customers on the Mississippi River. There was interest. One Louisiana stevedoring company was especially interested, and agreed to develop a “crane on barge” prototype with Konecranes. The parties agreed to share the work, with the customer taking responsibility for the barge and Konecranes taking responsibility for the crane and pedestal. Both parties would take their equipment back without blaming each other if the concept did not work as expected.
It did work as expected, and better. That first customer ordered more and more Konecranes Gottwald cranes on barges to cope with their growing bulk handling needs. The new cranes provided very efficient bulk handling in “mid-stream” applications such as trans-shipping coal, fertilizer and the like from ocean-going vessels to Mississippi River barges. Other stevedoring companies in the region noticed, and began to purchase cranes on barges. Today, around 20 cranes on barges are working on the lower Mississippi River. They are familiar landmarks over the low-lying South Louisiana landscape. Konecranes has also delivered an “open-sea gator” version: over 10 Konecranes Gottwald cranes on barges are working in the open sea around the world.
Discover the Konecranes Gottwald cranes on barges