The Charleston Giant is a highly mobile, floating crane capable of traveling to any of the Charleston area’s marine terminals and lifting cargo weighing up to 450 short tons, or 900,000 pounds. It is operated by Charleston Heavy Lift, LLC, a joint venture of local barge carrier Stevens Towing Co. and heavy-hauling and rigging company J.E. Oswalt & Sons of Batesburg.
Benjamin B. Smith, general manager of Charleston Heavy Lift, says that cargoes requiring specialized heavy-lift equipment now can be handled locally rather than directed to other ports. Since becoming operational in late March, the Giant has already attracted vessels to call the Port of Charleston. It is an added value to existing customers who rely on Charleston’s world-class efficiency.
“We expect that the heavy-lift capacity of the crane will continue to bring new vessels into the port as well as service existing liner vessels,” says Smith.
The Charleston Giant has the highest capacity rating in the Southeast. The closest floating crane of similar capacity is in Norfolk, VA, lifting up to 350 short tons, 200,000 pounds shy of the Giant’s capability.
The Charleston Giant potentially will attract manufacturers of heavy equipment and equipment components such as power turbines, generators and presses, as well as heavy construction companies transporting bridge beams and even cranes.
The Giant’s first commercial lift was to transport a 348-short-ton crane (696,000 pounds) from its existing barge to a newly constructed barge. The Giant has also completed work for General Electric, handling turbines from the Greenville plant weighing up to 234 short tons.
Charleston Heavy Lift will charge for contract lifts by the ton. Lifts in excess of 250 short tons will be bid on a per-project basis.