The capability provides a turnkey solution to vessels, with Star International (Star) able to provide everything from product supply and delivery, to on-boarding, installation and commissioning of equipment including life rafts, rescue boats and fire suppression systems, at any UK port.
Star’s service negates the need for operators to rely on the availability of port infrastructure at the quayside. The lorry loader and crew provide everything a vessel requires to on and off-board cargo, including crane, technical expertise, and labour to complete all works required. Unlike port infrastructure, Star’s service is dedicated to the commissioning vessel, and provides a flexibility that means support will be on hand, even if a vessel’s schedule changes.
Matthew Ball, director for Star International said the investment was part of a long-term strategy to strengthen the service capability on offer to vessel operators.
“Our new lorry loader capability is having a significant impact on how we operate as a business. The nature of working with customers at ports across the UK and Europe means we must remain flexible.
“Poor weather conditions and tidal times can have a big impact on timescales, we need to be available 24/7 and be ready to lift equipment the minute a vessel arrives into a port, so having access to our own lifting equipment delivers huge benefits.” he explained.
Condor Ferries has been one of the first of Star’s customers to take advantage of the new capability. Giles Wade, Senior Master on-board the M.V Condor Liberation, adds:
“Star International’s lorry loader is a superb tool and has proven able to easily reach all the MES and liferafts on-board the MV Liberation, with a high degree of manoeuvrability around the quayside.
“By using Star International’s quayside service, we do not need to arrange separate craneage for LSA removal and refit. The lorry loader is only at the port to service our vessel, meaning that for us, there are no delays caused by waiting for dockyard cranes at refit facilities.”
The service is made possible by the company’s investment in a bespoke Volvo truck and HIAB crane. The vehicle features HAIB’s advanced ‘HiConnect’ real time condition monitoring system that is used to actively optimise performance and safety and avoid unnecessary downtime.
The platform boasts a reach of more than 30 metres, with a lift capacity of 590kg at full extension and has been custom built to service the commercial shipping, ferry and cruise sectors.