Port Tampa Bay commissioners approved the purchase of two new post-Panamax gantry cranes. Combined with the port’s share of financing, the purchase will also be made possible through $12 million in state funding, approved in the governor’s 2015 budget and a grant program of the Florida Department of Transportation. New high-profile cranes will enable increased container capacity at the Port Tampa Bay Container Terminal.
TAMPA, Fla.— Port Tampa Bay commissioners, during Tuesday’s regular monthly board meeting, helped usher in a new era for the port’s burgeoning container business. In a unanimous vote, the board approved a $24 million project with Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (ZPMC) for the acquisition of two new post-Panamax container gantry cranes.
ZPMC will fabricate and deliver both 65-ton gantry cranes, with a 174-foot out-reach, that will service up to 19 rows of containers—significantly longer reach than the current gantries, which service container vessels up to 4,000 TEU capacity and are 40+ years old. The addition of this modern equipment will enable the port to significantly augment the work of the older generation of cranes.
In August of this year, Port Tampa Bay announced that Gov. Rick Scott signed a funding package that gave the port supplementary funds to purchase new post-Panamax cranes in order to expand throughput capacity at the port’s container terminal. This support from the governor and Florida Legislature is a $12 million boon for the state’s largest and most diversified port. Port Tampa Bay’s strategic investment in post-Panamax cranes will enable it to serve the larger container vessels being deployed by the regional and global carriers. The new cranes will be assembled in Shanghai, China, and eventually head to Port Tampa Bay, where they will be installed and operational in the first quarter of 2016.
“Port Tampa Bay is entering a higher level of competitiveness with the purchase of two new state-of-the-art gantry cranes,” Paul Anderson, port president and CEO, said. “We are extremely thankful to our board for their leadership and forward thinking, as well as Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature, for their continued commitment to enhance Florida’s Seaport infrastructure. In addition, we are grateful to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for providing $12 million in funding through the State Infrastructure Bank (SIB) loan program. With these opportunities, we are furthering our status as a global gateway for trade,” he said.
Port Tampa Bay’s container terminal, currently at 40 acres, has a throughput capacity of about a quarter-million containers per year. A central focus of the port’s growth moving forward, the port authority continues to invest in container yard-related infrastructure and upland improvements in order to meet the needs of a rapidly growing consumer market in west and central Florida. At full build out, the container terminal will be a sprawling 160 acres, with one million container throughput capacity. Together, these new cranes will position Port Tampa Bay to capture cargo that has long been moving via out-of-state ports. The new cranes will provide a more efficient and enhanced supply chain alternative for fast growing I-4 corridor region.
About Port Tampa Bay
Port Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest port and the largest economic engine in west central Florida, supporting nearly 80,000 jobs and generating almost $15 billion in annual economic impact. In addition to being a top 10 U.S. cruise port, the port handles a wide array of bulk, break bulk, containers and roll-on/roll-off cargoes, and is a major shipbuilding and repair center. The port was recently voted “Simply the Best” for world-class customer service in a Logistics Management Magazine reader poll. For more information, visit www.portTB.com.