Four new Super Post Panamax ship-to-shore cranes arrived at the Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal on Monday bringing the total number of cranes at the port to 26, more than any other terminal in the U.S.
Designed by Konecranes of Finland, the cranes can work the largest ships calling on the U.S. East Coast, reaching across vessels 22 containers wide.
With the four new cranes, Savannah now features 20 New Panamax cranes and six post-panamax cranes (reaching 17 containers across). Another four New Panamax cranes are due to arrive in 2018, which will bring the port’s total to 30.
The crane capacity is part of several projects undertaken by the port of Savannah to accommodate larger vessels coming through the expanded Panama Canal. The port is also in the middle of its Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) that involves deepening the inner harbor to 47 feet and the outer harbor to 49 feet at mean low water.
In July, the port saw the arrival of the MOL Benefactor, the largest vessel to ever call at the port and the first to arrive via the Panama Canal’s new Neopanamax locks. The arrival was also significant because it marked the first Savannah call of the G6 Alliance’s new NYX service which deploys vessels exclusively in the 10,000-TEU range. The NYX East Coast rotation also includes the ports of New York/New Jersey and Virginia.
“For customers, it means the capacity to move up to a thousand containers per hour across a single dock at America’s largest terminal – allowing us to work more vessels, more quickly,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch. “It means getting cargo to market and getting ships back out to sea with unmatched efficiency.”
In 2015, the Port of Savannah handled 8.2 percent of the U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10.3 percent of all U.S. containerized exports.
“We’re growing our crane fleet in order to stay ahead of demand,” said GPA Chief Operating Officer Ed McCarthy. “Since the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in June, Garden City Terminal has seen a 40 percent increase in the number of vessels carrying 8,000 or more twenty-foot equivalent container units. Over the same period, the Port of Savannah has seen a 21 percent increase in the number of TEUs handled per vessel.”