Largest low-profile container gantry cranes ever built

Broward Country, FL - Production is well underway on three custom-designed Super Post-Panamax container gantry cranes destined for Broward County’s Port Everglades. The cranes, being manufactured in China by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. Inc. (ZPMC), are reportedly the largest low-profile container gantry cranes ever designed and built.

Each crane is valued at $13.8 million, and all three are expected to arrive in Florida for commissioning in late September 2020. Port Everglades also has an option to purchase up to three additional cranes.

Port officials traveled to China last week to inspect the cranes and view how the manufacturing is progressing.

“ZPMC is the only company in the world that manufactures this type of crane, which maximizes the reach without extending into the Airport’s flight path,” said Port Everglades Acting Chief Executive Glenn Wiltshire. “ZPMC is making great progress, considering the uniqueness of the design. Our cargo terminal operators are eager to have the cranes operational so they can expand their container volumes.” 

The new cranes are part of the largest expansion project in the Port’s history, which includes lengthening the Southport Turning Notch from 900 feet (274 meters) to 2,400 feet (731.5 meters) to allow for up to five new cargo berths. The cranes are 175-feet tall (53.3 meters) and are designed as “low profile” with booms that extend out and back rather than raise up, thus staying out of the flight path of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), which is less than two miles away.

The new cranes will have the ability to handle containers stacked nine high from a ship’s deck and reach 22 containers across the ship's deck. By comparison, Port Everglades' existing seven gantry cranes in the Southport area, where most of the containerized cargo operations takes place, are 151-feet high and limited to containers stacked six high and can reach across 16 containers. In addition to purchasing the new cranes, the seven existing cranes in Southport will be upgraded to a lift capacity of 65 tons from the current 46.5 tons and be able to perform twin-picks (lifting two containers at a time).

Port Everglades is also working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deepen the Port’s navigation channels from 42 feet to 48-50 feet and to widen narrower sections of the channel for safe vessel passage. Currently in the preconstruction engineering and design phase after receiving federal authorization at the end of 2016, the Corps project is anticipated to be completed by 2025.

“The Southport Turning Notch Extension will add about 730,000 TEU capacity to the Port. When you factor in the dredging you can add approximately 200,000 additional TEUs,” said Port Everglades Acting Deputy Director David Anderton. “Over the 20-year period, it’s evident that this port will be able to double its capacity in terms of containerized cargo volume.”