Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20040126205 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/617,366
Publication dateJul 1, 2004
Filing dateJul 10, 2003
Priority dateDec 11, 2000
Also published asUS8118534, US20080112779, US20110135424, US20120224946
Publication number10617366, 617366, US 2004/0126205 A1, US 2004/126205 A1, US 20040126205 A1, US 20040126205A1, US 2004126205 A1, US 2004126205A1, US-A1-20040126205, US-A1-2004126205, US2004/0126205A1, US2004/126205A1, US20040126205 A1, US20040126205A1, US2004126205 A1, US2004126205A1
InventorsW. Amoss, Robert Amoss, Matthew Amoss
Original AssigneeAmoss W. J. Jim, Amoss Robert S., Matthew Amoss
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container cargo transfer system
US 20040126205 A1
Abstract
A platform container transfer terminal (10) functions as an efficient hub port. Sea Point™ Transfer station modules (21, 22, 23) can be moved intact across oceans for rapid erection in remote or strategic locations to provide high speed loading and unloading of large container vessels (31, 32) to lighters or feeder vessels (41, 42, 43, 44, 45) and/or to facilities adjacent. A gantry crane (510) combined with one or more rotating boom cranes (11, 12, 17, 18) increases cargo productivity economically. There can be two luffing boom cranes attached to the gantry and two slewing boom cranes attached to the gantry. One can retrofit an existing gantry by attaching a boom crane and frame to a ship-to-shore gantry.
Images(20)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(73)
1. A method of transporting goods, comprising:
providing a jack-up barge;
providing a crane on the jack-up barge;
transferring goods between an ocean-going vessel and barges or other shallower-draft feeder vessels using the crane on the jack-up barge to unload the ocean-going vessel by transferring its containers to the barges or other shallower-draft feeder vessels and vice versa.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the jack-up barge is positioned at the mouth of a river.
3. A system for transshipping containerized cargo, comprising:
a jack-up barge;
a crane on the jack-up barge for transferring goods between an ocean-going vessel and a barge or other shallower-draft feeder vessel using the crane on the jack-up barge.
4. A system for transshipping containerized cargo, comprising:
a plurality of jack-up barges connected together end-to-end to form a transshipping platform;
cranes on the jack-up barges for transferring goods between ocean-going vessels and barges or other shallower-draft feeder vessels using the cranes on the jack-up barges.
5. The system of claim 4, wherein the jack-up barges are each about 450 feet (137.2 m) long and about 100 feet (30.5 m) wide, with about a 20 foot (6.1 m) hull depth and of an ocean-going hull design.
6. The system of claims 4 or 5, wherein there are at least four cranes.
7. The system of claims 4, 5, or 6, further comprising an upper transfer platform mounted on the crane above the transshipping platform.
8. The system of any one of claims 4-7, further comprising cargo transfer roadways on the transshipping platform.
9. The invention of any one of claims 1-3, wherein the jack-up barge is connected to a land site.
10. The invention of any one of claims 1-3, wherein the jack-up barge is not connected to a land site.
11. The invention of any one of claims 4-8, wherein the jack-up barges are connected to a land site.
12. The invention of any one of claims 4-8, wherein the jack-up barges are not connected to a land site.
13. A method of transporting goods, comprising:
providing a platform constructed over water;
providing a crane on the platform, wherein the crane is a gantry crane including a gantry trolley and at least one boom crane;
transferring goods between an ocean-going vessel and a barge or other shallower-draft feeder vessel using the crane on the platform.
14. The method of claim 13, wherein the platform is positioned at the mouth of a river.
15. A system for transshipping containerized cargo, comprising:
a platform constructed over water;
a crane on the platform for transferring goods between an ocean-going vessel and a barge or other shallower-draft feeder vessel using the crane on the platform, wherein the crane is a gantry crane including a gantry trolley and at least one boom crane.
16. The system of claim 15 for transshipping containerized cargo, wherein the platform comprises a plurality of jack-up barges connected together end-to-end to form a longer transshipping platform, and there are a plurality of cranes on the jack-up barges for transferring goods between ocean-going vessels and barges or other shallower-draft feeder vessels using the cranes on the jack-up barges.
17. The system of claim 16, wherein the jack-up barges are each about 450 feet (137.2 m) long and about 100 feet (30.5 m) wide, with about a 20 foot (6.1 m) hull depth and of an ocean-going hull design.
18. The system of claims 16 or 17, wherein there are at least four cranes.
19. The system of claims 16, 17, or 18, further comprising an upper transfer rack mounted on the crane above the transshipping platform.
20. The system of any one of claims 16-19, further comprising cargo transfer roadways on the transshipping platform.
21. The invention of any one of claims 13-20, wherein the platform is connected to a land site.
22. The invention of any one of claims 13-20, wherein the platform is not connected to a land site.
23. The invention of any prior claim, wherein at least one crane is a gantry crane including a gantry trolley and at least one boom crane.
24. The invention of any prior claim, wherein at least one crane is a gantry crane including a gantry trolley and at least two boom cranes.
25. The invention of any prior claim, wherein at least one crane is a gantry crane including a gantry trolley and at least three boom cranes.
26. The invention of any one of claims 23-25, wherein at least one boom crane is a telescoping boom crane.
27. The invention of any prior claim, wherein the apparatus includes at least one mobile harbor crane.
28. A system for transshipping containerized cargo, comprising:
a transshipping platform constructed over water;
a plurality of cranes on the transshipping platform for transferring goods between an ocean-going vessel and a barge or other shallower-draft feeder vessel using the cranes on the transshipping platform, wherein at least two of the cranes are gantry cranes including a gantry trolley, at least one boom crane, and an upper transfer rack mounted on the gantry crane above the transshipping platform;
a cargo transfer roadway on the transshipping platform.
29. The system of claim 28 for transshipping containerized cargo, wherein the platform comprises a plurality of jack-up barges connected together end-to-end to form a longer transshipping platform, and there are a plurality of cranes on the jack-up barges for transferring goods between ocean-going vessels and barges or other shallower-draft feeder vessels using the cranes on the jack-up barges.
30. The system of claim 29, wherein the jack-up barges are each about 450 feet (137.2 m) long and about 100 feet (30.5 m) wide, with about a 20 foot (6.1 m) hull depth and of an ocean-going hull design.
31. The invention of any one of claims 13-15, wherein the platform is fixed on piles or a material such as spoil or rock for its foundation.
32. The system substantially as described and shown herein.
33. The method substantially as described and shown herein.
34. Apparatus including:
a gantry;
a gantry crane attached to the gantry;
at least one rotating boom crane attached to the gantry.
35. The apparatus of claim 34, including at least two rotating boom cranes attached to the gantry.
36. The apparatus of claim 34, wherein the gantry includes a ship side, and including at least one boom crane attached to the ship side of the gantry.
37. The apparatus of claim 34, wherein the gantry includes a back side, and including at least one boom crane attached to the back side of the gantry.
38. The apparatus of any one of claims 34-37, including three rotating boom cranes attached to the gantry.
39. The apparatus of any one of claims 34-38, including four rotating boom cranes attached to the gantry.
40. Apparatus including:
a gantry;
a gantry crane attached to the gantry;
at least one rotating horizontal slewing boom crane attached to the gantry.
41. The apparatus of claim 40, including at least two rotating boom cranes attached to the gantry.
42. The apparatus of claim 40, wherein the gantry includes a ship side, and including at least one boom crane attached to the ship side of the gantry.
43. The apparatus of claim 40, wherein the gantry includes a back side, and including at least one boom crane attached to the back side of the gantry.
44. Apparatus including:
a ship-to-shore gantry;
a gantry crane attached to the gantry;
a boom crane and frame attached to the ship-to-shore gantry.
45. Apparatus including:
a boom crane;
a frame for supporting the boom crane;
means for attaching the frame to a ship-to-shore gantry.
46. The apparatus of any one of claims 34-45, including three rotating boom cranes attached to the gantry.
47. The apparatus of any one of claims 34-46, including four rotating boom cranes attached to the gantry.
48. The apparatus of any one of claims 34-47, including at least one slewing boom crane attached to the gantry.
49. The apparatus of any one of claims 34-48, including at least one luffing boom crane attached to the gantry.
50. The apparatus of any one of claims 34-49, including at least one luffing boom crane attached to the gantry and at least one slewing boom crane attached to the gantry.
51. The apparatus of any one of claims 34-50, including two luffing boom cranes attached to the gantry and two stewing boom cranes attached to the gantry.
52. The invention(s) substantially as described and shown herein.
53. Apparatus including:
a gantry;
a trolley attached to the gantry;
at least one rotating, luffing, boom crane attached to the gantry.
54. The apparatus of claim 53, including at least two rotating boom cranes attached to the gantry.
55. The apparatus of claim 53, wherein the gantry includes a ship side, and including at least one boom crane attached to the ship side of the gantry.
56. The apparatus of claim 53, wherein the gantry includes a back side, and including at least one boom crane attached to the back side of the gantry.
57. The apparatus of claim 53, including three rotating boom cranes attached to the gantry.
58. The apparatus of claim 53, including four rotating boom cranes attached to the gantry.
59. (amended) Apparatus including:
a gantry;
a trolley attached to the gantry;
at least one rotating horizontal, luffing, stewing boom crane attached to the gantry.
60. The apparatus of claim 59, including at least two rotating boom cranes attached to the gantry.
61. The apparatus of claim 59, wherein the gantry includes a ship side, and including at least one boom crane attached to the ship side of the gantry.
62. The apparatus of claim 59, wherein the gantry includes a back side, and including at least one boom crane attached to the back side of the gantry.
63. Apparatus including:
a ship-to-shore gantry;
a trolley attached to the gantry;
a luffing, rotating, boom crane and frame attached to the ship-to-shore gantry.
64. Apparatus including:
a luffing, rotating, boom crane;
a frame for supporting the boom crane;
means for attaching the frame to a ship-to-shore gantry having a trolley.
65. The apparatus of claim 64, including three rotating boom cranes attached to the gantry.
66. The apparatus of claim 64, including four rotating boom cranes attached to the gantry.
67. The apparatus of claim 53, including at least one luffing boom crane attached to the gantry and at least one slewing boom crane attached to the gantry.
68. The apparatus of claim 53, including two luffing boom cranes attached to the gantry and two slewing boom cranes attached to the gantry.
69. The apparatus of any prior claim, further comprising a bi-directional trailer.
70. The apparatus of any prior claim, further comprising multiple bi-directional trailers.
71. The apparatus of any prior claim, further comprising an MPC island.
72. The apparatus of any prior claim, further comprising a platform exension.
73. The apparatus of any prior claim, further comprising platform exensions.
Description
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0001] Not applicable

