The ambitious project consisted of loading two container STS cranes from Malta Freeport terminal and installing them on the newly refurbished quays of the Mourepiane terminal within the Grand Maritime Port of Marseille-Fos in France.

Marseille also serves as the global headquarters of the CMA CGM Group, the new owner of the two cranes, built by ZPMC and commissioned in Malta in 2007.  However, they have now been replaced by two Liebherr STS cranes offering increased height reach, enabling to unload increasingly imposing ships.

At the same time, Med Europe terminal was looking to strengthen its industrial base to support its growing container business. The CMA CGM Group therefore decided to use the capabilities of its subsidiary, CEVA Logistics, to transport the two cranes.

CEVA's work in project logistics covers all aspects of the delivery and implementation of large-scale projects. Thanks to its expertise, the speed of this transfer was crucial to this project.

The entire transfer was managed through CEVA Logistics and its service provider, specialized in heavy haulage with experience in port handling equipment transfers.

From the beginning of the project, the reservation of maritime transport was key and "Sun Rise" chartered by Panocean was chosen to provide the fastest and safest crossing possible.

Once this parameter was achieved, the challenge was to carry out a complete structural study of the STS cranes. It was necessary to provide both elements allowing land transport by SPMT, but also structural reinforcements for the sea crossing. The study was conducted in record time and validated by an external certification body in order to place an upfront order for the structural reinforcement parts needed for the project.

In the context of the global climate amid tension in the steel market and fluctuating oil prices, this step was a major challenge for all the teams.

Work began on strengthening the STS Cranes in Malta at the beginning of the year. The STS cranes have large dimensions: 147 meters long, 27 meters wide and 79 meters high for a total weight of 1650 tons, therefore each gantry was equipped with steel brackets necessary for SPMT bearing points on the inner side. These brackets were also equipped with the lugs necessary to attach the 2.5 ton bracings that attached the STS cranes to the ship deck.

On the outer side, lugs were welded onto the cranes. In total, 12 seizure points were welded to maintain each gantry. All moving parts that could deteriorate during transport were safely secured before the big departure. The STS cranes were reinforced at the boom and in the transverse direction to avoid any structural deterioration during the tree day sea transfer.

At the end of March, two sets of two x 22 SPMT Cometto branded axle lines (88 lines in total) were assembled on the quays of Malta Freeport. The convoy included two transport beams dedicated to this project. The set also incorporated a jacking system to offer an additional 600mm stroke necessary for the installation of the two STS cranes on grillage defined to limit the load of the STS cranes on the deck of the ship.

Fagioli then lifted, transferred, and laid both STS cranes at the +700mm level compared to the initial level of the quay. Once onboard, the 24 bracings and the 8 cross-braces were welded to the ship, and cables were put into tension. After final check by the marine warranty surveyor, the ship set sail towards France.

The "Sun Rise" moored on April 8, with the two STS cranes firmly anchored to the deck. During the three days of removal of the "XXL" seizure, the SPMT transport convoy was reconfigured, reinforced to two sets of three x 22 SPMT axle lines (132 lines in total). This configuration was necessary to meet a bearing capacity of the platforms of 4T/m2. In the end the two STS cranes were unloaded and placed on their final rails. The “ground side" rail was specially set up just a few weeks before as the 30m spacing of these two ZPMT STS cranes blithely exceeds the 16m spacing of the current STS cranes. 

After their reconditioning and some adaptations, these two STS cranes are planned to be put back in service at the end of 2022.