New series: The right technology for any cargo
DB Cargo can get any freight on the rails – it just takes the right equipment. Here you can read the first part of our series about the loading technologies used for common types of goods. We begin with containers.
Gantry cranes are normally used to transship containers, swap bodies and cranable semi-trailers for intermodal transport at CT terminals. Gantry cranes run on rails or rubber tyres and use electric power. A trolley travels along the upper part of the crane, the gantry, moving back and forth between tracks perpendicular to its direction of travel. Gantry cranes enable bimodal or trimodal transshipment: between rail, road and waterway. A spreader hooks onto the corners of containers, which are standardised and known as corner castings. The containers are secured with a 90° twist lock, which is used to attach them to both the crane and the carrier wagon. In ports, the flexible straddle carriers are often used instead of gantry cranes. They run on rubber tyres and can move around freely on the premises.
Reach stackers are used to stack empty containers and also to transship containers, swap bodies, cranable semi-trailers and industrial goods. The vehicles, which can weigh up to 100 tonnes, are a type of industrial truck and have a hoisting capacity of up to 50 tonnes. The spreader is attached to a telescopic arm, so the reach stacker can pick up loads even across two rows of containers. In DB Intermodal Services warehouses, where containers can be put in temporary storage, DB Cargo uses not only full container reach stackers, but also empty container reach stackers and front loaders with front spreaders for container repairs. Equipped with the right lifting equipment, reach stackers can also transship coils, granite blocks, steel goods or stacks of plates, and more.