March 9, 2021
Ship carrying giant container cranes docks in Oakland

Ship carrying giant container cranes docks in Oakland


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The Zhen Hua 35 passes by Oakland’s Middle Harbor Shoreline Park.


Kent German/CNET

An unusual ship carrying an unusual cargo docked at the Port of Oakland on Tuesday. Secured to the deck of the Zhen Hua 35 heavy load carrier were three giant container cranes bound for the Port’s International Container Terminal.

Purchased from Shanghai-based ZPM for $30 million by the Stevedoring Services of America, which manages the offloading and loading of ships at the port, the cranes will be the tallest ever at the port with a lift height of 174 feet above the dock and a reach across a ship’s deck of 225 feet (in standard container terms, that’s 14 containers high and 24 containers wide). The cranes will be offloaded via rails directly onto the dock, dashing the hopes of anyone hoping to see one crane lifting another.

The Zhen Hua 35 arrived in San Francisco Bay on Wednesday, passing under the Golden Gate Bridge just after 8 a.m. PT and then under the Bay Bridge a short time later. Though the cranes traveled across the Pacific Ocean in the raised positions, the booms were lowered just offshore in order to fit under the bridges.

In a statement, SSA Containers President Edward DeNike said bigger cranes are needed at the country’s eighth busiest container port to handle giant ships that use the it (in April the MSC Anna was the largest container ship ever to call at Oakland). To make room for the new cranes, three older cranes will be removed.

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After anchoring for a few days in San Francisco Bay, the ship approached the port out a fog bank that partially obscured the Bay Bridge.


Kent German/CNET

“Taller cranes are needed for efficiently handling cargo that arrives on ultra-large container ships,” DeNike said. “This new infrastructure is a commitment to the port that we will continue our maritime business at Oakland well into the future.”

All I want now is for the port to name the three cranes Frasier, Niles and Marty.


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