January 29, 2021 — At the beginning of 2020, Liebherr Mobile Harbour Cranes was able to rely on a strong order backlog, which was already built up in 2019. The first quarter of 2020 was also very positive with several incoming orders. At the beginning of the second quarter of 2020, a decline in orders was noticeable. This was strongly linked to the corona pandemic and the resulting global lockdown.
However, current projects were not cancelled but postponed. A certain amount of uncertainty was felt in the market, but in this never-before-seen situation, this behaviour was quite understandable and comprehensible. These delayed decisions led, positively speaking, to an extended summer break but not to a drastic downturn. In addition, Liebherr was able to maintain the production operation in compliance with all the required hygiene rules and in constant communication with the local health authority. During this period supply chains could be maintained.
Close to the customer despite Corona
Despite the slight drop in sales in the course of the worldwide lockdown, Liebherr equipment continued to operate at ports around the world. Although the flow of goods declined for a short time, ports are systemically important, so service and support from the Liebherr customer service continued to be in demand. The worldwide well-positioned Liebherr service network has helped a lot during this time and through local mixed sales companies, dealers and partners Liebherr was always on site at the customer’s location. Trade fairs and customer visits that were cancelled due to travel restrictions were also well compensated by online trade fairs, online webinars and online talk shows. In this way, the sales staff were able to maintain contact with customers, although online offers naturally do not replace personal contact.
A strong fourth quarter
The Mobile Harbour Crane market was lively throughout the entire period. With the beginning of the fourth quarter 2020, we also felt a substantial recovery. Liebherr sold LHM equipment on every continent in the fourth quarter 2020 and ended the year with an order intake slightly above the level of 2019. Andreas Müller, Sales Director of Liebherr mobile harbour cranes and reachstackers comments: “This means that Liebherr remains the market leader in the mobile harbour cranes segment. This development gives grounds for optimism and provides a good base to start in 2021. A stable order intake will be the goal and a challenge in the coming year – especially due to the restrictions imposed by the corona pandemic. If we manage to achieve this, we should also achieve an increase in sales compared to 2020 – all in all, a positive forecast.”
Sales highlights 2020
The purely electrical driven LPS 420 E gantry crane has more than proven itself in cargo handling at the Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port. NCSP Group has ordered two more units of this type and expects crane number two to be delivered shortly. NCSP is thus taking a further step towards an emission-free port and is developing into an environmentally conscious role model in the industry.
In Argentina Liebherr sold an LHM 420 to Euroamérica in Campana. This was the first crane of its type in this South American country, it was also the first mobile harbour crane to be assembled with the help of Liebherr’s new Remote Service App. Salerno Container Terminal in Italy has received its second LHM 800 in the high rise version and is thus further expanding its capacities. In Africa Liebherr recently sold two LHM 550 to the customer Ghana Ports and Harbour.
Four LHM 550s were delivered to the customer ISO Limited in New Zealand. The machines are equipped with a wood grab and take timber handling there to a new level. In North America, Liebherr placed the first Liebherr mobile harbour crane in the US state of Louisiana. An LHM 550 will soon go into operation there for bulk handling at the customer Port of Lake Charles.