REFERENCE TO A “MICROFICHE APPENDIX”

[0002] Not applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] 1. Field of the Invention

[0004] The present invention relates to cargo transfer systems. More particularly, the present invention relates to systems for transferring cargo between ocean-going vessels and land destinations or ocean-going vessels and barges or between ocean-going vessels, barges, and landside terminals, and including direct transfer from barges to rail without storing the goods landside.

[0005] 2. General Background of the Invention

[0006] At present large container vessels provide economies of scale by carrying very large numbers of intermodal containers and container derivative devices such as flat racks and open tops containers. Such large ships today carry more than 6000 twenty foot equivalent units (TEU) and still larger ocean-going vessels are foreseen. The containers carried by these large vessels are generated by several regional ports spread geographically over areas such as South East Asia, UK/North Europe or a US coastal region. This requires the large vessel to either make multiple port calls, some times once to discharge and later to double back to load, or by using a port in the region as a hub port where the large vessel proceeds to a landside terminal, from which containers are both landed for local distribution and transshipped to feeder vessels or barges and/or to trucks or rail cars, for distribution to other port destinations. The terminal operation required at landside hub ports is extensive and costly involving trucking from quay to storage in stacks and load out in a reverse operation at later dates to on carrying vessels.

[0007] Typically, import containers discharged from a large carrier vessel at a landside terminal are hauled from the dock side to stacked storage on the back side of the terminal or placed on wheeled chassis and parked for later haul back to cranes for loading to feeder vessels or to rail cars at distant sidings or transferred to trucks for delivery to other ports or inland locations.

[0008] Outbound containers are received at a landside terminal from rail sidings, often at remote locations or from drays and long haul trucks or feeder vessels and assembled on the backside of the terminal awaiting the arrival and readiness of the large carrier to load. Hundreds of acres of land are required for such operations in addition to the several handling operations involved.

[0009] The critical matter of road and rail infrastructure required for landside terminals to accommodate large vessels can take decades to develop and billions of dollars in cost. Environmental issues may also intervene. In Vietnam, a jack-up causeway was used to unload containers from ships. The causeway was used as a dock where trucks took the containers as they were unloaded and hauled away.

[0010] The Freeport Sulphur mine is a series of jack-up barges strung together.

[0011] Cranes for transferring containers from ships include gantry cranes and boom cranes.

