Port Tampa Bay commissions new post-Panamax container cranes
Port Tampa Bay today officially commissioned its two new, post-Panamax gantry cranes today, amid an enthusiastic crowd of dignitaries and port customers.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott delivered remarks highlighting the significance of this enhanced capacity for Port Tampa Bay to serve Florida’s expanding international trade, as well as the importance of the state’s seaports and logistics sector in generating jobs and economic development. In addition, Scott got an up close view of the cranes and met with shipping companies, exporters and importers.
Additional remarks by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio; Cissy Proctor, executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity; Jim Boxold, secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation; Tom Perdue, president of Ports America; and Marianela Dengo de Obaldía, highlighted the ceremony, each noting the extremely important milestone the new cranes represent and the value of global trade and seaports to the economy.
Representing a cost-shared capital investment of $24 million by Port Tampa Bay, the State of Florida and Ports America, the new cranes are part of the port’s ongoing efforts to expand and diversify its cargo business, in particular the large and growing market for containerized cargo in the port’s backyard – the Tampa Bay/Orlando I-4 Corridor region. Home to the largest concentration of distribution centers in the state, the Tampa Bay/Orlando I-4 Corridor is the fastest growing region of Florida, which recently surpassed New York as the third most populous state, with more than 20 million residents, and welcoming over 100 million tourists per year.
The new cranes were built and delivered by ZPMC in Shanghai, the world’s leading manufacturer of cranes and large steel structures. With a total height of over 300 feet (130 feet under the spreader) and an outreach of 174 feet, the new cranes allow the port to handle ships of up to 9,000 TEU container capacity, nearly twice the size of the largest ships that could be accommodated by the port’s existing three older container cranes. Since their delivery and installation in early April, the new cranes have undergone extensive testing and certification.
“It’s great to unveil these beautiful new cranes to our customers and the community, following a seamless and exciting period of getting them ready for container operations. We appreciate the support and leadership of the governor and our elected officials, as well as our strategic partner Ports America and our own team, who have worked on the crane project. It’s truly a milestone for the port as we realize this tremendous capital investment and begin to see the generational benefits for the economy. Today marks an important milestone for Port Tampa Bay, enhancing our ability to better serve our large and growing market, and assisting our efforts to attract new services, which will provide exporters and importers in our region with more options and improved connections to their overseas customers and suppliers,” Paul Anderson, president and CEO, said.
About Port Tampa Bay
Port Tampa Bay is the largest economic engine in west central Florida, supporting nearly 80,000 jobs and generating almost $15 billion in annual economic impact. The port handles a wide array of bulk, break bulk, containers and roll-on/roll-off cargoes, and is a top ten cruise homeport and shipbuilding/repair center. Port Tampa Bay was recently named 2016 Port Operator of the Year by Lloyd’s List.