Four new Neo-Panamax cranes arrived into the Port of Savannah in Georgia last week as the nation’s largest single container facility continues to expand its fleet of ship-to-shore container cranes.
“To see these massive new cranes arrive flying the stars and stripes makes us proud to be part of an operation that provides jobs and opportunity for so many,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch.
The cranes arrived from China aboard the heavy lift vessel Swan on November 22, 2017. Once commissioned, the new cranes will bring Savannah’s fleet to 30. Six additional cranes will arrive in 2020.
When all are commissioned, the upgrade will allow the port to move nearly 1,300 containers per hour over the port’s 10,000 contiguous feet of dock and nine berth spaces.
Chief Operating Officer Ed McCarthy said the advantage of these new cranes will be multiplied by several other ongoing infrastructure improvements, including the Mason Mega Rail Terminal. That project will double the Port of Savannah’s annual rail lift capacity to 1 million container lifts, expanding the port’s reach into the Midwest.
“These new cranes will prepare us for the next wave of growth for Georgia and the nation,” McCarthy said. “Today’s 15 percent increase in our crane fleet will help GPA stay ahead of the growth curve. Nearly two-thirds of the ships serving the Port of Savannah are Neo-Panamax vessels, and we expect the shipping lines to continue their shift toward larger vessels.”
The Neo-Panamax cranes are tall enough to lift containers 152 feet above the dock, with their booms reaching out 192 feet – making them big enough to handle the largest ships arriving via the Expanded Panam Canal. Lift capacity for each crane is 72 tons. With the booms up, the cranes are 412 feet tall.
Upon arrival, technicians must lift and secure the boom for each crane, and complete electrical attachments, mechanical alignments and testing before the cranes are put into use. The first of the new cranes will go into service in February. Two more will be commissioned in March, with the final crane going into service in April.
“This investment, totaling $47 million, will help bring in more business and support more jobs, not only for Georgia but for the entire Southeast United States,” Lynch said.