Oakland Gains New Cranes While San Francisco Appoints New Cargo Team Leader

In anticipation of handling a new generation of mega-container vessels, the Port of Oakland's largest terminal plans to install three 300-foot-tall gantry cranes late next year.


Published: March, 2019


In anticipation of handling a new generation of mega-container vessels, the Port of Oakland’s largest terminal plans to install three 300-foot-tall gantry cranes late next year.


SSA Terminals, the operator of Oakland International Container Terminal, ordered the cranes from Shanghai-based ZPMC, noting that it expects the cranes to be delivered in 18 months.


The cranes, which could be 440 feet tall with booms upraised, would be delivered by project cargo vessels from China. They’d arrive only partially assembled to assure clearance under the Bay Bridge.


According to SSA, its new cranes would have a lift height of 174 feet above the dock. They would be able to reach 225 feet across a ship’s deck. The terminal operator said its new workhorses would make it quicker and easier to get containers on and off vessels calling Oakland.


“Big ships are the future,” said SSA Containers President Ed DeNike. “They’re coming to Oakland and we’re going to be ready for them.”


Port of Oakland Communications Director Mike Zampa told Bay Crossings in an interview that 14,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) vessels are already a constant feature at Oakland. “There is no firm timeframe yet for even larger ships (18,000 TEUs and up) but it’s expected the West Coast could see them in two to three years,” he added.


The three cranes would go to Oakland International Container Terminal on Oakland Estuary. A $30 million order for the cranes was submitted last month, the port said.


The new cranes would be the tallest on the West Coast—and perhaps the nation—capable of loading and unloading the world’s largest container ships. Megaships can be up to 1,300 feet long and carry nearly 23,000 cargo containers. Containers are stacked up to 12-high above deck on the largest vessels. Taller cranes are required to reach the top of the stacks.


“This demonstrates the faith that business partners have in Oakland as a trade gateway,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “There’s no more visible sign of a port’s growth than installing larger ship-to-shore cranes.”


There are four marine terminals in Oakland loading and unloading container ships. Oakland International Container Terminal handles more than 60 percent of the port’s total cargo volume. The terminal helped transform Oakland cargo operations over the past three years through a series of changes including: night gates and appointments to address lengthy truck queues; additional equipment and labor to accelerate cargo flow; and a $14 million project to heighten four cranes in 2018.


SSA operates 10 cranes at Oakland International Container Terminal. The port said it would remove three older cranes from the line when new ones are installed.


Coleman Named Port of S.F. Maritime Director


Andre Coleman was named as the new maritime director for the Port of San Francisco, taking over duties this month for the strategic oversight and implementation of the port’s diverse maritime portfolio.


These include assets, services, operations, and labor and client relations for the 7.5 miles of San Francisco waterfront that extends from Fisherman’s Wharf to Islais Creek.


Coleman is charged with providing the executive director and port leadership team with high-level direction on maritime initiatives, goals and objectives. He will lead the maritime division and the portfolios for 28 employees, port spokespeople said.


“Andre Coleman will bring extensive maritime knowledge and relationships to the port,” said Port of San Francisco Executive Director Elaine Forbes. “His expertise in a wide range of maritime functions including labor relations and terminal, vessel and yard operations will ensure San Francisco remains a waterfront for our working women and men, and the port sustains our growing maritime industry and remains fiscally secure.”


Coleman is currently the Northern California area associate director for the Pacific Maritime Association. He is responsible for the research, development and execution of strategic labor relation policies in Northern California. He manages labor relations staff to ensure professional development and effective operations within budget constraints. Coleman joined the Pacific Maritime Association in 2010.


Prior to his current position, Coleman worked at the Ports America Outer Harbor and APM Terminals. His responsibilities included ensuring consistent application of collective bargaining agreements with the various Northern California International Longshore and Warehouse Union officials, and management of everyday operations of vessels, yards and gates, customer service and equipment supply coordination. He executed operational strategies to reduce labor cost and increase productivity while exceeding safety standards.


Patrick Burnson is the executive editor of Logistics Management. www.logisticsmgmt.com