[0012] The following patents documents are incorporated herein by reference:

[0013] U.S. Pat. Nos. 969,164; 1,193,587; 1,237,573; 1,346,068; 1,547,536; 2,308,743; 3,149,733; 3,183,676; 3,290,007; 3,367,119; 3,586,152; 3,606,251; 3,750,210; 3,945,450; 3,958,106; 3,967,457; 4,310,277; 4,363,411; 4,417,664; 4,456,404; 4,465,012; 4,482,272; 4,505,616; 4,544,137; 4,547,857; 4,568,232; 4,589,799; 4,627,768; 4,632,622; 4,652,177; 4,666,341; 4,678,165; 4,722,640; 4,762,456; 4,813,814; 4,916,999; 5,028,194; 5,139,366; 5,224,798; 5,456,560; 5,478,181; 5,515,982; 5,580,189; 5,733,092; 5,797,703; 5,807,029; DE 455 495; DE 1 079 299; DE 25 43 156; FR 588,542; GB 17,349; and all patent documents mentioned herein.

[0014] U.S. Pat. No. 4,762,456 discloses a cargo container loading and unloading operation where a floating crane is used to transfer containers between deep draft ships and shallow draft ships.

[0015] U.S. Pat. No. 4,363,411 (see col. 3, lines 44-53) discloses a loading/unloading crane system that is placed between the ocean and a lagoon to handle deep draft and shallow draft ships at the same time.

[0016] U.S. Pat. No. 4,465,012 discloses a floating crane transhipment device to accommodate movement of cargo between ships and barges.

[0017] U.S. Pat. No. 4,568,232 discloses a floating horizontal boom bulk unloader that allows shallow draft ships to be loaded and unloaded from a deep draft ship.

[0018] U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,310,277; 4,457,85; 4,544,137; 4,632,622; and 5,028,194 disclose cargo transfer systems supported on open sea platforms with one or more cranes.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0019] The apparatus of the present invention comprises a platform container transfer terminal that functions as an efficient hub port. Sea Point™ Terminal modules can be constructed to move intact across oceans for rapid erection in remote or strategic locations to provide high speed loading and unloading of large container vessels to lighters or feeder vessels and/or to/and facilities adjacent.

[0020] One embodiment of the present invention includes a container offloading facility made of jack-up barges. There can be, for example, four jack-up barges, each barge from 100 feet (30.5 m) to 700 feet (213.4 m) (e.g., 450 feet (137.2 m)) long and 25 feet (7.62 m) to 250 feet (76.2 m) (e.g., 100 feet (30.5 m)) wide, in an ocean-going hull design, with e.g. a 20 foot (6.1 m) hull depth, and placed end-to-end to provide a platform (e.g. 1800 feet (548.6 m) long). There can be multiple (for example, 4) cranes per platform. The facility could advantageously be placed at the mouth of a river (such as at the mouth of the Mississippi River) to provide a sea coast or near sea coast transfer port for large vessels.

[0021] The container cranes used with the facility of the present invention can include a boom on the backside which is much longer than a conventional backside boom on a land terminal. This facilitates loading the feeder vessels or barges while at the same time offloading the ocean-going container or cargo ships (and vice versa).

[0022] The present invention also comprises a method of transporting goods, comprising using a jack-up barge to transfer goods from an ocean-going vessel to a barge or other shallower-draft feeder vessel.

[0023] The present invention also comprises a method of transporting goods, comprising using a pile-supported platform deck on which cranes operate to transfer goods from an ocean-going vessel to a barge or other type feeder vessels.

[0024] The present invention can be constructed as a floating mobile terminal or as a fixed terminal on pile or material foundation. The Sea Point™ platform concept consists of a platform structure erected in a semi-sheltered location such as at the mouth of a river, bay, sound or inlet with sufficient water depth, natural or dredged, to accommodate ocean-going vessels on one side and feeder vessels or barges on the opposite side. The platform may be constructed on pilings in the manner of a pile-supported dock, as an artificial island built up of material, or as floating modules with spud legs which can be towed intact to remote transoceanic locations and combined for rapid jack-up assembly as one platform made from multiple modules at the chosen site. Floating modules with jack-up supporting legs that can be embedded in the solid bottom material allows almost immediate erection of the platform to its desired height ready to accommodate container transfers between large carriers on one side and feeder vessels or barges on the opposite side. Towable jack-up platform modules are particularly attractive for military rapid deployment needs and could be a valuable element of U.S. prepositioned forces or reserve fleet components.

[0025] The platform (FIG. 1) serves as the base for container handling cranes one version of which has been designed to have an extreme reach on the large vessel side as well as on the feeder side so that even a postpanamax vessel (over 105 feet (32 m) wide) up to 200 feet (61 m) wide can be loaded or discharged by the container crane boom on the large vessel side to or from barges or feeders docked two or more (e.g., four) wide up to +200 feet (61 m) off the feeder vessel side. These container cranes using state-of-the-art hoisting speed at lifting capacity and with high horizontal travel speeds can, in one transfer cycle, lift two or more loaded containers at a time and rapidly transfer them to or from stowed positions on the feeders. Feeder vessels or barges being shorter and less wide and deep than large container carriers can be berthed on the platform side opposite the larger vessels in multiple sets (FIG. 2) so that distribution to multiple destinations can be served quickly by loading some feeders with specifically destined containers and dispersing them immediately upon completion of discharge. Simultaneously, outbound cargo would be brought to Sea Point™ by separate feeder vessels or barges and placed along side the platform feeder side to be transferred to the large vessel as soon as the loaded feeders are taken away from the dock.

[0026] During loading or discharge at a Sea Point™ transfer platform, outport destined containers may be landed to transfer cars stationed under the crane legs on designated road ways that may run in opposite directions in order to distribute such containers to other cranes serving feeders for their destinations (FIGS. 3 and 4). This would be accomplished by vehicles (for example, light tractors) hauling these containers (e.g., on cars or chassis) to those cranes loading the desired feeders, reducing the necessity for stacking or grounding containers on the platform during cargo operations. The container crane can also be designed to have two separate cabs with traveling trolleys that move outward from a center raised platform located between the legs of the crane; this provides rapid transfer from each side that will speed up the loading and discharge cycles substantially (FIGS. 3 and 4).

[0027] A pile-supported platform or a platform on a built-up material (spoil or otherwise) island can be used as the foundation for the transfer platform of the present invention, which in cases where mobility is of no value, would be a cheaper mode of construction.

[0028] Other configurations of transfer cranes have certain advantages where alternative container cells on the large vessels and/or the feeder vessels are served by special crane arrangements as shown, for example, in FIGS. 5-8.

