New Box Cranes Arrive at NIT Increasing The Port of Virginia’s® Ability to Handle Big Ships, More Cargo

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New Cranes Expands Ability to Handle Multiple Ultra-Large Container Ships at Once

NORFOLK, VA – The Port of Virginia today welcomed a pair of massive container cranes to Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) South, the final pieces of equipment needed to complete the South Berth’s $450 million optimization project.

“These cranes will expand our lift capacity, berth productivity and the ability to handle multiple ULCVs [ultra-large container ship] simultaneously,” said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “This benefits the port’s users and it says, very clearly, to the ocean carriers and the industry that we are prepared to handle big ships and growing cargo volumes safely, swiftly and sustainably for decades to come.”

These cranes will be able to accommodate ultra-large container vessels, or ULCVs, that make regular stops in Virginia and even higher-volume ships of the future. These cranes have the capacity reach across a vessel that is 26 containers wide, which is three-to-four containers beyond the reach of most cranes.

Once these cranes are operational, The Port of Virginia will have 30 ship-to-shore cranes at work in the Norfolk Harbor and the ability to service the biggest container ships sailing the Atlantic Ocean: VIG has 12 cranes; NIT North has six and NIT South will have 12

“These cranes truly complete the $800 million in land-side investments we made at both NIT and VIG,” Edwards said. “We started the effort in late 2016 and the result is 1 million units of additional lift capacity. We’ve modernized our terminals from the gate to the berth and created a twenty-first century, world-class port.

“Combine our land-side investments with the widening and deepening of the Norfolk Harbor and its channels, the expansion of NIT’s Central Rail Yard and our plans for optimizing and modernizing NIT’s North Berth and we will have all of the pieces in place to drive cargo growth, job expansion and economic development across Virginia for the next generation. It also means that, in parallel, we’re providing a high-level of efficiency, service, and care to our customers and users of The Port of Virginia.”

Crane Specifications:

  • Builder: Shanghai-based Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co., Ltd, (called ZPMC),
  • Crane height = 170’ (52m) lift above the dock
  • Boom-out length = 226’ (69m) from the rail closest to the water
  • Total height with the boom up = 446’ (136m)
  • Width between the legs = 59’ (18m)
  • Rail Gage = 100’ (30.48m)
  • Unit weight = 1,827 tons
  • Lifting capacity = 65 long tons under a twin-20-foot spreader or 100 long tons under cargo hook