Cargo Growth Forecasted for the Port of Houston
After a 73-day journey aboard the specialized heavy-lift ship Zhen Hua 13, four new Super Post-Panamax container cranes have arrived at the Port of Houston Authority’s Barbours Cut Container Terminal.
The new electric 30-story high cranes are manufactured in South Korea and can lift and lower a loaded container at twice the speed of the cranes currently in use at the Barbours Cut facility. Each new crane weighs 1,505 tons, which, according to the Port, is more than double when compared to the 635 tons of the previous cranes.
The cranes are the largest ever built by South-Korea based company, Konecranes, and are 289 feet high with a lift height of 204 feet. The cranes will handle ships 22 containers wide.
The new cranes — which are part of an on-going $700 million upgrade of the port’s container facilities — are currently being tested and will be fully operational within the next few weeks.
CONTAINER VOLUME SURGES AS NEW CRANES ARRIVE
“As part of a significant upgrade of our Barbours Cut Container Terminal, these new Super Post-Panamax cranes will accommodate the significantly larger vessels that will be calling on our container terminals after the expansion of the Panama Canal,” said Port Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria.According to the Port of Houston Authority Harbor Commission, arrival of the new cranes show a 46 percent surge of container cargo moving through the port when compared between April of 2014 and April of 2015.Total cargo tonnage for April 2015 grew by 23 percent, with steel imports growing 40 percent when compared to April a year ago.
Year to date, Houston has handled more than 13 million tons of cargo, an increase of 11 percent for the year. While import steel continues to exceed projections and is up by more than 56 percent for the year through April, the port expects “some leveling in May,” the commission said.