[0029] The delivery to various Port terminals by feeder barges or feeder vessels permits each port terminal to be designed to discharge the less costly unmanned vessel units, direct to rail car and truck lanes located along the dockside within the reach of port cranes' terminal side. Extended landside booms on port cranes can accomplish this efficiently and provide added opportunity by placing containers directly on stacks in the terminal yard saving costly terminal handlings and reducing significantly the acreage required for each container terminal. The Sea Point™ platform can also be placed so as to provide offloading from large vessels to feeders and to adjacent terminal docks by locating the platform in water at a distance of about 100 feet (30.5 m) from the land terminal thus allowing one or more (e.g., two) feeder vessels to be berthed between the Sea Point™ platform and land terminal. The long (e.g., 200 foot (61 m)) reach of the crane's booms on each side of the platform would allow transfers between the land terminal, feeder vessels and the large vessel as desired.

[0030] The critical matter of road and rail infrastructure required for landside terminals to accommodate large vessels can take decades to develop and billions of dollars in cost. Environmental issues may also intervene. In contrast a Sea Point™ transfer platform can be fabricated for erection in appropriate water depth locations in less than two years time and its size is unlimited. Ideally, Sea Point™ platforms can also be phased in to provide an initial length and width to handle, for instance, the next half decade of expected use and then expanded to any greater length or width when required.

[0031] The present invention comprises a method of transporting goods, comprising:

[0032] providing a jack-up barge;

[0033] providing a crane on the jack-up barge;

[0034] transferring goods from an ocean-going vessel to a barge or other shallower-draft feeder vessel using the crane on the jack-up barge. Preferably, the jack-up barge is positioned at the mouth of a river.

[0035] The present invention also comprises a system for transshipping containerized cargo, comprising:

[0036] a jack-up barge;

[0037] a crane on the jack-up barge for transferring goods from an ocean-going vessel to a barge or other shallower-draft feeder vessel using the crane on the jack-up barge.

[0038] The present invention further comprises a system for transshipping containerized cargo, comprising:

[0039] a plurality of jack-up barges connected together end-to-end to form a transshipping platform;

[0040] cranes on the jack-up barges for transferring goods from ocean-going vessels to barges or other shallower-draft feeder vessels using the cranes on the jack-up barges. Preferably, the jack-up barges are each about 450 feet (137.2 m) long and about 100 feet (30.5 m) wide, with about a 20 foot (6.1 m) hull depth and an ocean-going hull design. Preferably, there are at least four cranes. Preferably, there is also an upper transfer platform above the transshipping platform. Preferably, there are also cargo transfer roadways on the transshipping platform.

[0041] The platform is preferably at least 100-200 feet (30.5-61 m) long, more preferably at least 300 feet (91.4 m) long, even more preferably at least 400 feet (121.9 m) long, and most preferably at least 500 feet (152.4 m) long; the platform is preferably 20-1000 feet (6.1 m-305 m) wide, more preferably 40-500 feet (12.2 m-152.4 m) wide, and most preferably 60-200 feet (18.3-61 m) wide.

[0042] The present invention also comprises a gantry having one or more boom cranes.

[0043] The ability for a port to enhance all of its cargo vessel operations and particularly feeder and rail-on-dock operations by fitting existing or new ship-to-shore gantries with a boom crane is the primary benefit of the invention. The attached cranes can be considered a movable accessory thereby allowing the terminal operator to change the configuration of the gantry to optimize his cranes for different cargo operations, including containers, bulk, palletized and break bulk cargo.

[0044] The gantries of the present invention with boom cranes attached thereto have utility, for example, in terminals operating as transfer hubs for water-borne vessels, working from the transfer rack and the barges or small feeder ships on the back side of the platform or pier and larger ships on the ship side of the platform or pier.

[0045] A preferred embodiment of the present invention is apparatus including a gantry, a gantry crane attached to the gantry, and at least one rotating boom crane attached to the gantry. There can be at least two rotating boom cranes attached to the gantry. There is preferably at least one boom crane attached to the ship side of the gantry. There can be at least one boom crane attached to the back side of the gantry.

[0046] In one embodiment of the invention, there are three rotating boom cranes attached to the gantry. In one embodiment of the invention, there are four rotating boom cranes attached to the gantry. At least one of the boom cranes can be a rotating horizontal slewing boom crane

[0047] The gantry can be a ship-to-shore gantry. A boom crane and frame can be attached to the ship-to-shore gantry.

[0048] The apparatus of the present invention can include a boom crane, a frame for supporting the boom crane, and means for attaching the frame to a ship-to-shore gantry.

[0049] The boom crane in any embodiment could be a slewing boom crane attached to the gantry, or a luffing boom crane attached to the gantry.

[0050] In some embodiments, there can be at least one luffing boom crane attached to the gantry and at least one slewing boom crane attached to the gantry. In other embodiments, there can be two luffing boom cranes attached to the gantry and two slewing boom cranes attached to the gantry.

[0051] The apparatus of the present invention includes a platform container transfer terminal that functions as an efficient hub port.

[0052] More information about the invention can be found in the papers attached to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/394,988, filed 10 Jul. 2002.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0053] For a further understanding of the nature, objects, and advantages of the present invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description, read in conjunction with the following drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote like elements and wherein:

[0054] For a further understanding of the nature, objects, and advantages of the present invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description, read in conjunction with the following drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote like elements and wherein:

[0055]FIG. 1 is a side view of a first embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

[0056]FIG. 2 is a top view of the first embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

[0057]FIG. 3 is a side view of a second embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

[0058]FIG. 4 is a top view of the second embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

[0059]FIG. 5 is a side view of a third embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

[0060]FIG. 6 is a top view of the third embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

[0061]FIG. 7 is a side view of a fourth embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

[0062]FIG. 8 is a top view of the fourth embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention.

[0063]FIG. 9 is a plan view showing two gantries of the present invention;

[0064]FIG. 10 is a side elevational view showing a gantry of FIG. 9;

[0065]FIG. 11 is a plan view showing a gantry of the present invention with two attached boom cranes;

[0066]FIG. 12 is a side elevational view showing another embodiment of the present invention, a boom crane and frame attached to a new or existing ship-to-shore gantry;

[0067]FIG. 13 is a plan view showing the gantry and boom cranes of FIG. 12;

[0068]FIG. 14 is a front elevational view showing the gantry and boom cranes of FIG. 12;

[0069]FIG. 15 is a view similar to FIG. 14, but showing an embodiment of the invention including a rope luffing jib crane;

[0070]FIG. 16 is a plan view showing the gantry and boom cranes of FIG. 12 adjacent barges; and

[0071]FIG. 17 is a plan view showing the gantry of FIG. 12 adjacent barges, but with a single attached boom crane;

[0072]FIG. 18 is a plan view of another embodiment of the present invention;

[0073]FIG. 19 is an elevation of the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 18;

[0074] drawings of some embodiments of the present invention are shown in the papers (incorporated herein by reference) attached to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/394,988, filed 10 Jul. 2002.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0075] The Sea Point™ platform apparatus 10 (FIGS. 1 and 2) of the first embodiment of the present invention comprises a platform structure 20 erected in a semi-sheltered location such as at the mouth of a river, bay, sound or inlet with sufficient water depth, natural or dredged, to accommodate ocean going vessels 31, 32 on one side and feeder vessels or barges 41, 42, 43, 44, 45 on the opposite side. For example, the platform apparatus of the present invention can be installed in the Mississippi River near Venice, La., US, adjacent the West bank at mile 12.2 above head of passes.

