Freight News, Sea

Cranes arrive at Wando Welch Terminal

[ March 3, 2021   //   ]

South Carolina Ports welcomed two more massive ship-to-shore cranes to Wando Welch Terminal on February 26.

The new cranes are part of SC Ports’ strategic investment plan to modernize operations and upgrade infrastructure to handle more cargo and bigger ships at the Port of Charleston.

“As a result of our significant investments in terminal infrastructure, we offer unmatched vessel and cargo fluidity at a time that it is sorely needed in major U.S. ports,” SC Ports President and CEO Jim Newsome said.

The new cranes have 155 feet of lift height above the wharf deck and 212 feet of boom outreach, enabling them to service container vessels up to 24 containers wide.

The cranes arrived in Charleston on Wednesday aboard the Zhen Hua 27 after a two-month journey from Shanghai-based manufacturer ZPMC. They first docked at Columbus Street Terminal before making their way to Wando Welch Terminal Thursday.

The cranes will be assembled and commissioned behind the wharf for several months and then begin working ships this summer.

As vessel sizes increase, SC Ports has consistently invested in bigger cranes to efficiently handle the taller, wider stacks of cargo on mega container ships.

By the end of 2021, Wando Welch Terminal will have 15 cranes with 155 feet of lift height working vessels; with this latest crane arrival, Wando Welch Terminal now has 13 cranes of that size.

“Taller cranes with wider reach greatly increase our big-ship capabilities,” Newsome said. “These impressive cranes from ZPMC ensure SC Ports will remain globally competitive as we work the largest, cargo-laden ships already calling the Port of Charleston and U.S. East Coast.”

SC Ports’ infrastructure investments and the ongoing Charleston Harbor Deepening Project will enable Wando Welch Terminal to handle three 14,000-TEU ships simultaneously this year.

“Our infrastructure investments enable SC Ports to efficiently work mega container ships, ensuring the swift movement of goods to market,” Newsome said. “We remain on track to achieve 52 feet of depth in Charleston Harbor and continually invest in our infrastructure, which will give SC Ports the ability to work 19,000-TEU vessels — a capability few U.S. ports have today.”