The cranes arrived on a specialized vessel June 5. After the cranes were offloaded, crews began raising the booms, and the electrical and machinery housings roughly 100 feet to their proper position. Additional on-site work included elevator installation and final wiring connections.
“Our new cranes, coupled with the pending harbor deepening and superior road and rail connections beyond our gates, mean the Port of Savannah is poised to take advantage of the next evolution in global commerce,” said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz.
The first of the new cranes went into service in August, with additional cranes coming online every few weeks. Today, the fourth new super post-Panamax crane begins moving cargo. Each new crane can lift up to 65 tons.
When the deeper Panama Canal opens in 2015, the average vessel calling on the U.S. East Coast is expected to shift from a capacity of 4,500 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) to approximately 9,000 TEUs. The larger vessels will offer 20 percent to 40 percent savings on shipping costs.
“The four additional ship-to-shore cranes increase our fleet to 27, including nine post-Panamax and 16 super post-Panamax cranes,” said Chief Operating Officer Griff Lynch. “Operating over 9,700 feet of contiguous berth space, the new equipment will mean even faster turn times for the vessels calling on Savannah—generating both time and cost savings for port customers.”
Lynch said ships calling on Savannah already enjoy immediate service upon arrival, instead of having to wait for a leased berth space to open. He added that the improvements to the Port of Savannah’s crane fleet demonstrate the GPA’s commitment to expand capacity, provide more opportunities for growth and greater flexibility to meet customer needs.
“With on-terminal improvements such as these new ship-to-shore cranes and the state’s expansion of truck routes beyond our gates, Georgia is making the capacity improvements necessary to keep pace with global trade,” said GPA Board Chairman Robert Jepson.