[0076] Platform apparatus 10 (FIGS. 1 and 2) is similar to platform apparatus 100 (FIGS. 3 and 4) but lacks upper transfer platform 65 and the double trolley system of platform apparatus 100. Both platform apparatus 10 and platform apparatus 100 include a helicopter pad (heliport) 75 at one end thereof.

[0077] The platform 20 may be constructed on pilings in the manner of a pile-supported dock or as modules 21, 22, 23 with spud legs 24 which can be towed, floating, intact to remote transoceanic locations for rapid jack-up assembly as one terminal made from multiple modules 21, 22, 23 at the chosen site. Floating modules 21, 22, 23 with jack-up supporting legs 24 that can be embedded in the solid bottom material allow almost immediate erection of the platform 20 to its desired height ready to accommodate container transfers between large carriers 31, 32 on one side and feeder vessels or barges 41, 42, 43, 44, 45 on the opposite side. Towable jack-up platform modules 21, 22, 23 are particularly attractive for military rapid deployment needs and could be a valuable element of U.S. prepositioned forces or reserve fleet components. As shown in the drawings, the platform 20 is set out an appropriate height above the water line 81 of water 80, with spud legs 24 extending below the mud line 91 and through mud 90.

[0078] The platform 20 (FIG. 1) serves as the base for container handling cranes 51, 52, 53, 54 that can be designed to have an extreme reach on the large vessel side as well as on the feeder side so that a panamax vessel 31 105 feet (32 m) wide, or a postpanamax vessel 32 up to 200 feet (61 m) wide can be loaded or discharged by the container boom on the large vessel side to or from feeders 41, 42, 43, 44, 45 docked two or more wide up to about 200 feet (61 m) off the feeder vessel side. These container cranes 51, 52, 53, 54 using state of the art lifting speed and capacity and horizontal travel speeds can, in one transfer cycle, lift two or more loaded containers 55 at a time and rapidly transfer them to or from stowed positions on the feeders. Cranes 51, 52, 53, 54 can be similar to standard gantry container handling cranes, and similar in construction to the cranes shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,363,411; 4,568,232; and 4,762,456. Cranes 51, 52, 53, 54 each include crane legs 56, gantries 58 supported on legs 56, bracing 57 which interconnects legs 56 and which connects legs 56 to gantries 58, and trolley stops 59 to prevent the trolleys 71 from falling off of the ends of the gantries 58.

[0079] Feeder vessels or barges 41, 42, 43, 44, 45 being shorter and less wide than large container carriers 31, 32 can be berthed on the platform side opposite the larger vessels 31, 32 in sets (FIG. 2) so that distribution to multiple destinations can be served quickly by loading the feeders with specifically destined containers and dispersing immediately upon completion of discharge. Simultaneously, outbound cargo would be brought to Sea Point™ by separate feeder vessels or barges 41, 42, 43, 44, 45 and placed alongside the platform to be transferred to the large vessels 31, 32 as soon as the empty feeder is taken away from the dock. It is also possible to use one vessel/barge as a carrier for export and import transferred containers.

[0080] During loading or discharge at a Sea Point™ transfer platform, outport destined containers 55 may be landed to one or more transfer cars 61 stationed under the crane legs 56 on designated road ways 62 that may run in opposite directions so as to distribute such containers 55 to cranes serving feeders for their destinations (FIG. 3). This would be accomplished by vehicles (such as light tractors 76—see FIG. 7) hauling these containers on cars or chassis 61 to cranes loading the desired feeders, reducing or eliminating any necessity for stacking or grounding containers on the platform during cargo operations. The container cranes 51, 52, 53, 54 can also be designed to each have two separate cabs and traveling trolleys 71 that move outward from a center raised transfer rack 65; this provides rapid transfer from each side that will speed up the loading and discharge cycles substantially (see FIG. 3). As shown in FIG. 3, containers 55 can rest on transfer rack 65 while waiting to be transferred between ships 31, 32, and barges 41, 42, 43, 44, or 45. Adjacent transfer rack 65 are openings 66 to allow containers 55 to move from the cranes 51, 52, 53, 54 to road ways 62.

[0081] The delivery to various port terminals by feeder barges or feeder vessels 41, 42, 43, 44, 45 permits each port terminal to be designed to discharge these less costly vessel units 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, direct to rail car and truck lanes located along the dockside within the reach of port cranes' terminal side. Extended landside booms on port cranes can accomplish this efficiently and provide added opportunity that save several costly terminal handlings and reduces significantly the acreage traditionally required for each container terminal. The Sea Point™ platform apparatus can also be placed so as to provide offloading from large vessels to feeders and to adjacent terminal docks by locating the platform in water at a distance of about 100 feet (30.5 m) from the land terminal thus allowing one feeder vessel to be berthed between the Sea Point™ platform and land terminal. The reach (e.g. 200 feet-61 m) of the crane on each side of the platform would allow transfers between the land terminal, feeder vessels and the large vessel as desired.

[0082] The platform apparatus 110 of the third embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. Apparatus 110 includes a platform 120 supported by piles 124 imbedded in mud 90. Two container handling gantry cranes 151 and 152 are shown in FIG. 6. Crane 151 includes a gantry 153, a boom crane 141 with lifting hoist, and pedestal type boom cranes 143 and 144 with lifting hoists. Crane 152 includes a gantry 154, a boom crane 142 with lifting hoist, and pedestal type boom cranes 145 and 146 with lifting hoists.

[0083] The circles in FIG. 6 show the reach of the various cranes. As can be seen in FIG. 6, there are two storage stacks of containers 55 out of reach of the cranes (these containers 55 can be moved around by light tractors 76—see FIG. 7), and various stacks of containers 55 are shown which can be reached by more than one crane. In FIG. 6, the barges 41, 42, 433, and 44 can be partially unloaded onto platform 120 before ship 32 arrives to minimize dock time of ship 32.

