Will purchase reachstackers and forklift with ‘Smart Alarms’

Everett, Washington’s Port Commission recently authorized a contract with the Spokane-based Dix Corporation for $311,202 to relocate and re-commission both of the Port’s 40-ton container cranes from the South Terminal storage yard to Pacific Terminal Wharf.

This endorsement is the last in a series of approvals to place the gantry cranes into operation, which is needed to better handle the increased cargo volumes the Port’s shipping terminals have experienced in recent years. The Port of Everett is currently the only container port in the state that doesn’t have container cranes in operation.

‘By placing these cranes into operation, we are going to re-establish our competitive edge in the shipping industry,’ Port Commissioner Phil Bannan said. ‘Since these cranes can handle nearly twice the amount of cargo as the current equipment, this will allow the Port to attract more business.’

Efforts are underway to install the needed crane rail beams on Pacific Terminal to support the two container cranes. Once this work is complete, the cranes will be relocated over land to Pacific Terminal. Port staff expects the wharf upgrade to be complete by the end of August, concurrent with the crane start-up.

The cranes, which were obtained from the Port of Seattle in 2003 at nearly no cost, have been serviced, painted and upgraded in preparation for relocation. The cranes can’t currently be used at South Terminal because the wharf isn’t strong enough to accommodate the cranes without major structural upgrades to the wharf.

New environmentally friendly reachstackers & forklift equipped with ‘Smart Alarms’

The Everett Port Commission also approved the purchase of two reachstackers and a forklift for its shipping terminals, all of which come equipped with ‘smart alarms’ aimed at reducing the noise level of the backup alarms during off-peak hours.

These alarms consist of an ambient noise sensor that measures the surrounding noise and adjusts the backup alarms accordingly. The new technology, which is certified by the regulatory agencies, should reduce the loud backup alarms during the nighttime hours, said Carl Wollebek, director of marine terminals for the Port. For example, if there were hardly any noise outside, the alarm wouldn’t beep as loud.

‘This new equipment should reduce the noise levels of the alarms by using the ambient noise measurement technology, as well as help reduce unnecessary noise at the terminals,’ Wollebek said.

The equipment, totaling a cost of approximately $1.2 million, are the cleanest, most environmentally friendly machines that are available to date. The purchase of this new equipment allows the Port to set the standard for cargo handling equipment in the region. The Port of Everett, along with several other ports in the region, are partnering with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to conduct an air emissions inventory and to help reduce air emissions at ports.

‘The equipment will make us a better neighbor, more environmentally friendly, and also increase business opportunities for the Port,’ Port Commissioner Connie Niva said. ‘I think it is smart of us to be ahead of the curve like this.’

Furthermore, the Port of Everett is one of only 28 agencies in the state to receive a Department of Ecology grant to retrofit its marine terminal equipment with the goal of reducing air emissions. As part of the grant, Ecology will visit the Port of Everett in early July to inspect the Port’s marine terminal equipment to determine which vehicles are best suited for retrofitting.

The reachstackers should be delivered within 22 weeks, while the forklift won’t arrive until March 2007.