GVT specialises in freight transport via road, rail and inland waterways between the Netherlands, Europe and Asia, making it possible to transport goods from Chengdu, China to Europe, via Railport Brabant, within 15 days.

More companies are shifting transport operations to ships and trains, investing in low-carbon technologies and retrofit programmes to increase performance and aid the mitigation of any environmental impact.

GVT Group of Logistics chose to do just this, by commissioning a refurbished Nedcranes container crane at its Railport Brabant location.

Nedcranes is a specialist in port cranes, process cranes and drive systems, offering services such as crane refurbishment, relocation, and demolition. The company was tasked with the overall construction and a lead time of less than a year.

The project involved dismantling an old crane, adjusting its track width, beam length and turning its cab around. The renewal of drives, assembly of new hoisting motors, installation of a new electrical house and frequency inverters made for a highly technical project.

Nedcranes used an existing container crane as the basis for the construction, which was completely renewed and adjusted to the specifications of Railport Brabant.

WEG provided a new hoisting system which was installed replacing direct current (DC) motors with variable frequency drives (VFD) and alternating current (AC) motors. To retrofit this project, it was necessary to use WEG AC motors which have the advantage of already coming with a gearbox, as well as other accessories.

This type of project is always bespoke and all steps are coordinated to adhere to safety standards, said WEG. After identifying loads, speeds and weather conditions, WEG selected the most suitable motors from its portfolio. In total, four 30kW motors for crane movement, two 22kW trolley motors, a 7.5kW motor for the lifting device and a 170kW motor for the winch were provided.

All motors, except for the winch motor, were equipped with gearboxes and mechanical brakes, the latter being a standard safety requirement in the world of cranes.

“In this safety critical market, electrical hazards must be carefully pre-empted and mitigated,” said Marek Lukaszczyk, European and Middle East marketing manager at WEG.

“We made sure our system adhered to the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) EN 14492-2 standard. This is applicable to the design, information for use, maintenance and testing of power-driven hoists with or without trolleys, with an electric, hydraulic or pneumatic motor as the prime mover.

“Safety standards aren’t all—the hoisting system brings additional benefits to the project, as all motors supplied are W22 IE3. This indicates that they are premium efficiency, so over time the terminal could reduce its energy usage while also profiting from cost savings.”

In the crane market, you must find balance, not only in terms of energy, technology and costs, but also in terms of partners with whom you perform this type of large-scale project,” explained Van Beijnen, senior project manager at Nedcranes. “Fortunately, we found that in WEG.

For GVT, this is the first container crane at the Railport Brabant terminal. Previously the containers were solely picked up with reach stackers. The storage capacity has also increased—approximately 500 containers can be stored under the crane. This expansion to the capacity and process efficiency at Railport Brabant means that the business can continue to meet customer demand, while developing energy-efficient, sustainable freight operations that will contribute to a greener future.