[0084] The platform apparatus 200 of the fourth embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. Apparatus 200 includes a platform 220 on which are mounted two container handling gantry cranes 251 and 252. Crane 251 includes a gantry 253, a boom crane 241 with lifting hoist, and telescopic boom cranes 243 and 244 with lifting hoists. Crane 252 includes a gantry 254, a boom crane 242 with lifting hoist, and telescopic boom cranes 245 and 246 with lifting hoists.

[0085] The circles in FIG. 8 show the reach of the various cranes. As can be seen in FIG. 8, there are four mobile harbor cranes 231, 232, 233, and 234. The containers 55 out of reach of the fixed cranes can be moved around by light tractors 76—see FIG. 7—or by the mobile harbor cranes 231, 232, 233, and 234. FIG. 8 shows a causeway 225 from platform 220 to shore (not shown). This causeway 225 allows platform 220 to be supplied from shore as well as by barge and ship.

[0086] The various cranes shown in FIG. 8, the light tractors 76, and cars 61 move containers 55 among ship 32, feeder vessels 342 and 344, and barges 345 and 346.

[0087] In FIG. 8, the barges 345 and 346 can be partially unloaded onto platform 220 before ship 32 arrives to have empty slots available for the ship containers to minimize dock time of ship 32.

[0088] In FIG. 8, the gantry trolleys 71 unload above-hatch containers until the first hatch is cleared. Hatch covers are removed and cargo containers are unloaded to the bottom of the cell. Once a cell has been cleared, the cargo operations using trolleys to load and unload containers with each trolley move. The gantry trolleys 71 and the boom cranes 241 and 242 work the ship cargo. The gantry trolleys 71 deliver containers to the fixed container racks 65. The trolleys 71 may also land containers 55 on the shuttle cars 61 or on the platform 220 along the ship 32.

[0089] The cranes 243, 244, 245, 246 attached to the barge side of the gantries 253, 254 load from rack 65 to barges/feeder vessels 342, 344 and back. These cranes may also work to and from the dock transfer areas and the shuttles 61.

[0090] The boom cranes 241, 242 unload containers to the shuttle cars 61 or to the dock transfer areas.

[0091] The mobile harbor cranes 231, 232, 233, and 234 are set to work the barges 345 and 346 and feeder vessels 342 and 344 and stack.

[0092] All of the cranes are preferably equipped with anti-collision controls.

[0093] The critical matter of road and rail infrastructure required for landside terminals to accommodate large vessels can take decades to develop and billions of dollars in cost. Environmental issues may also intervene. In contrast a Sea Point™ transfer platform can be fabricated for erection in appropriate water depth locations in no more than two years time and size is unlimited. Ideally, Sea Point™ platforms can also be phased in to provide an initial size to handle, for instance, the next half decade of expected use and then expanded to any greater size when required.

[0094] Some embodiments of the present invention combine a gantry crane with one or more rotating boom cranes to increase cargo productivity economically.

[0095] The addition of one or two boom cranes to the ship side of the gantry allows a substantial increase in cargo productivity with a minimal cost.

[0096] Adding one or two boom cranes to the back side of a gantry will substantially increase the productivity of the gantry's ship unloading trolley. The increased reach of a boom allows terminal operators to efficiently load and unload barges, small feeder ships, trucks (terminal or road) and trains depending upon the terminal design.

[0097]FIGS. 9 and 10 show a container vessel 720 along a dock 30 with two gantry cranes 410 and 510. Gantry 510 has two ship side boom cranes 11 and 12 working to and from transfer areas 13 and 14. Trolley 15 of gantry 510 works to and from the ship 720 and transfer rack 16. Back boom cranes 17 and 18 of gantry 510 work between transfer rack 16 and the container storage stack 19. Back boom cranes 17 and 18 also work between transfer areas 13 and 14 and the container storage stack 19. Operations of gantry 410 are similar, though as shown gantry 410 has a single ship side boom crane 112. Like gantry 510, gantry 410 has two back boom cranes 117 and 118. Trolley 115 and cranes 112, 117, and 118 all work with a transfer rack 116.

[0098] In some terminals, one might use gantries similar to gantries 510 and 410, but without back boom cranes (see gantry 210 in FIG. 11, showing two ship side boom cranes 211 and 212). In such a terminal, cargo transferred between vessel 221 and dock 230 might be handled with terminal tractors (not shown). Other vehicles such as AGV's (automated guided vehicles) and over-the-road approved trucks and trailer chassis can be used depending upon the terminal operations.

[0099]FIG. 11 shows a 9-container wide ship 221 with one gantry 210 configured with two ship-side boom cranes 211 and 212. Gantry 210 with two attached pedestal cranes 211 and 212 working a 9-container wide ship 221 gives simultaneous access to 53 cells versus a standard gantry's access of only 9 cells. Two standard gantries working as close as possible to each other cannot access the ship's bay between them without both cranes gantrying to new positions. The improved gantry 210 with two boom cranes 211 and 212 reaches seven adjacent bays without moving the gantry. A small terminal using the improved gantry 210 can handle ships efficiently and allow a more flexible ship stowage plan.

[0100] In FIG. 11, the hatched area shows a reach into 53 cells on a 9-wide ship 221 using a 100′ (30.5 m) boom reach.

[0101] Gantry cranes similar to gantry cranes 510 and 410 might be used on a platform or finger pier handling cargo between ships (or larger barges) and feeder vessels or barges. In this example the terminal operates as a transfer hub for water born vessels, and the gantry cranes might each have a single ship side boom crane and two back boom cranes (the ship side boom cranes could be positioned distant from one another on the gantries).

[0102] Gantry cranes 510 and 410 might be used to transfer cargo between a dock and a container vessel along the dock In such a situation, gantry cranes 510 and 410 would work between a ship or barge and the storage stack, trucks and trains.

[0103] One or more of the boom cranes attached to the gantry cranes of the present invention can be horizontal slewing boom cranes (not shown in the drawings).

[0104] The examples mentioned herein show some of the benefits that can be achieved by combining a gantry with a boom crane. The examples do not show all of the possible applications. Some of the other possible benefits are for terminals that specialize in mixed cargo including containers, bulk and break bulk cargoes in bags, pallets, coils etc.

