Estonia’s largest container cranes start operating in Muuga

The commissioning of the most powerful container cranes in Estonia was celebrated at the HHLA TK Estonia container terminal in Muuga. The cranes will serve the largest container ships sailing in the Baltic Sea and lay ground to multiply the trading volumes.

HHLA TK Estonia has made the biggest investment of the decade by supplying Muuga with two large container cranes capable of handling the largest post-Panamax ships in the Baltic Sea, which hold four times as many containers as the vessels the terminal could handle before.

On Tuesday, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas and Chairman of the Board of the HHLA Group Angela Titzrath put the cranes into operation, at a ceremony christening them “Alpha” and “Bravo”.

“The crises in the coming years will significantly affect the economy of both Estonia and the entire region. All the more so, we need to find new ways to restructure existing trade flows, make Estonia stand out as an important trade gateway for the region, and strengthen the economy as a whole. The powerful container cranes put into operation are an important step towards achieving these goals,” said Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas.

HHLA Group CEO Angela Titzrath explained: “The new, larger gantry cranes will help HHLA TK to utilize its full potential for the handling of existing and future freight streams. We have invested over five million euros to be able to service vessels accommodating four times more containers than the ships able to dock in Muuga at the moment. In the future, calls in Muuga will be more attractive and efficient for global shipping companies. Thanks to the growth in handling capacity, Estonia’s opportunities as a multimodal logistics hub in Northern Europe will increase considerably.”

The Chairman of the Board of the Port of Tallinn Valdo Kalm said at the ceremony that the Port of Muuga already is and will continue to be a rapidly growing trade gateway that uses smart solutions: “The ability to handle additional containers will undoubtedly increase the attractiveness of the port, but we must continue to work hard and invest to strengthen its position as the main multimodal logistics centre in the region. We are talking about the continuous development of infrastructure, the implementation of digital solutions and the connection to the Rail Baltica route.”

The Chairman of the Board of HHLA TK Estonia Riia Sillave said that the cranes are ready and the interest of the operators towards the terminal has clearly increased: “Today, the new container cranes are operational and first big vessels have been successfully serviced, which has contributed into our successful first part of this year,” noted the CEO of HHLA TK Estonia.

Container cranes for HHLA TK Estonia arrived from the Hamburg Burchardkai terminal in July last year and were installed and ready for operation at the Muuga terminal by the end of April this year. The first vessel they serviced was A.P. Moller – Maersk’s Venta Maersk. It is 200 meters long and can carry 3600 TEU containers.

 HHLA TK Estonia is a part of the leading European logistics group Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) that operates container terminals in Hamburg, Odessa, Trieste and Muuga, as well as runs logistics interconnections and intermodal centres in many regions of Central and Eastern Europe.

 STS (ship-to shore) cranes of HHLA TK Estonia:

  • Lifting capacity 70 tons, outreach 50 meters
  • Height of 73 meters and the ability to serve the largest container ships in the Baltic Sea
  • Located at berth 17 of the Muuga container terminal
  • Arrived in Estonia in the summer of 2021 from Hamburg (Germany)
  • Cranes were built in 2004
Photo: Kaupo Kalda

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