Oakland Port to See Cranes Going Higher

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

February 28, 2017

Photo: Port of Oakland

Photo: Port of Oakland

Up to six 366-foot-tall cranes will soon be raised 27-feet higher at the Port of Oakland. The port said the $14 million-to-$21 million project will begin this spring at its largest marine terminal. The objective: make it easier to load and unload megaships with containers stacked high above deck.

“We’re already working the largest ships to call in North America,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “By raising the height of ship-to-shore cranes, we make certain that we’re ready as more megaships head our way.”

The governing Board of Port Commissioners approved the crane plan at a meeting last night. It calls for installing longer legs on four-to-six cranes at Oakland International Container Terminal. The terminal handles 70 percent of Oakland’s cargo. Last winter it received the 1,300-foot long Benjamin Franklin, the largest container ship ever to visit the U.S.

The Port of Oakland said it will pay to raise the cranes. It added that the terminal operator, SSA, will repay the Port over the life of its Oakland lease.

In simple terms, here’s how cranes are raised:

 * A massive jack lifts the entire structure off the terminal deck.
 * Portions of the original crane legs are cut away.
 * New leg extensions are placed under the crane and fastened into place.

The terminal said it hopes to begin work on the cranes in April. Completion is scheduled for the second quarter of 2018, depending on how many cranes are raised. That number will also determine the total cost of the project.

The port said it will take about nine weeks to raise each crane. Jacking equipment is already en route to Oakland, the Port said. Up to 40 tractor-trailers will be used to transport the equipment. Steel leg extensions are being fabricated in China where the cranes were manufactured.

“We need bigger cranes to work the larger and more heavily laden ships calling Oakland,” said SSA President Ed DeNike. It’s part of SSA’s long-term commitment to Oakland.”

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