[0105] FIGS. 12-17 show an embodiment of the present invention, a boom crane and frame to be attached to a new or existing ship to shore gantry. This embodiment of the present invention allows the attachment of a boom crane to a new or existing gantry without substantially increasing wheel loads of the existing gantry. The boom cranes' stability benefits from the attachment. The invention shown in FIGS. 12-17 will allow the addition of one or two boom cranes to an existing gantry without significant structural change to the existing gantry and rail system. A conventional ship-to-shore gantry with one or more attached boom cranes increases cargo productivity economically and improves the efficiency of moving both containerized and non-containerized cargoes between vessels and land side truck/rail-on-dock transport at terminals. The invention improves the transfer of containers or other cargo between ships and feeder vessels or barges.

[0106]FIGS. 12 and 13 show a conventional ship-to-shore gantry 310 with two pedestal-type boom cranes 311 and 312 on separate frames 321 and 322 attached to the main gantry 310. Other boom cranes such as harbor cranes, jib cranes, telescopic and any other crane with a boom can be attached. The crane frames 321 and 322 can be (and preferably are) built to match the main gantry rail gauge and portal beam clearance. The wheels 343 (see FIGS. 14 and 15) of the boom crane frames 321 and 322 can be freewheeling. Hoist, luffing and sluing power for the attached cranes 311 and 312 can be provided in several ways. The main gantry power supply can be sized to provide the additional power needed for the attached cranes 311 and 312. The attached cranes 311 and 312 may also have a built in diesel/electric or diesel/hydraulic power system located over the back wheels of the crane frames 321 and 322. A separate cable reel or other power conveyance method can be used for the attached cranes 311 and 312 when power is supplied from a utility or a generating plant in the port area. A container ship 320 is shown in FIGS. 12 and 13. A trolley 315 is best seen in FIG. 12.

[0107]FIGS. 14 and 15 show different methods used to attach the crane frames 321, 322 to the main gantry 310. The attachment points can be built on both sides of the frame 321, 322 (FIG. 15) and on the main gantry 310 thereby allowing a crane to be moved and attached to either side of a gantry 310. The design will be engineered to distribute the attached crane weight to the separate crane frame wheels 343 without adding significant weight to the main gantry wheels 353. The number of wheels for the crane frame 321, 322 can be designed to keep the wheel weights within the rail design limits of the facility. The attachment points on the main gantry 310 are located to provide crane stability in the “East/West” direction along the dock 330. The “North/South” crane stability results from the separate crane frame. A structural analysis of the existing gantry and the dynamic forces of the operations will determine the best points for the attachment.

[0108]FIG. 14 shows the preferred location of slip pins 344 and fixed pins and a detail of a slip pin.

[0109] The braces should be engineered to be as high as possible for crane stability. In FIG. 15, attachment points 361 are provided on frame 441 for opposite side installation. In FIG. 15, a rope luffing jib crane 411 replaces the hydraulic ram luffing crane 311 of FIGS. 12-14. Also, the separation of frame 441 from gantry 310 is greater than the separation of frame 322 from gantry 310 to give added stability and reach to crane 411.

[0110]FIGS. 16 and 17 show the modified gantry 310 positioned over two standard hopper barges 420, 520. For barge and similar operations where the vessel(s) being loaded are without ballast and trim pumps, the modified gantries 310 are substantially more productive because the barge trim can be maintained during operations without gantrying up and down the length of the barge. Hopper barges 420, 520 can be 35 feet (10.7 m) wide and 195 feet (59.4 m) long, for example.

[0111]FIG. 17 shows a rail-on-dock operation 430. The boom crane 311 provides better reach to temporary stacks, trucks and train. The improved reach gives a terminal operator added flexibility to plan rail-on-dock operations efficiently.

[0112] In FIG. 17, a temporary storage stack 419 is indicated below the truck lanes 428. Three trucks 424, 426, and 427 are on the truck lanes 428. Railroad cars 461 or other like container-carrying means are on track 462.

[0113] The present invention has particular utility in the systems and methods disclosed in International Publication No. WO 01/42125 A1, which is incorporated herein by reference.

[0114]FIGS. 18 and 19 show Sea Point System Components of another embodiment of the present invention.

[0115] Platform

[0116] Deck 601

[0117] MPC (multi-purpose container) Island 602

[0118] Deck Extensions 603

[0119] Causeway 604

[0120] Causeway truck turn-around 605

[0121] Mooring Dolphins 606

[0122] Lift Equipment

[0123] Over the Ocean vessel

[0124] Gantry crane(s) with trolley's and hatch storage 607

[0125] Sea Point gantry crane(s) (trolley gantry cranes with one or two “boom” cranes attached and hatch storage 608

[0126] Harbor crane(s) fixed or mobile 609. The harbor cranes operate over the ship or barges.

[0127] CBW type “boom” crane(s) mounted on separate gantry frames with hatch storage 610.

[0128] Over the Barges

[0129] MPC cranes with horizontal slewing booms. 611

[0130] Harbor cranes fixed or mobile 609

[0131] Horizontal Conveyance Equipment

[0132] Bi-directional draw bar multi-trailers 612 and yard tractors 613 with automatic hitches.

[0133] Miscellaneous

[0134] Container scanning equipment 614

[0135] Fixed Barge shift equipment (winches and sliders) 615

[0136] Push boats 616

[0137] Facility Operating System

[0138] Software

[0139] Control and monitoring hardware

[0140] The use of a bi-directional drawbar double trailer (multi-trailer) 612 with an automatic hitch improves the present invention's operating flexibility, reduces labor, reduces vehicle traffic and supports cargo operations at the platform extension 603.

[0141] The bi-directional trailer allows a tractor 613 to pull into a narrow platform extension (about 50′ wide) 603. The truck without trailer can then make a U-turn and the trailer can be pulled out from the other drawbar on the opposite end. This system can be used in several areas of the platform to create additional barge docking locations where the barges can be shifted independently of the other barges. A single MPC barge crane 611 on a 50′ wide platform extension 603 can reach four barges and at least two trailers. The ability to rapidly shift strings or sets of barges independently of each other without interrupting the MPC cranes' cargo operations of the remaining barges is essential to service the largest ship loads without slowing the facility's productivity.

[0142] A separate MPC platform island 602 and mooring points 606 for the outer lane of barges gives each MPC 611 crane the ability to reach every cell in four barges and two trailer lanes on the main platform 601. The barges in each of the four lanes can be shifted without interrupting the cargo operations to the three remaining barge lanes.

