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SC Ports welcomes two new ship-to-shore cranes

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SC Ports received two new ship-to-shore cranes, marking the first cargo-handling equipment to arrive for the Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal, which is under construction in North Charleston.

When the terminal opens in March, it will be outfitted with some of the tallest cranes on the East Coast. The cranes have 169 feet of lift height above the wharf deck and an outreach of 228 feet, enabling them to work the biggest container ships calling on the East Coast.

The cranes, fabricated by Shanghai-based ZPMC, recently arrived at Columbus Street Terminal on the Zhen Hua 36. They are the first two of five ship-to-shore cranes that will be arriving for the Leatherman Terminal.

The cranes, which were disassembled for the journey, briefly sat at the Columbus Street Terminal to be reconfigured to fit under the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. They then made their way up the Cooper River to the Leatherman Terminal. The ZPMC USA team will erect, commission and test the cranes over several months before they become operational.

After testing the cranes will then stand on the new 1,400-foot wharf, ready to load and unload cargo boxes from container ships when Phase One operations launch in March.

“It is with great pride and excitement that SC Ports welcomes the first two ship-to-shore cranes for the Leatherman Terminal,” SC Ports President and CEO Jim Newsome said. “The Leatherman Terminal is designed to handle 19,000-TEU vessels, giving SC Ports great capacity and big-ship capabilities to serve our customers. We look forward to welcoming the first ship at the Leatherman Terminal in March.”

The Zhen Hua 24 is also bringing a second shipment of three ship-to-shore cranes, as well as four hybrid rubber-tired gantry cranes.

“The arrival of our new ship-to-shore cranes for the Leatherman Terminal is an incredible moment for SC Ports,” SC Ports COO Barbara Melvin said. “These cranes will soon be working the largest container ships on the East Coast at our state-of-the-art container terminal. Our SC Ports engineering team, our great partnership with ZPMC, and the unmatched collaboration with our project partners have made this possible.”

Phase One of the Leatherman Terminal will have a 1,400-foot wharf, five ship-to-shore cranes with 169 feet of lift height above the wharf deck, and 25 hybrid rubber-tired gantry cranes. It will also add 700,000 TEUs of annual throughput capacity to the Port of Charleston. (A 40-foot container is 2 TEUs.) At full build-out, the three-berth terminal will double S.C. Ports’ current capacity by adding 2.4 million TEUs of throughput capacity.

The $1 billion Phase One of the Leatherman Terminal complements efforts to modernize Wando Welch Terminal and deepen Charleston Harbor to 52 feet. These investments will enable SC Ports to handle four 14,000-TEU vessels simultaneously in 2021.

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