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New Cranes Will Bring PortMiami's Container Handling To New Heights

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – PortMiami is taking its container handling capabilities to new heights Monday with arrival of four new Super-Post Panamax cranes.

The new cranes are arriving Monday after a 60-day plus sea voyage from Shanghai.

The giant gantry cranes will provide the required lift and reach to handle the new generation of super-sized container cargo vessels that will begin passing through the expanded Panama Canal in 2015.

"The Post-Panamax Era is near at hand," said Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.  "The new PortMiami cranes represent an investment that ensures that we remain competitive in the global marketplace.  PortMiami's new cranes ensure that our cargo yards will be able to handle the increasingly larger vessels calling on Ports around the world."

With an outreach of 223 feet, the new gantry cranes will service cargo vessels up to 22 containers wide with up to nine containers high above deck and eleven containers below deck. That's compared to a reach of 13 containers on the older and smaller cranes.

In keeping with PortMiami's commitment to sustainability, the cranes are fully electric and are equipped with control systems to record all crane activity.

With the arrival of the four new cranes, PortMiami has a total of 13 cranes, six of which are Super Post-Panamax cranes, and will be the only port south of Norfolk, Virginia able to accommodate post-Panamax vessels.

Today, the average container vessels calling on PortMiami is approximately 3,000 to 4,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent) but the newer ships are nearly double in size with the largest now under construction having TEU capacity topping 15,000 TEUs.

The new cranes increase PortMiami's loading and unloading efficiencies," said PortMiami Director Bill Johnson.  "We set an ambitious goal to double our cargo traffic over the next several years—the new cranes are an important component in our growth strategy."

The new cranes are among $2 billion in capital improvements currently underway at PortMiami.  Other on-going infrastructure projects include the deepening of the port's main channel, the restoration of the bridge and rail line connecting the port to the mainland, and the completion of the Port Tunnel that will connect the port to other major highway arteries.

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