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Port of Oakland: Giant Cranes Raised Why?

Said El Mansour Cherkaoui

March 12, 2021

Symposia of Determinations

I found out about this unusual movement and arrival of these Giant Cranes just a week ago, around March 10, 2021. An article around this date presented this event like a very, very new happening and was developed on the modernization of the Port of Oakland tackling the new challenges raised by the dual competition from Seattle and Los Angeles but also from other competitive trends taking place within the global logistic of transportation and supply chain management.

Within such determinations, the topic and content of this article seemed therefore logical in timing which was confirmed by other media outlets from London to New York and elsewhere that started publishing about the backlog and the difficulties that Supply Chain in these terms:

Mar 11, 2021 — There were 48 ships laden with goods destined for store shelves across the … Asian nations directly to a dock at the ports of Los Angeles or Long Beach, … Shipping containers sit on a dock in Oakland, California. … While the surge, and resulting backlog at US docks, has resulted in sleepless nights for port …

Feb 11, 2021 — Pileup of container ships anchored off California remains as painful as ever …

Jan 13, 2021 — A container ship arrives in the Port of Los Angeles. … The backlogs have left many retailers waiting weeks for goods stuck on ships at sea or at the port, … Docking delays can stretch to more than five days from an average …

When I did further research on these topics, I found that the article on the arrival of these Giant Cranes was almost 3 months old and despite of that, it was presented again like a #breaking-news with a new version presenting new pictures and published on March 2021. So where are the News in such article and why it is again republished and presented as Breaking News and why these Giants Cranes were bought and brought at the first place in Oakland?

The answer my Friend is blowing the wind of the Port of Oakland which is under a long threat of disappearing or losing its landscape … and all these frenzy publication about these Giant Crane is not like the Port Director stated already in February 20. 2019:

“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.”

It seems that these Giant Cranes came to Oakland to lay the ground and to strengthen Port of Oakland’s roots on the land it occupies given the new threat coming from many sources: complaints of environmentalists, complaints of neighbours, complaints of sport association, complaints of local business, reticence of local community representatives and local Oakland City Counsels to approve any extension of the Port of Oakland activities that have found a new and unexpected ally and alternative to whatever are the plans of the administrators of Port of Oakland and that is the new project featured in the following picture of the recently-released City of Oakland draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) analyzing the Oakland A’s proposed ballpark and condominium complex at the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal.

Oakland A’s Howard Terminal Ballpark and Condos or Port of Oakland Future Response to Global Challenges that is the Question at Oakland

Therefore, all this orchestration of “Mediatic Racket” and deluge of praises on the bright future identified in these Giant Cranes flying over the sky of the Port of Oakland are all just a “retroactive” move and “reactionary” tentative to make these “Giant Crane to be a flew over a Coocoo Nest” while voices of discount are rising in Oakland about the Gentrification and the possible disappearance of maritime activities as well as the metamorphosis of the Port of Oakland in the same way that happened to San Francisco Maritime Port. Details can be found in the following video.

Here below, you will find how these Giant Cranes were depicted and presented to the local readers and the East and the entire Bay Area residents with an armada of video, images and prose.

Giant Cranes Went Through San Francisco to be Raised at Port of Oakland

A ship carrying massive cranes as it entered San Francisco Bay under the Golden Gate Bridge, destined for the Port of Oakland.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA. – DEC. 30: The Zhen Hua heavy cargo ship carries three huge cranes under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Calif., en route to the Port of Oakland, Wednesday morning, Dec. 30, 2020.

Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) is investing in the three giant cranes for its marine terminal at Oakland (Oakland International Container Terminal – OICT). The huge container cranes are coming on a ship that is designed to accommodate these enormous workhorses of the maritime industry.

“These cranes will keep the Port of Oakland competitive so that we can continue to attract the largest vessels calling North America, … Ultimately, bigger cranes at our waterfront translate into maritime and related jobs for the region” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan.

SSA ordered the cranes from Shanghai-based ZPMC. They are expected to arrive at the end of this month. 

“Taller cranes are needed for efficiently handling cargo that arrives on ultra-large container ships. This new infrastructure is a commitment to the Port that we will continue our maritime business at Oakland well into the future,” said SSA Containers President Edward DeNike.

Giant new container cranes aboard ship en route to Port of Oakland

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. When the crane booms are in the raised position, they will soar more than 400 feet above the wharf. SSA operates 10 cranes at Oakland International Container Terminal. The Port said it would remove three older cranes from the terminal when the new ones arrive.  

Port of Oakland’s three revenue divisions, maritime, aviation and commercial real estate, support more than 84,000 jobs in the region (pre-COVID-19 stats). 

“There’s no better demonstration of our maritime partner’s faith in the Port of Oakland, than investing in these huge ship-to-shore cranes … These new cranes at Oakland are going to make a significant difference in the ability to handle cargo more efficiently,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. 

SSA’s investment in the three new cranes is valued at $30 million.

Before they are put to work, the cranes will undergo a series of tests and must be inspected by OSHA. The first of the three cranes could be operational as soon as late March or early April, port officials said.

The giant cranes were constructed in China, by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co., and sent on a ship in sections to the Port of Oakland. Longshore workers then rolled the cranes off the vessel, and a whole team of engineers and port workers assembled the cranes on site.

All Port of Oakland container cranes are powered by electricity, so there are zero local emissions, officials said.

Port of Oakland Gets Giant Cranes

Laxman Pai February 20, 2019

SSA Terminals, the operator of Oakland International Container Terminal, submitted last week a $30 million order for three 300-foot-tall gantry cranes, which are expected to be delivered in 18 months.
The cranes will go to Oakland International Terminal on Oakland Estuary and will become the tallest on the West Coast, port officials said.
The project aims to prepare the port to handle the world’s largest container ships, which can be up to 1,300 feet long and carry nearly 23,000 cargo containers. The containers can be stacked up to 12-high above deck on the largest vessels, officials said.
“This demonstrates the faith that business partners have in Oakland as a trade gateway,” said Port Maritime Director John Driscoll.  “There’s no more visible sign of a port’s growth than installing larger ship-to-shore cranes.”
The new cranes, which were ordered from Shanghai-based ZPMC, will have a lift height of 174 feet above the dock and will be able to reach 225 feet across a ship’s deck, SSA said.
The cranes, which could be 440-feet tall with booms upraised, would be delivered by ship from China.  They’d arrive only partially assembled to assure clearance under the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
“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.”

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