2016 Apr 09

Port of Tampa Bay receives 2 new gantry cranes to handle 9,000-TEU ships

The Port of Tampa Bay in Florida has taken delivery of two gantry cranes that cost US$24 million from Shanghai's ZPMC to handle mega ships that are expected to call with the opening of the expanded Panama Canal opening on June 26.

The cranes can accommodate stack heights of up to 130 feet and can reach out over 174 feet, enough to handle 9,000-TEU ships, twice the size of the current maximum capacity at the US east coast port, reports Fort Lauderdale's Maritime Executive.

The port says that its regional market, the Tampa Bay-Orlando corridor, is Florida's fastest growing region and is home to the state's largest concentration of distribution centres.

However, the port's container terminal has a draft restriction of 43 feet, and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge restricts visiting vessels to those with an air draft of under 180 feet.

Rival port of Miami claims to be the only "major logistics hub" south of Virginia capable of handing the 13,000-TEU vessels that will be able to pass through the canal, having completed a $1 billion dredging project to raise the draft to 52 feet.

Just north of Miami, Port Canaveral has also commenced a dredging project to accommodate vessels with up to 40 feet of draft; and its new container terminal began operations with two refurbished gantry cranes last year.


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