Three new ship-to-shore gantry cranes for the Port of Gulfport are arrivined by ship and the port took delivery.
Manufactured in China at a cost of $30 million, the equipment is designed to meet the port's needs for the next 40 years.
Standing 225 ft in the air, they are 55 feet taller than the Hancock Bank Building in Gulfport, MS.
The ship-to-shore gantry crane is a type of large crane used for loading and unloading intermodal containers from container ships. The cranes consist of a supporting framework that can travel back and forth on rail track.
They are equipped with a specialized handling tool called a spreader. The spreader can be lowered on top of a container and locks onto the container's four locking points.
The cranes were built by ZPMC, one of the largest heavy-duty equipment manufacturers in the world. Construction on the cranes began in October 2014 and the three cranes left Shanghai, China in January 2016 for their journey to Gulfport.
“It’s creating a significant buzz in the industry,” said Jonathan Daniels, executive director and CEO of the port, about the cranes manufcatured by ZPMC. “We’re fielding inquiries; we’re working with shippers; we’re working with carriers to make sure these are not only used for existing tenants but allow us the opportunity to bring in new tenants in the future.”
However, some critics call the investment "too much crane" for what the ships the Port of Gulfport can handle.
“If we bought smaller cranes, five years from now if we end up with larger ships and we don't have the crane size, they're the same people that would say, we did not plan properly for the future,” said Daniels.