Damage to New Charleston Port Crane Could Cause Delays

A new $27 million post-Panamax container crane  was damaged during set-up at the Port of Charleston, the Post and Courier reported this week.

The damage  to a supersized crane which  capable of moving cargo on and off 14,000-TEU ships could cause delays at the largest port of Charleston terminal, port officials warn.

The crane is one of two brand new post-panamax ship-to-shore cranes being installed at the Wando Welch Terminal, as the port prepares for the arrival of ultra-large containerships traversing an expanded Panama Canal.

It is unclear what sort of delays, if any, this could mean for those ships and their massive cargo loads.

Neither crane is operational yet and the equipment wasn’t scheduled to go into operation until later in November and December. Moreover, the crane’s manufacturer, which still has custody of the cranes and is attempting repairs, does not know when the damaged crane will be fit for service.

“Fortunately, any delay associated with the one crane won’t impact operations of the other cranes,” according to Erin Dhand, a state port authority spokeswoman.

In preparation for the arrival of its first 14,000-TEU vessels, Charleston aim to deepen its harbor to 52 feet, giving it the deepest on the US East Coast upon completion in 2020. Construction is set to start next year.

In addition, as part of that plan, two additional ship-to-shore cranes have also been ordered for the Wando Welch Terminal which are expected to be delivered in December 2017.

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