Four ship-to-shore cranes at Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT) – the busiest terminal at the Port of Oakland – are 27 feet taller following completion this week of a year-long, crane-raising project. 

The fourth and final raised crane went back into service yesterday and is ready to serve the new generation of container vessels. 

Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) operates OICT and managed the crane-raising project in partnership with the Port of Oakland.

SSA President Ed DeNike. said in a statement that these cranes will help the terminal move cargo more efficiently and support their operations many years.

“We’re getting visits every week – almost every day – from 14,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) vessels,” the port’s communication’s director, Mike Zampa told LM in an interview.

He added that the largest container vessels calling North American ports stop regularly in Oakland.  

“We’ve received three calls from the 18,000 TEU CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, the largest container ship ever to visit this continent.  If carriers choose to deploy 18,000s regularly to the U.S. West Coast, Oakland will be ready,” said Zampa.

Raising four gantry cranes increased their lifting height from 115 feet to 142 feet above the dock. The work began May 8, 2017 and was completed this week.

“Raising cranes is part of our infrastructure investment strategy to increase the Port of Oakland’s competitive edge on the U.S. West Coast,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “We’re confident that this will help us move more imports and exports through Oakland.” The crane-raising project cost approximately $14 million.

These higher gantry cranes can reach over an additional three levels of stacked containers on a mega vessel’s deck. According to port spokesmen, this improves the process and speed of cargo operations, saving time and money for shippers. 

Total container volume in Oakland was up 2.3 percent for the first half of 2018. The Port, in partnership with its terminal operators, anticipates heightening more cranes and adding new ones over the next few years.

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