Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Another Giant Chinese Crane Order Purchased by US Port to Handle Container Megaships

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US – CHINA – Towering new cranes are coming to the Port of Oakland to handle the latest generation of megaships as the Port announced that its largest marine terminal would install three 300-foot-tall gantry cranes late next year. The $30 million order, which was submitted last week, will go to Oakland International Container Terminal on Oakland Estuary and the units are expected to be amongst the tallest cranes in the nation. The cranes, which measure a colossal 440 feet tall with booms upraised, will be delivered by ship from China. They have to arrive only partially assembled to assure clearance under the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

The new cranes will be able to load and unload the world’s largest container ships. The latest generation ‘megaships’ can be up to 1,300 feet long and carry nearly 23,000 TEU. Containers of cargo are stacked up to 12-high above deck on the largest vessels meaning ever taller cranes are required to reach across the tops of the stacks. Port Maritime Director John Driscoll, said:

“This demonstrates the faith that business partners have in Oakland as a trade gateway. There’s no more visible sign of a port’s growth than installing larger ship-to-shore cranes.”

SSA Terminals, the operator of Oakland International Container Terminal, ordered the cranes from Shanghai-based Zhenhua Heavy Industries (ZPMC). SSA said it expects the cranes to be delivered in 18 months. SSA say the new cranes will reach a lift height of 174 feet above the dock. They will also be able to reach 225 feet across a ship’s deck to reach the furthest stacks. The terminal operator says its new workhorses will make it quicker and easier to get containers on and off vessels calling Oakland. SSA Containers President Ed DeNike, commented:

“Big ships are the future. They’re coming to Oakland and we’re going to be ready for them.”

There are four marine terminals in Oakland loading and unloading the box ships. Oakland International Container Terminal handles more than 60% of the Port’s total cargo volume. SSA operates 10 cranes at Oakland International Container Terminal and the Port said it will remove three older cranes from the line when the new ones are installed.

Photo: The cranes will need to arrive partially assembled so they are free to pass under the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.