SC Ports Welcomes New STS Cranes Enhancing Neo-Panamax Vessel Handling

Just a day prior to the South Carolina Ports Authority’s celebration of the beginning of Charleston Harbor Deepening Project construction, the Port welcomed two new ship-to-shore cranes at the Wando Welch Terminal to further enhance the handling of neo-Panamax vessels.

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“It is fitting to welcome the arrival of two new cranes as we begin construction on the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO. “The cranes are an integral part of the Port’s plans to modernize existing terminals in order to more efficiently handle big ships. Along with the Wando Terminal wharf strengthening project, bigger cranes enable the Port to continue to meet the needs of our customers and deliver the operational reliability and productivity we are known for in the U.S. port industry.”

Produced by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. (ZPMC) in China, the new cranes can lift containers 155 feet above the dock. The Wando Welch Terminal received its first two neo-Panamax cranes in August 2016, and an additional crane is on order for delivery in August 2019.

Arrival of the cranes marks the final stage of a $48.4 million project to strengthen and upgrade the Wando Terminal wharf and infrastructure required for handling larger vessels. Upon commissioning of the new cranes in June, the Wando will return to a three-berth facility.

In addition to the new cranes, SCPA is raising four existing cranes from 115 feet lift height to 155 feet. By the fall of 2019, the Wando Terminal’s fleet of 13 cranes will include 9 that are neo-Panamax in size.

SCPA currently handles 20 of 27 weekly calls of vessels too large to transit the Panama Canal prior to its expansion. Beginning in April, two weekly services will consist of vessels 13,000 TEU or more. Upon completion of harbor deepening project in 2020, Charleston will offer wide channels with depth of 52 feet in the Inner Harbor and 54 feet in the Entrance Channel.

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