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New photos of 138 metre cranes from China on Thames

Three cranes
Huge new cranes arrive at The London Gateway Credit: Derek Johnson

Three new giant cranes have arrived from China into the new deep-sea port in the Thames Estuary. The site is near Stanford le-Hope in Essex. The quay cranes which are taller than the London Eye measure 138 metres in height - two and a half times the height of Nelson's column in Trafalgar Square.

The cranes will be used to lift containers from big ships onto the shore. The LOndon Gateway is due to open at the end of 2013. When complete, its owners say it could bring 36,000 jobs to the economy.

London Gateway cranes
Three new cranes close up Credit: Derek Johnson
Artist's impression of the completed London Gateway
Artist's impression of the completed London Gateway Credit: London Gateway

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First 3 of 20 cranes heading to London Gateway

The three 138 metre tall cranes set sail Credit: DP World

How large?

The cranes are taller than the London Eye, weigh 1,848 tons each, will reach across 25 rows of containers on a vessel and can lift up to 80 tons at a time.

Why so large?

London Gateway will be handling the world’s largest container ships, operated by shipping lines to provide economies of scale and reduce environmental impact on the main shipping trade lanes. That means lower cost and lower carbon supply chains for retailers and other cargo owners.

And the future?

The 25-box outreach takes the cranes beyond the width of the world’s largest container ship. “The size of the cranes future-proofs the port, allowing London Gateway to handle the next generation of ultra large container ships,” says London Gateway operations director Tim Halhead.

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