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            august 23, 2019

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US port of Oakland to install China-made ship-to-shore mega ship cranes


The US port of Oakland expects to take delivery of potentially six ship-to-shore container cranes from ZPMC in China that can handle vessels of 18,000 TEU, up from 14,000 TEU at present, within the next two to five years.
In an interview with AJOT, port of Oakland maritime director John Driscoll said the gateway has created an incentive programme for Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) to order new mega cranes that have the height to service mega box ships at the Oakland International Container Terminal (OITC).
Mr Driscoll said that OITC is the port's biggest container terminal and so the berthing of the bigger ships must be able to work there, reported AJOT.
It is also examining the possibility of widening the turning basin adjoining OITC to provide sufficient width in the Oakland Estuary for the big ships to turn around and berth.
"We forecast that these 18,000 TEU ships will be coming in within two to five years. Right now, the turning basis isn't big enough. These are 1,300-foot-long ships and they cannot turn around," said Mr Driscoll.
"So, we are engaging with the Army Corps of Engineers and doing some simulations as to what the next step is. The best step might be to widen the turning basin. If that is the case, the permit process could take from five to ten years and so we need to get started now to fast-track permit processing."
In terms of the acquisition of the new mega container cranes, he said the cost of acquiring the cranes is "all on" SSA. However, the port will offer a lower fee structure to help the company afford this huge investment.
The port of Oakland's containerised cargo volume reached a record 2.55 million TEU in 2018, a year-on-year increase of 5.2 per cent. Import volume rose five per cent while exports fell 3.5 per cent. Oakland saw a 19.7 per cent increase in the transport of empty containers being repositioned for future import use.

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