Port of Oakland welcomes its tallest cranes yet into the harbor

Crane arrival
Crane arrival; Image courtesy Port of Oakland

Colossal cranes have arrived into the Port of Oakland’s harbor on board the heavy-lift vessel Zhen Hua 35.

Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) has invested in the three giant cranes for its Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT). The cranes were ordered from Shanghai-based ZPMC.

The investment is valued at $30 million. 

According to SSA, its new cranes have a lift height of 174 feet above the dock. They will be able to reach 225 feet across a ship’s deck. When the crane booms are in the raised position, they will soar more than 400 feet above the wharf.

The cranes will help the port boost its efficiency in handling the ultra-large containerships that call at North American ports and keep its competitiveness.

SSA operates 10 cranes at Oakland International Container Terminal. The port said it would remove three older cranes from the terminal when the new ones arrive. 

The new cranes will be the tallest ever at Oakland and rank among the largest in the U.S. 

The Port of Oakland’s December imports grew 11 percent compared to December 2019. Containerized export volume was up 0.9 percent during the same period. Total TEUs for December were 208,341 which is up 7.4 percent compared to the same time last year.

The port said it expected an increase in December’s imports when it saw November imports had decreased. Delays at the Southern California ports have affected the West Coast supply chain, therefore, impacting Oakland.

“We anticipated that some of November’s cargo would spill into December,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes.

The port’s growing import volume in 2020 is a trend that began in June and it remains to be seen how long this trend will continue.”

Overall, the port’s total container volume was flat throughout 2020. Total TEUs were 2.46 million which is down 1.6 percent compared to 2.5 million in 2019.

The port said this was due primarily to factory shutdowns in China last year and Asia exporters affected by pandemic restrictions. The port also pointed to lower demand as local businesses and consumers adjusted to regional shutdowns.