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American ShipperWarehouse

ZPMC boosts cranes to work big ships at Port of Los Angeles

Ten cranes at APM Terminals’ Pier 400 at the Port of Los Angeles are being lifted higher to reach across mega-size container vessels being deployed on the transpacific shipping lane.

   ZPMC, the Chinese manufacturer of massive ship-to-shore cranes used at container terminals around the world, is in the process of raising 10 cranes at APM Terminals’ (APMT) Pier 400 at the Port of Los Angeles so they can reach across next-generation ultra-large container vessels that carriers are deploying on trunk routes to maximize transport efficiency and reduce operating costs.
   ZPMC North America – the company’s regional sales, operations and warranty representative – is using an industrial jacking system to install leg stubs on the cranes and increase their height by an additional 33 feet, making them the tallest port cranes in North America. The project, which began July 1, includes installing new energy-efficient LED lighting systems, repairing forestays and repositioning the cranes, the company announced Wednesday. So far, one crane adjustment has been completed and work on the second one is underway, officials said.
   APMT’s cranes currently can reach across the deck of 13,000-TEU vessels to load and unload containers. The upgrade will allow the facility to handle 20,000-TEU vessels.
   Jeff Rosenberg, vice president of sales and marketing for ZPMC Crane Services, said in an interview that ZPMC has subcontracted labor for the work to a contractor that uses mechanics belonging to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.
   Since forming in January of this year, ZPMC Crane Services, the company’s service arm for the East Coast and Gulf Coast, has commissioned three new cranes for the Port of Gulfport in Mississippi and two cranes for Port Tampa Bay in Florida. The company is also working on startup and commissioning for three new cranes at the Port of Jacksonville and two at the Port of Charleston.
   ZPMC delivered the cranes, which have a lift height of 155 feet suitable for 14,000-TEU vessels, to Charleston’s Wando Welch Terminal in August. But one of the crane booms was damaged when it was raised beyond its stopping point during the preparation process, as first reported by the Post and Courier. Technicians are developing a plan to repair the crane.
   ZPMC Crane Services is responsible for offloading the cranes from special-purpose vessels, commissioning them, raising the height and extending the boom when necessary, and carrying out repairs.
   Crane Services can operate as a ZPMC affiliate on the East and Gulf coasts because it uses union labor belonging to the International Longshore Association, and therefore can enter port properties to conduct work, Rosenberg explained.
   ZPMC Crane Services recently acquired a second specially designed jacking system that offers a significant speed advantage during a crane raise. The jacking system is built on the dock rather than the crane’s sill beam, which means it does not need to be disassembled between cranes. A completed crane can be moved out of the way leaving 90 percent of the structure intact. This approach can speed up the process by as much as a week for each crane, the company said. The newest jacking system will continue to be used at APMT’s Pier 400 terminal until early 2018 when the last of its 10 cranes are scheduled for completion.
   ZPMC’s original jacking system is presently raising cranes at the SSA terminal in Los Angeles. The company said it has also purchased 16 new Self-Propelled Modular Transporter (SPMT) trailers for this project and future work.
   Shanghai-based ZPMC, a state-owned company, is the largest manufacturer of ship-to-shore cranes in the world by market share.

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