Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ninety Three Million Dollar Crane Orders to Manage Ultra Large Container Ships in US Ports

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US – CHINA – Both the Northwest Seaport Alliance and Port Everglades have announced multi-million dollar crane orders from Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries (ZPMC), capable of serving the ultra-large container carriers plying the waters around the US. The Northwest Seaport Alliance, a marine cargo operating partnership of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, has approved a $ 52 million purchase of four more container cranes to join four others already on order for Husky Terminal in the South Harbour.

The new cranes will be capable of serving ultra-large container vessels with an outreach of 24 containers and a lift height of 165 feet above the pier deck. Construction is underway at Husky Terminal to reconstruct Pier 4 to align it with Pier 3, creating a contiguous 2,960-foot berth. These improvements will allow two 18,000-TEU ships to dock at the same time.

The reconstructed berth will also include conduit for future shore power to allow ships to plug into electricity while at dock. Construction and the installation of the first four cranes is estimated to be completed in 2018 with the four additional cranes due to arrive in 2019.

In Florida, Port Everglades has purchased three low-profile Super Post Panamax container-handling gantry cranes at $13.8 million each, ahead of the port's multi-million dollar expansion programme. The port also has the option to purchase an additional three cranes anytime within five years of placing the order for the first three cranes. Port Everglades Chief Executive and Port Director Steve Cernak, said:

"Cargo ships are getting larger and several shipping lines already coming to Port Everglades from Europe and South America need Super Post-Panamax cranes now. The longer we wait, the higher the price, in addition to increasing our chances of losing important business. We cannot afford to wait until our harbour deepening and widening project is completed because the cranes are needed now."

The three new cranes will be specially constructed by ZPMC to meet federal height restrictions due to the seaport's proximity to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). The new low-profile cranes will have the ability to handle containers stacked eight units high and reach across 22 containers on a ship's decks. Port Everglades' existing seven gantry cranes in the Southport area, where the majority of the Port's containerised cargo handling takes place, are limited to containers stacked five units high and can reach out across a ‘mere’ 16 containers on a ship's deck.

Photo: A previous crane order from ZPMC being delivered to London Gateway container port last year.