Singapore’s economy is heavily dependent on imports and exports of goods. As a result, the country’s port is one of the busiest ports globally in terms of shipping tonnage, with over r130000 vessels calls yearly.
Bottlenecks and prolonged turnaround times are significant concerns for a busy port. Once the vessel reaches the port, the necessary equipment is needed to transport and load the incoming containers to the waiting delivery trucks – adhering to this tight schedule requires speed and accuracy.
Learn how a straddle carrier functions and why the machine is perfect for this heavy lifting duty.
The function of a straddle carrier
A straddle carrier comprises four vertical frames that support the vehicle’s structure. The mechanism responsible for lifting the containers is placed at the very top of the carrier. The cabin is located outside the carrier’s main structure, typically at the top of the frame to provide the operator with a 360-degree view. The cabin’s position affords the operator freedom and safety to navigate and stack the containers. There are specific carriers, such as the Combilift straddle carrier that places the cabin at the bottom.
A straddle carrier’s primary function is to transport the incoming containers to the individual trailer loading areas and onto the delivery truck. The load is straddled underneath the structure via the mechanism at its top, and the load has to be adequately secured before transport begins.
Advantages of using a straddle carrier
There are three ways your business can benefit from the use of a straddle carrier.
- Increase efficiency
A straddle carrier is one of the simplest and most effective machines to operate in the market. Its design gives the vehicle an advantage over other similar machines, such as the spreader cranes.
Spreader cranes are typically confined to rails, so they are unable to access specific areas. The manoeuvrability of a straddle carrier also allows it to access tight spaces that other machines may not be able to. It also does not require other machinery to assist them in loading and unloading an item. It can straddle and lift the container to the destination on its own.
The method utilised by a straddle carrier to lift its load differs from a reach stacker. A reach stacker carries the load by lifting it up and in front of itself, which raises safety concerns. The weight of the load has to be counterbalanced by the weight of the reach stacker. A straddle carrier does not have this safety concern as the load’s weight is evenly distributed throughout the vehicle.
- Reduce cost
A straddle carrier consumes fuel more efficiently than a forklift. The former uses about ten litres of fuel per hour compared to twenty litres per hour for the latter. Having convenient access to a straddle carrier also allows you to increase your storage capacity as onsite containers can be utilised for timely and cost-effective storage. With these flexible storage options, you can also reduce the cost of storing your products in an outsourced off-site location.
The benefits of owning a straddle carrier go beyond just the loading and unloading of containers. Companies in the import/export, manufacturing and logistic industries are likely to find various uses for this piece of machinery.