New container crane on tap for Port Manatee
Port Manatee will obtain a new mobile harbor crane that will, for the first time, give it on-dock lift capabilities.
At the port authority board's August meeting, Port Manatee executive director David McDonald was authorized to negotiate the purchase and operating agreement for the new crane with Logistic USA Inc.
The deal has not been finalized and details are being worked out, port officials said, but the port commission's green light for the negotiations represents what could be a significant new cargo handling capability.
The port hopes to complete the deal in September, providing an operational crane to port users in time for the upcoming melon season, which begins in late November.
Officials said the plan is to work the agreement as a public-private partnership under which the crane would be titled to the port authority. The crane could be moved to multiple berth locations, as needed.
The crane would provide on-dock lift capacity for the first time in the port's 36-year history. Carriers currently calling the port use self-loading vessels with cranes aboard the ships.