Photo: Image Courtesy: Flickr/Jay Galvin under CC BY 2.0 license

Port of Oakland Makes Its Shore Cranes Big Ship Ready

Four ship-to-shore cranes at Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT), the busiest terminal at the Port of Oakland, are 27 feet (8.2 meters) taller, marking the completion of the year-long, crane-raising project that.

The fourth and final raised crane went back into service on August 23 and is ready to serve larger ships with containers stacked high above vessel decks.

Under a project that began in May 2017, the four gantry cranes had their lifting height increased from 115 feet to 142 feet above the dock. The giant cranes can soar up to 393 feet, the height of a 39-story building, with the booms in the highest position, according to the Port of Oakland.

How is a crane raised?

  • A massive jack is constructed – this jack required fifty trucks to transport sections of the jack to Oakland; an expert crew assembled the jack;
  • A rubber-tired trailer system is used to move the 3-million-pound crane off the tracks and reposition the crane to the work area;
  • Engineers require at least two months to brace one crane on supports, cut away its lower legs, raise the crane, insert the longer extensions and weld everything back together;
  • The taller crane is tested and placed back in operation.

Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) that operates OICT managed the crane-raising project in partnership with the Port of Oakland at a cost of around USD 14 million.

These higher gantry cranes can reach over an additional three levels of stacked containers on a big ship’s deck, helping boost the process and speed of cargo operations.

“Taller cranes are critical for loading and unloading massive container ships that arrive at our marine terminal,” said SSA President Ed DeNike.

“These huge cranes will help us move cargo more efficiently through the Oakland Seaport and support our operations for years to come.”

The port said earlier that the crane-raising project was part of an overall effort to strengthen Oakland’s competitiveness among West Coast ports.

Other projects under the initiative include doubling the size of the nearby TraPac marine terminal, constructing a 287,000-square foot Cool Port for refrigerated cargo transport and developing the first 27 acres of a Seaport Logistics Complex to attract additional imports and exports.

The Port of Oakland expects the SeaPort logistics project to begin this fall. The complex is envisioned as a cargo-handling campus that would serve as a transload center where shippers can ready cargo for transfer from ships to trucks or rail.

The port, in partnership with its terminal operators, anticipates heightening more cranes and adding new ones over the next few years.

Image Courtesy: Flickr/Jay Galvin under CC BY 2.0 license