APMT and the Rise of the Tallest STS Crane


The first of 10 ship-to-shore (STS) cranes at the APM Terminals (APMT) Los Angeles Pier 400 facility was raised 10 metres, making it the tallest port crane in North America and will be ready for vessel operations in the next few months.

To create an even safer place to work, an additional feature of the upgraded cranes is the installation of Light Emitting Diode (LED) illumination, which will improve operator visibility and accuracy of the cranes’ Optical Character Recognition (OCR) programs. The cranes will use 60% less energy than conventional lighting systems.

The crane heightening project is designed to prepare for regular Ultra-Large Container Vessel (ULCV) calls in the trans-Pacific trade lanes, carrying up to 20,000 TEU per vessel. For context, the largest ships that could be served prior to the upgrade were vessels carrying an average of 13,000 TEU.

APMT Pier 400 Los Angeles operates a total of 14 STS cranes. The 10 retro-fitted cranes will enable handling vessels that have a beam of 23-containers wide, and stacked 10 containers high above deck.

Technical Paper: Advanced Driver Assistance Systems: The Evolution of Container Cranes

Kim Fejfer, CEO of APMT, said: “The Los Angeles crane extension project, representing an investment of USD 40 million keeps APM Terminals at the forefront of infrastructure improvement and upgrades in US port operations.

“Our aim is to enable global trade through the safest, most efficient technology available for reliable port operations.”

APMT Pier 400 Los Angeles, which opened in 2002, is the largest single proprietary terminal in the world, featuring an on-dock railyard that keeps thousands of trucks off nearby roads while reducing diesel emissions.

The Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex is the busiest in North America, with a combined throughput of 15.3 million TEU in 2015. Throughput at APMT Pier 400 Los Angeles was 2.48 million TEU in 2015.

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