Baltimore goes super post-panamax

 The new super post-panamax cranes are en route from China The new super post-panamax cranes are en route from China

The Port of Baltimore is gearing up for super post-panamax with the arrival of four supersized container cranes this week – a move that will see the port being able to handle ships from the Panama Canal once it is widened.

Maryland Governor, Martin O’Malley, has talked about the cranes being the “future for the port” – they will be able to reach 22 containers across a ship and lift 187,300 pounds of cargo.

Richard Scher, Maryland Port Administration, said to Port Strategy: “The new 50 foot container berth and four super post- panamax cranes will open up new doors for the Port of Baltimore’s container business. Our unique public-private partnership with Ports America Chesapeake has enabled the Port of Baltimore to grow its container business and grow good-paying, family supporting port jobs.” 

Baltimore is one of only two US East Coast ports to have a 50 foot berth and 50 foot channel, two key factors in attracting some of the largest container ships in the world. 

The new cranes are tall enough to clear a 14 storey building and are fully electric, so there are no emissions issues. They will be installed on the new 50 foot container berth at the Seagirt Marine Terminal, which currently operates post panamax cranes shifting 18 containers across a ship, so capability will be greatly increased.

There is a 50 year agreement in place between the Maryland Ports Administration (MPA) and Ports America for daily operations at the Seagirt terminal. Consequently, Ports America is investing heavily in infrastructure at Baltimore.

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