Increasing operational efficiency at Portsmouth International Port.

Major investment at Portsmouth International Port has seen bollards replaced with James Fisher Strainstall's quick release mooring hooks to help improve port safety and efficiency.

Part of the ongoing development to upgrade the services at Portsmouth International Port has included major improvements in operational efficiencies and the safety of personnel. As traffic through the port has expanded, so has the size of the vessels. This growth started to create potential problems for the ports rope handling operatives, who were facing larger risks of severe back injuries.

By replacing the traditional mooring methods of using bollards with James Fisher Strainstall’s (JF Strainstall) innovative quick release mooring hooks, the physical efforts of rope handling has been significantly reduced. The use of this method is so effective that the number of operatives required for each rope has been reduced by 50%.

Taking on the challenge:

JF Strainstall’s quick release mooring hooks have been manufactured for over 30 years. Upgraded in material selection and manufactured to provide safe and reliable operation in the environments encountered on jetties, they have been designed to provide ease of installation, maintenance and fitting.

Thousands of JF Strainstall’s quick release mooring hooks have been installed worldwide, but the Portsmouth installation faced some unique technical challenges due to a high tidal range and the presence of large numbers of passengers in the jetty area. The high tidal range meant that at very high tides, the mooring rope angle could be very steep, posing a threat to the ropes slipping off the hooks when loads were low. To avoid potential issues JF Strainstall adapted the standard quick release mooring hooks to incorporate an elongated hook which prevented any compromise to the release of the rope at such steep angles.

As an additional safety feature, JF Strainstall also created a bespoke and innovative swipe card system, linked to the main control room, which requires authorisation from both the control room and the jetty head before the mooring lines can be released.

Positive feedback:

Martin Putman, Port Manager of Portsmouth International Port, said:

"The JF Strainstall system will really modernise our operations, an investment that helps to further protect the safety of our workforce. I'm personally delighted the most competitive tender for the best system came from a company on the Isle of Wight. That means money stays in the local economy, helping to protect jobs. It also guarantees us a high level of service, with maintenance and spare parts just a short ferry ride away."