Catering for ultra large boxships

Crane overhaul: The work will be undertaken by Shanghai-based ZPMC Crane overhaul: The work will be undertaken by Shanghai-based ZPMC

APM Terminals is to enlarge ten STS cranes at Pier 400 in Los Angeles which will them the tallest in service at any US port.

The work, which will be undertaken by Shanghai-based ZPMC, will involve raising of the overall height and extending the booms of the existing Noell STS cranes to accommodate Ultra-Large Container Ships (ULCS) of up to 20,000 teu capacity.

Steve Trombley, managing director, APM Terminals Pier 400, said: “APM Terminals is continuing to lead the way with the infrastructure investment necessary to meet the needs of our customers and the evolving requirements of American seaborne trade.”

Another new feature of the upgraded cranes will be the installation of Light Emitting Diode (LED) illumination, which will improve visibility and accuracy of the cranes’ associated Optical Character Recognition (OCR) programmes, as well as reducing energy use by 60%.

When the Benjamin Franklin arrived at Pier 400 in the last week of December 2015, containers were stacked seven levels-high on-deck, reducing the effective vessel capacity to 15,000 teu during that call.

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.

While no ULCS of 18,000 teu capacity and above are in regular service to US West Coast, some carriers have expressed an interest in deploying these vessels as space demand improves so APM Terminals wants to be ready.

There are currently 37 ULCS of 18,000 teu or more capacity in service in the global fleet, with another 72 vessels of between 18,000 and 21,000 teu capacity on order.

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