With the number of ultra-large container ships visiting the port of Charleston expected to quadruple by the spring of 2018, the State Ports Authority's board of directors has approved a $69.5 million contract to buy more shipping cranes capable of moving cargo to and from the mega-ships. According to port officials, there could be four weekly visits by May of 2018.
The contract approved today is an important part of our overall investment in infrastructure and capacity to ensure the port is well-positioned for the future.- SPA President and CEO
The deal is the largest crane purchase in SPA history. It will bring five super post-Panamax cranes to the Hugh Leatherman Terminal, which is under construction on the former Navy Base in North Charleston, and one crane to the Wando Welch Terminal in Mount Pleasant.
The new cranes, being built in China by Shanghai Zenhua Heavy Industries Ltd. (ZPMC), are scheduled to arrive in late 2019. The new additions will be here in time for the 2020 opening of the $762 million Leatherman terminal, which will double the port's container capacity.