January 23, 2023
After clicking “purchase” on your online order, have you ever thought about how it will get to you? Most likely by container ship, as 80 to 90 percent of the world’s goods are transported by water. Because our growing global society means increasing demand for capacity, the size of container ships has doubled over the last two decades. In order to remain competitive, worldwide ports and shipping infrastructure must evolve as well.
On Sunday, June 13, four large, Super-Post Panamax Cranes will enter Elliott Bay in Seattle. It’s a historic event, and you can join in by:
And here's all you need to know about why it's important to our region and its economy.
The 1914-era Panama Canal couldn’t keep up with the larger ships. So in 2016, a third and significantly bigger lock was completed, doubling the capacity of the Panama Canal. According to the Panama Canal Authority, 96% of the world’s vessels can travel through the Panama Canal after the expansion.
First, a quick glossary of terms:
Here’s a handy reference to ship sizes from Wikipedia:
The largest ship to transit the new Panama Canal since its expansion is the Neo-Panamax Triton, owned by the Greek shipping company Costamare. The container ship is 168 feet wide; and 1,211 feet long with a draft/ hull depth of 52 feet. And a cargo capacity of 14,424 TEUs.
According to Costamare, one TEU can hold 48,000 bananas. Just for illustration, the Triton could theoretically hold 692,352,000 bananas, hopefully not all ripe at once.
Watch this video of the Triton in the Panama Canal:
If the Port wants to remain competitive with other ports around the world, infrastructure updates are required to serve these new ships at the North and South Harbor terminals managed by the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA). Larger ships require a deep draft harbor and bigger cranes to unload the cargo that fuels the economy of our region. Terminal 5, at the mouth of the Duwamish River in Seattle, will get new cranes as part of a modernization effort that began in 2018. In a joint effort with terminal operator SSA Marine, the Northwest Seaport Alliance will welcome these cranes to the Seattle Harbor in mid-June. When Terminal 5 is complete, it will be able to handle the largest container vessels in the world.
The largest cranes are at the Port of Oakland, installed in January 2021. Here are the dimensions of the new cranes coming to Seattle:
Standing at 316 feet, these cranes are:
When unloading large container vessels, these cranes drop their arm and reach 240 feet across the waterway. That’s longer than an NHL hockey arena. And almost like running from one end of Lumen Field to the other. .... Phew. Give us a minute to catch our breath.
The lifting capacity for each crane is 100 tons, which is about 200,000 pounds! That means the cranes are strong enough to pick up:
This week, four large, Super Post-Panamax Cranes are making their way across the Pacific Ocean to their new home at Terminal 5 in Seattle It's a historic event, so here's how to see their arrival in Elliott Bay on June 13. Here's how:
The cranes left Shanghai to begin their trip to Seattle.
Mid-June: Entering Puget Sound
The four massive cranes on top of a ship will be visible as they sail through Puget Sound into Elliott Bay.
NWSA Arrival (June 13)
Top Photo: All eight new cranes work two ships for the first time at Husky Terminal in Tacoma Jan. 26, 2020.
January 23, 2023
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