The crane count at Long Beach Harbor has risen to 28 with the delivery of two dockside monsters that reach 291 feet into the sky with their booms up. The new gantry container cranes are being fitted on tracks with a 100-foot span at Berth 232 on Pier J.
What makes these cranes unique is not their size (there already are four others like them at other terminals), but the fact that they were delivered already assembled, according to Port of Long Beach spokesman Elmar Baxter. Previous deliveries of container cranes from Japan were in pieces. Their legs and booms had to be assembled on the docks here like giant erector sets.
The new cranes arrived aboard the Sunrise, a pug-nosed ship with its bridge at the bow and a long, flat deck stretching to the stern. It was designed especially for this type of ungainly cargo. The Sunrise backed up perpendicular to the dock and the cranes were rolled off on rails at high tide in the middle of the night.
The cranes are manufactured by Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co. Ltd of Tokyo. They cost about $7 million and are being installed at the International Transportation Service container terminal, according to Michael Fogarty, director of maintenance and repair for ITS.
ITS has four other, slightly smaller cranes capable of handling cargo ships with containers stacked 13 abreast, Fogarty said. The new cranes, with an outreach of 137 feet, will accommodate newer, wider ships which carry 15 rows of the 40-ton steel boxes.