Parts List

[0143] The following is a list of parts suitable for use in the present invention:

[0144]10 platform apparatus of a first embodiment of the present invention

[0145]11 ship side boom cranes

[0146]12 ship side boom cranes

[0147]13 transfer area

[0148]14 transfer area

[0149]15 trolley

[0150]16 transfer rack

[0151]17 back boom crane

[0152]18 back boom crane

[0153]19 container storage stack

[0154]20 platform structure of platform apparatus 10 and 100

[0155]21 jack-up module

[0156]22 jack-up module

[0157]23 jack-up module

[0158]24 spud legs

[0159]30 dock

[0160]31 ocean-going vessel

[0161]32 ocean-going vessel

[0162]41 barge going to port C

[0163]42 barge going to port A

[0164]43 barge going to port B

[0165]44 barge going to port A

[0166]45 barge going to port D

[0167]51 container handling crane

[0168]52 container handling crane

[0169]53 container handling crane

[0170]54 container handling crane

[0171]55 loaded containers

[0172]56 crane legs

[0173]57 bracing

[0174]58 gantries

[0175]59 trolley stops

[0176]61 transfer cars

[0177]62 road ways

[0178]65 transfer rack of platform apparatus 100

[0179]66 openings adjacent rack 65

[0180]71 cabs and traveling trolleys

[0181]75 helicopter pad (heliport)

[0182]76 yard tractor

[0183]80 water

[0184]81 water line

[0185]90 mud

[0186]91 mud line

[0187]100 platform apparatus of the second embodiment of the present invention

[0188]110 platform apparatus of the third embodiment of the present invention

[0189]112 ship side boom crane

[0190]115 trolley

[0191]116 transfer rack

[0192]117 back boom crane

[0193]118 back boom crane

[0194]120 platform

[0195]124 piles for platform 120

[0196]141 boom crane with lifting hoist

[0197]142 boom crane with lifting hoist

[0198]143 pedestal type boom crane with lifting hoist

[0199]144 pedestal type boom crane with lifting hoist

[0200]145 pedestal type boom crane with lifting hoist

[0201]146 pedestal type boom crane with lifting hoist

[0202]151 container handling crane

[0203]152 container handling crane

[0204]153 gantry of crane 151

[0205]154 gantry of crane 152

[0206]200 platform apparatus of the fourth embodiment of the present invention

[0207]210 gantry

[0208]211 ship side boom crane

[0209]212 ship side boom crane

[0210]221 vessel

[0211]220 platform

[0212]225 causeway from platform 220 to shore

[0213]230 dock

[0214]231 mobile harbor crane

[0215]232 mobile harbor crane

[0216]233 mobile harbor crane

[0217]234 mobile harbor crane

[0218]241 boom crane with lifting hoist

[0219]242 boom crane with lifting hoist

[0220]243 telescopic boom crane with lifting hoist

[0221]244 telescopic boom crane with lifting hoist

[0222]245 telescopic boom crane with lifting hoist

[0223]246 telescopic boom crane with lifting hoist

[0224]251 container handling crane

[0225]252 container handling crane

[0226]253 gantry of crane 251

[0227]254 gantry of crane 252

[0228]310 conventional ship-to-shore gantry

[0229]311 pedestal-type boom crane

[0230]312 pedestal-type boom crane

[0231]315 trolley

[0232]320 container ship

[0233]321 frame

[0234]322 frame

[0235]330 dock

[0236]341 slip pins

[0237]342 feeder vessel

[0238]343 wheels

[0239]344 feeder vessel

[0240]345 barge

[0241]346 barge

[0242]353 main gantry wheels

[0243]361 attachment points

[0244]410 gantry crane

[0245]411 rope luffing jib crane

[0246]419 temporary storage stack

[0247]420 standard hopper barges

[0248]424 truck

[0249]426 truck

[0250]427 truck

[0251]428 truck lanes

[0252]430 rail-on-dock operation

[0253]441 frame

[0254]461 railroad cars

[0255]462 track

[0256]510 gantry crane

[0257]520 standard hopper barges

[0258]601 deck

[0259]602 MPC island

[0260]603 deck extensions

[0261]604 causeway

[0262]605 causeway truck turn-around

[0263]606 mooring dolphins

[0264]607 gantry crane with trolleys and hatch storage

[0265]608 Sea Point gantry crane (trolley gantry cranes with one or two “boom” cranes attached and hatch storage)

[0266]609 Harbor crane, fixed or mobile

[0267]610 CBW type “boom” crane mounted on separate gantry frames with hatch storage

[0268]611 MPC cranes with horizontal slewing booms

[0269]612 bi-directional draw bar multi-trailers

[0270]613 yard tractors with automatic hitches

[0271]614 container scanning equipment

[0272]615 fixed barge shift equipment (winches and sliders)

[0273]616 push boats

[0274]720 container vessel

[0275] In all plan views, the circles and partial circles show the maximum outreach of the boom crane whose base is at the center of the partial circle.

[0276] Various features have been shown in various figures herein. Feature appearing in one figure can be used with apparatus in other figures. For example, though jack-up legs are shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, and pilings are shown in FIGS. 5 and 7, the platform in FIGS. 1 and 3 can be supported by pilings and the platform in FIGS. 5 and 7 can be supported by jack-up legs. Likewise, cranes appearing in one figure can be used with the apparatus shown in other figures. Also, various features shown in the various patents cited herein can be incorporated into the apparatus of the present invention.

[0277] More information about the invention can be found in the papers attached to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/394,988, filed 10 July 2002.

[0278] Any suitable materials, such as steel, can be used to construct the apparatus of the present invention. For example, reinforced concrete can be used for the platform deck.

[0279] All measurements disclosed herein are at standard temperature and pressure, at sea level on Earth, unless indicated otherwise.

[0280] The foregoing embodiments are presented by way of example only; the scope of the present invention is to be limited only by the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7062962 *Apr 9, 2004Jun 20, 2006The Regents Of The University Of CaliforniaPortable apparatus and method for measuring hydraulic features in rivers and streams
US7758293 *Oct 27, 2003Jul 20, 2010Bsh Bosch Und Siemens Hausgeraete GmbhApparatus for loading and/or unloading a transport compartment
US7987017Feb 23, 2006Jul 26, 2011Apm Terminals North America, Inc.System and process for improving container flow in a port facility
US8118534 *Jun 4, 2010Feb 21, 2012Amoss Trading Services, Inc.Container cargo transfer system
US8306649Jun 21, 2011Nov 6, 2012Apm Terminals North America, Inc.System and process for improving container flow in a port facility
WO2006053595A1 *Aug 30, 2005May 26, 2006Thyssenkrupp FoerdertechnikDevice for the offshore loading and unloading of ships
WO2008101512A1 *Feb 21, 2007Aug 28, 2008Univ Duisburg EssenOffshore container transfer station as part of a logistics system
Classifications
U.S. Classification414/138.5, 212/317
International ClassificationB66C19/00, B65G67/60
Cooperative ClassificationB66C19/002, B65G67/603
European ClassificationB66C19/00B, B65G67/60A