South Carolina Ports welcomed 15 hybrid rubber-tired gantry cranes to the Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal. The arrival of this new cargo-handling equipment is significant as SC Ports prepares to welcome the first cargo ship to the Leatherman Terminal in March.
“It is always an exciting day when new cranes come through Charleston Harbor,” SC Ports CEO Jim Newsome said. “The Leatherman Terminal’s impressive new equipment will provide reliable service to our customers and environmental benefits to the region.”
The 15 hybrid rubber-tired gantry (RTG) cranes arrived in North Charleston, S.C., on the Zhen Hua 15. This is a record-setting shipment for Shanghai-based manufacturer ZPMC — it marks the most rubber-tired gantry cranes loaded by ZPMC onto one vessel bound for the United States.
The 15 cranes will join four RTGs that arrived last month, and an additional six RTGs will arrive early next year — making a total of 25 hybrid RTGs that will service the Leatherman Terminal container yard.
SC Ports will also receive eight empty container handlers this month; they are produced by Finland-based Kalmar for use in the Leatherman Terminal container yard.
SC Ports recently welcomed five ship-to-shore cranes from ZPMC to the Leatherman Terminal’s new 1,400-foot berth. The new ship-to-shore cranes have 169 feet of lift height above the wharf deck and an outreach of 228 feet, enabling them to work the biggest container ships calling the East Coast.
“With each equipment arrival, we take a step closer to realizing the Leatherman Terminal,” SC Ports COO Barbara Melvin said. “Our SC Ports Engineering Department and numerous project partners perform an unbelievable amount of work and coordination on the site every day to make our March opening possible.”
The RTG cranes were fabricated by ZPMC and then shipped across the Pacific Ocean and through the Panama Canal before making their final leg of the journey to Charleston. Once the cranes are offloaded onto the Leatherman Terminal, the ZPMC USA team will commission the cranes over the next few months before they are put into service.
Crane operators will then run the RTG cranes within the 47-acre container yard, efficiently moving and stacking cargo boxes on the Leatherman Terminal.