In an effort to meet the needs of mega ships entering into the global fleet, APM Terminals has decided to modify ten of its Noell STS cranes at the Pier 400 Los Angeles container terminal.
The modification contract, to be undertaken by Shanghai-based ZPMC, will include the raising of the overall height and extension of the crane boom to accommodate Ultra-Large Container Ships (ULCS) of up to 20,000 TEU capacity.
After the modifications designed by the original crane manufacturer, Terex-Noell, the 10 STS cranes will become the tallest in the USA, according to APM Terminals.
Another feature of the upgraded cranes will be the Light Emitting Diode (LED) illumination, which will improve visibility, and accuracy of the cranes’ associated Optical Character Recognition (OCR) programs, which will also reduce energy use by 60% compared with the previous conventional lighting system, the terminal operator added.
In December 2015, the 18,000 TEU CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin visited the pier, marking the first call of a vessel of that size to any North American port. The containers aboard the vessel were stacked seven levels-high on-deck, reducing the effective vessel capacity to 15,000 TEUs during that call. A total of 11,229 containers were loaded and unloaded during the vessel’s visit.
The largest vessels calling US West Coast ports at present are of the 12,000 to 13,000 TEU range, on the Far East/US West Coast services.