Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Three Super-Sized Cranes Arrive in Seattle

The Port of Seattle has become the new home for three “Super Post-Panamax” container cranes.

The cranes, which are made to handle the largest vessels now in existence, were brought through Elliott Bay on Nov. 28, and are expected to allow the port to expand the reach of unloading container ships to the 24 container width maximum.

They were built in Shanghai, China and transported to the Pacific Northwest aboard a ship specially modified to transport unusually large cargo.

The cranes are the first to come to the port since an August deal with SSA Terminals, under which the company has to buy more of its own cranes in exchange for no longer having to pay the port a fee to maintain and operate port-owned cranes.

Under the agreement, SSA, which operates out of Terminal 18, has to buy more of its own cranes over the next five years. In addition to the three just-arrived cranes, another three are expected to arrive by 2013.

Although the port’s expected lose over $5 million in revenue in the next five years under the deal, it says it will ultimately save at least $232,000, since it won’t have to pay for any of the scheduled crane replacements during that time.