Charleston port to add 12 rubber-tire gantry cranes

The new equipment for Konecranes will help Charleston handle larger ships and volumes.

The reports, the South Carolina Ports Authority has ordered 12 rubber-tire gantry cranes for use at Charleston’s Wando Welch terminal, which port officials expect this year to handle its first ship with a capacity of 14,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units.

The new rubber-tire gantries are scheduled for delivery in the early fall of 2017. They will bring to 53 the number of Konecranes RTGs at Charleston. They represent the fifth RTG order the port authority has placed with the company since 1988.

The new cranes are among several improvements the port authority is making at Wando Welch, which is handling calls by larger ships as carriers increase the size of ships serving U.S. East Coast ports.

Earlier this month, the port authority took delivery of two new super-post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes. The port has ordered two more for delivery by the end of 2017. Other work at the terminal includes $44 million to strengthen wharves to handle the larger cranes.

The improvements are part of $1.3 million in planned capital investment by the port authority during the next decade that includes construction of a new container terminal. In addition, the port is progressing through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers planning process on a project to dredge the port’s channel to 52 feet, which would be the deepest on the U.S. East Coast.

The new RTGs to be installed at Wando Welch will have lifting capacity of 50 long tons. They will lift one container over five stacked containers, and will span the width of six containers plus one truck lane.

Konecranes said the RTGs’ features include technology to eliminate container sway, and for automatic steering and prevention of the inadvertent lifting of trucks. The RTGs also are designed for stack collision prevention and auto-truck guiding, which Konecranes said could be used if the cranes eventually are transitioned to semi-automated operation.