Port Tampa Bay Receives New Post-Panamax Container Cranes
Port Tampa Bay has taken delivery of two new, state-of-the-art Post-Panamax gantry cranes, enhancing its ability to handle larger container vessels in preparation for the anticipated opening of the expanded Panama Canal in late June.
Representing a cost-shared capital investment of $24 million by Port Tampa Bay, the State of Florida and terminal operator Ports America, the new cranes are part of the port’s ongoing efforts to serve the growing market for containerized cargo in the port’s backyard – the Tampa Bay/Orlando I-4 corridor. Now home to the largest concentration of distribution centers in the state, the corridor is the fastest growing region of Florida, which recently surpassed New York as the third most populous state, with more than 20 million residents.
The new cranes were manufactured by ZPMC in Shanghai, the world’s leading manufacturer of cranes and large steel structures. With a total height of over 300 feet, 130 feet under the spreader, and an outreach of 174 feet, the new cranes will allow the port to handle ships of up to 9,000 TEU container capacity, nearly twice the size of the largest ships that can be accommodated by the port’s existing three older container cranes today.
The new cranes will be unloaded over the next several days from the heavy lift vessel which delivered them from Shanghai, China, a journey which began on January 16, taking them around the southern tip of Africa and the Cape of Good Hope, en route to Tampa. Next, the cranes will be assembled and undergo testing before becoming officially commissioned and operational in early June.
“The arrival of these new container cranes marks an important milestone for Port Tampa Bay, enhancing our ability to serve our large and growing market, and assisting our efforts to attract new services which will provide exporters and importers in our region with more options and improved connections to their overseas customers and suppliers,” said Paul Anderson, the port president and CEO.
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