Two new super cranes from China arrive at Mobile APM facilit
THE Alabama port of Mobile has taken delivery of two new super post-Panamax container cranes, completing a two-month voyage from China. The cranes will be installed at the APM Terminals' facility.
The new cranes were built by Chinese company ZPMC. They have a capacity of 100 tonnes and can handle container loads 22 to 23 units wide, stacked 10 units high on deck.
"They're equal to the biggest cranes in the world," said director Jimmy Lyons of the Alabama State Port Authority. "They'll handle the biggest ships in the world."
On the Gulf Coast, he said, only the port of Houston has comparable container cranes. Mr Lyons said the new cranes can handle ships carrying up to 20,000 TEU, reported AL.com, Alabama.
"Eventually what we want to be able to do is work four cranes on a vessel," said general manager of operations for APM Terminals Mobile, Wendy Robertson. She explained that the new cranes will work side by side with the older ones, and will move along tracks allowing them to be positioned as needed, to serve one ship or two.
Ms Robertson said that flexibility will be particularly handy when Walmart's new distribution centre west of Mobile goes into operation next year.
Mr Lyons said being able to unload ships faster is a big deal: "The whole idea of these ships is to spend the minimum time in port," he said. "They run very tight schedules."
The new cranes are part of a US$50 million "Phase 2" development at the APM Terminals' facility; the project also involved developing 20 acres of land at the facility, Ms Robertson said.
The new cranes and other work will expand the site's capacity from 350,000 TEU to 500,000 TEU. That's vital, because the Walmart project alone is expected to bring 50,000 TEU a year through the port. In 2016, a record-breaking year, APM handled 277,307 TEU.