2021 March 12 12:15

North America’s tallest cranes rise at the Port of Oakland

Three, gigantic cranes are now part of the skyline at the Port of Oakland, California, U.S.A., according to Port of Oakland's release.

It takes weeks to build each crane and the third one was completed last week. The next phase is testing the cranes and then commissioning them for work. The first of three cranes may be going into service as soon as late March or early April.

“These new cranes at Oakland are going to make a significant difference in the ability to handle cargo more efficiently” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. “Oakland international Container Terminal is the largest marine terminal at our port; and now it’s home to the tallest cranes that can receive the biggest ships calling North America."

Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) operates Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT). SSA ordered the cranes from Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company Limited (ZPMC) where they were first constructed. The cranes were sent on a ship in sections to Oakland where the cranes have been assembled on the wharf over the last two months. These larger cranes support maritime business and related jobs in Oakland and the region.

The lift height of the new ship-to-shore (STS) cranes above the dock is 174 feet. The lift height allows for greater flexibility when discharging and loading containers. Container stacks on a vessel are similar to a giant puzzle. One has to find the right container to pull it off the ship and that means moving “pieces of the puzzle” around on the vessel. With taller cranes there is more flexibility to move the containers on and off a ship.

The boom is the long arm of the crane that lowers to reach out horizontally across the width of a vessel. The boom in the maintenance position is nearly vertical at 442 feet high. The boom in its “stowage” position, at a 45-degree angle, is 372 feet high.

Next steps are testing and commissioning of the cranes. Testing includes electrical diagnostics and structural inspections. Endurance testing is required and that means checking things like the crane motors and crane hoisting equipment to ensure that they operate the way they are designed to function, when running at full speed. OSHA also has to inspect the equipment before the cranes can be put into service.

One crane weighs approximately 1600 tons. All Port of Oakland container cranes are powered by electricity, so there are zero local emissions from routine crane operations.

About the Port of Oakland

The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland Seaport, Oakland International Airport, and nearly 20 miles of waterfront including Jack London Square. The Port's 5-year strategic plan - Growth with Care - pairs business expansion with community benefits, envisioning more jobs and economic stimulus as the Port grows.