Crowley has loaded three large Hitachi gantry (container) cranes in Los Angeles onto a 400 ft long by 100 ft wide deck barge and it, along with a powerful ocean-going tugboat, are currently underway for the port of Apra, Guam
This will mark the second delivery that Crowley has made in recent months with these types of cranes for Bickerton Iron Works, Inc. The first shipment included three cranes for the SSA terminal in Manzanillo, Mexico.
Crowley's tug Mars and Barge 416, which were used in the transport of cranes to Manzanillo in late Nov. and early Dec., are carrying the second set of cranes from Los Angeles to Guam with an anticipated delivery date of Feb. 6. Horizon Lines/Matson Navigation, who jointly own the cranes, had Bickerton completely rebuild them, adding additional strength, stiffening and elevation to handle heavier loads on larger container ships that will be calling on Guam once the U.S. military begins shifting its operations from Okinawa, Japan to Guam in 2010.
Once rebuilt, Bickerton hired Crowley to bring the barge into the dock where the three cranes were waiting. The careful, detailed loading took 11 days. Then the barge was ballasted to transit underneath the busy Vincent Thomas suspension bridge - the seventh largest in the U.S. - connecting San Pedro to Terminal Island and Long Beach.
Careful planning and coordination between Crowley, the local pilots, U.S. Coast Guard, California Department of Transportation, harbor police, the state highway patrol and other terminal operators took place to ensure the cranes would clear the bridge as they transited down the waterway. The closest the load came to the bridge was seven feet. Once clear of the structure, the barge was de-ballasted and put into an ocean transit mode for the 5,600 nautical mile voyage to Guam. The tug Mars will make a brief refueling stop in Honolulu en route. Once the Barge 416 makes its delivery in Guam, it will return to Seattle to begin preparations for the summer arctic sealift season.
Jacksonville-based Crowley Holdings Inc., a newly formed holding company of the 117-year-old Crowley Maritime Corporation, is a privately held family and employee-owned company that provides diversified transportation and logistics services in domestic and international markets by means of six operating lines of business: Puerto Rico/Caribbean Liner Services, Latin America Liner Services, Logistics Services, Petroleum Services, Marine Services and Technical Services.