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Port of Baltimore gets four additional gigantic cranes to service container ships

Christian Fernsby |
Following a two month journey that included dramatic passage under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and the Francis Scott Key Bridge, four new, massive NeoPanamax container cranes arrived at the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine Terminal.

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The cranes were delivered aboard the Zhen Hua 24 from China, and were greeted by officials from the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) and its publicprivate partner, Ports America Chesapeake.

“This is a great day for the Port of Baltimore and for the men and women who make up its outstanding workforce,” said Governor Larry Hogan, who joined Port and MDOT officials today to view the cranes as they made the final leg of their journey.

“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 wellpositioned to continue as one of Maryland’s prime economic engines.” “Baltimore is already one of the few ports on the East Coast capable of accommodating the world’s largest container ships,” MDOT Secretary Greg Slater said.

“These new cranes will allow the Port to serve two ultra-large container ships simultaneously, boosting our capacity and giving us the opportunity to increase revenue and grow the jobs that help fuel Maryland’s economy.” The new cranes are fully electric, and thus emit no diesel emissions.

Each measures 450 feet tall and weighs about 1,740 tons – 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 over the next few months, and they are expected to be fully operational in early 2022.

The cranes are part of a significant 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; new container handling equipment such as 15 hybrid-electric gantry cranes; and a new truck gate complex.

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