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New cranes to boost Baltimore’s ultra-large vessel capacity

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Four new Neo-Panamax container cranes arrived at the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine Terminal.

The cranes were delivered on 9 September aboard the Zhen Hua 24 from China, and were greeted by officials from the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) and container terminal Ports America Chesapeake.

The cranes will allow the port to serve two ultra-large container ships simultaneously as the port handles increased container volumes.

The new cranes are fully electric, measuring 450 feet tall and weighing around 1,740 tons.

The cranes are 25 feet taller and 190 tons heavier than the port’s first set of Neo-Panamax cranes that arrived in 2012.

The new cranes can each extend to reach 23 containers across on a ship and lift 187,500 pounds of cargo.

Ports America Chesapeake will test and prepare the cranes, which are expected to be fully operational in early 2022.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who joined officials to view the delivery, commented, “This is a great day for the Port of Baltimore and for the men and women who make up its outstanding workforce.

“The Port’s container business has grown impressively in recent years and is poised to grow even more with the addition of these new ultra-large cranes.

“Thanks to our MDOT MPA team and our partners at Port America Chesapeake, the Port of Baltimore is well positioned to continue as one of Maryland’s prime economic engines.”

The cranes are part of an expansion by Ports America Chesapeake at Seagirt to provide greater capacity and efficiency to handle anticipated increases in container volumes.

The $166 million investment in terminal and yard upgrades includes a second, 50-foot-deep berth to accommodate mega-ships; in addition to new container handling equipment such as 15 hybrid-electric gantry cranes; and a new truck gate complex.

Bayard Hogans, vice president of Ports America Chesapeake, added, “We are excited for the arrival of our four new ship-to-shore cranes and the benefit they will provide to our customers.

“As part of our over $166 million investment in terminal initiatives, the four new ship-to-shore cranes will create more capacity, increase productivity and improve efficiency at the Seagirt Marine Terminal.”

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