They’re new, they’re huge, and they’re the biggest in North America. Three gigantic cranes are now part of the skyline in the port of Oakland, California, USA

The port released a time-lapse video today with footage of the assembly of one of the giant cranes. One of the most dramatic parts of the video is the lifting of the mechanical casing of a crane. Each crane takes weeks to build and the third was completed last week. In the next phase, the cranes are tested and then put into operation for work. The first of three cranes may be commissioned as early as late March or early April.

“These new cranes in Oakland will greatly improve the ability to move cargo more efficiently,” said Bryan Brandes, Port of Oakland’s Maritime Director. “The Oakland International Container Terminal is the largest marine terminal in our port. and now it is home to the tallest cranes that can receive the largest ships calling North America. “

Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) operates the Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT). SSA ordered the cranes from Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company Limited (ZPMC), where they were first built. The cranes were sent in sections on a ship to Oakland, where the cranes have been assembled on the quay for the past two months. These larger cranes support the maritime business and related jobs in Oakland and the region.

The first part of the video shows the arrival of the cranes and workers assembling a bespoke ramp to roll the cranes off the ship. Then you will see the builders high up in tall construction cranes to reach the work areas. No fear of heights is required for this technical performance.

Longshore workers had to roll the cranes off the ship when they arrived in Oakland. Electrical, mechanical and civil engineers as well as iron workers and construction crane operators were required to “build” the cranes on site. This was a very complex process that involved multiple trades.

The new Ship-to-Shore (STS) cranes will lift 174 feet above the dock. The lifting height allows greater flexibility when unloading and loading containers. Stacks of containers on a ship resemble a giant puzzle. You have to find the right container to pull it off the ship, and that means that “puzzle pieces” are moved around the ship. With larger cranes, the flexibility to move the containers on and off a ship is more flexible.

The boom is the long arm of the crane that lowers to reach horizontally across the width of a ship. The boom in the service position is nearly vertical at 442 feet. The boom in its “stowed” position at a 45 degree angle is 372 feet high.

The next steps are testing and commissioning the cranes. The exam includes electrical diagnostics and structural inspections. Endurance testing is required, and that means checking things like crane motors and crane hoists to make sure they are performing as they are supposed to at full speed. OSHA must also inspect the equipment before the cranes can be operated.

A crane weighs around 1,600 tons. All container cranes in Port of Oakland are powered by electricity, so there are no local emissions from routine crane work.