The cranes, manufactured by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co. Ltd.(ZPMC) of Shanghai, at a cost of $12 million each, will allow the Port of Philadelphia to keep pace with other port facilities, port officials said.
“This is a great day for the Port of Philadelphia,” said Jerry Sweeney, chairman of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority.
But the small amount of space separating the deck from the water means that the vessel must travel very slowly in the open water. It needed 91 days to sail to Philadelphia, passing below South Africa, with an intermediate stop in South Carolina, where it unloaded two cranes for the Charleston port.
“They’re massive,” said Dave McGuire, PhilaPort project engineer, who traveled to Charleston to observe the elaborate unloading operation that will be repeated in the next few days in Philadelphia. “The closer they get, the more impressive they are.”
The Zhen Hua 16 needed to take on extra ballast and wait until low tide to pass underthe Delaware Memorial Bridge, and just to be safe, authorities halted vehicular traffic on the bridge during the passage.
The port corporation bought one of the cranes, and Holt Logistics Corp. and Greenwich Terminals LLC, which operates the Packer Avenue terminal, paid for the second.
Holt and the other officials praised Gov. Wolf for approving a $300 million grant in 2016 aimed at doubling the port’s container cargo capacity and creating about 2,000 more direct port jobs.
The port and Holt have ordered three more of the new super post-Panamax cranes — so named because they can reach across larger vessels designed to pass through the widened Panama Canal. The three new cranes are scheduled to arrive next year.