Four new Super Post Panamax ship-to-shore cranes arrived at Garden City Terminal Monday, bringing the Port of Savannah’s total to 26, more than any other terminal in the U.S.
“For customers, it means the capacity to move up to a thousand containers per hour across a single dock at America’s largest terminal – allowing us to work more vessels, more quickly,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch. “It means getting cargo to market and getting ships back out to sea with unmatched efficiency.”
Designed by Konecranes of Finland, these enormous cranes can work the largest ships calling on the U.S. East Coast, reaching across vessels 22 containers wide.
Boskalis vessel Teal transports four new ship-to-shore cranes up the Savannah River past historic River Street to Garden City Terminal at the Port of Savannah, Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. (Georgia Ports Authority/Stephen B. Morton)
“We’re growing our crane fleet in order to stay ahead of demand,” said GPA Chief Operating Officer Ed McCarthy. “Since the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in June, Garden City Terminal has seen a 40 percent increase in the number of vessels carrying 8,000 or more twenty-foot equivalent container units. Over the same period, the Port of Savannah has seen a 21 percent increase in the number of TEUs handled per vessel.”
Counting the new cranes, Savannah now features 20 New Panamax cranes and six post-panamax cranes (reaching 17 containers across). Another four New Panamax cranes are due to arrive in 2018, bringing Savannah’s total to 30. The cranes operate over a dock with nearly 10,000 feet of contiguous berth space.
The new cranes, along with the Savannah Harbor deepening, help to accommodate a move in the world fleet toward larger ships. Through its expanded locks, the Panama Canal can now accommodate vessels with a capacity of 14,000 TEUs – nearly triple the size of the canal’s previous maximum. This opens an important new route for the more efficient ships to serve the U.S. East Coast.
Port officials said the improvements to the Port of Savannah’s crane fleet demonstrate the GPA’s commitment to expand capacity, providing more opportunities for growth and greater flexibility to meet customer needs.
“Garden City Terminal completes 100,000 container transactions every week,” said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood. “Keeping all those transactions moving smoothly requires the authority to maintain capacity at least 20 percent above demand. Our new cranes help to ensure the terminal remains congestion-free and efficient for customers.”