Four new Super Post-Panamax ship-to-shore (STS) cranes arrived at the Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal on December 5, 2016, bringing the port’s total to 26, more than any other terminal in the US.
Counting the new cranes, Savannah now features 20 New Panamax and six Post-Panamax cranes. Another four New Panamax cranes are due to arrive in 2018, bringing Savannah’s total to 30. The cranes operate over a dock with nearly 10,000 feet of contiguous berth space, according to the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA).
The new cranes, along with the Savannah Harbor deepening, help to accommodate a move in the world fleet toward larger ships. Designed by Finnish crane manufacturer Konecranes, these giant cranes can serve the largest ships calling on the US East Coast, reaching across vessels 22 containers wide, GPA said.
The cranes arrived on board a semi-submersible heavy lift vessel Teal, owned by Dutch dredging and marine company Boskalis.
“We’re growing our crane fleet in order to stay ahead of demand. Since the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in June, Garden City Terminal has seen a 40 percent increase in the number of vessels carrying 8,000 or more twenty-foot equivalent container units. Over the same period, the Port of Savannah has seen a 21 percent increase in the number of TEUs handled per vessel,” GPA Chief Operating Officer Ed McCarthy, said.
Through its expanded locks, the Panama Canal can now accommodate vessels with a capacity of 14,000 TEUs – nearly triple the size of the canal’s previous maximum. This opens a new route for the more efficient ships to serve the US East Coast, GPA said.
The Port of Savannah is comprised of two deepwater terminals, Garden City Terminal and Ocean Terminal. Garden City Terminal is the fourth busiest container handling facility in the United States, encompassing more than 1,200 acres and moving millions of tons of containerized cargo annually, according to GPA.