Oakland International Container Terminal operator SSA Terminals has placed a $30m order for three 300ft gantry cranes from Chinese company ZPMC.

Gantry cranes will be installed at the Port of Oakland’s Oakland International Container Terminal located on Oakland Estuary in California, US, replacing older ones.

Expected to be delivered in 18 months, gantry cranes will be capable of loading and unloading large container ships.

Mega-ships can be up to 1,300ft-long and carry nearly 23,000 cargo containers that are stacked up to 12-high above deck on the largest vessels.

Port of Oakland maritime director John Driscoll said: “This demonstrates the faith that business partners have in Oakland as a trade gateway. There’s no more visible sign of a port’s growth than installing larger ship-to-shore cranes.”

The cranes with booms upraised will arrive by ship from China partially assembled to assure clearance under the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

“There’s no more visible sign of a port’s growth than installing larger ship-to-shore cranes.”

SSA noted that its new gantry cranes will have a lift height of 174ft above the dock and the ability to reach 225ft across a ship’s deck.

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SSA Containers president Ed DeNike said: “Big ships are the future. They’re coming to Oakland and we’re going to be ready for them.”

At the Oakland International Container Terminal, which handles more than 60% of the port’s total cargo volume, a total of 10 cranes are operated by SSA.

Over the past three years, the terminal helped transform Oakland cargo operations with the installation of additional equipment and making an investment of $14m in a project to heighten four cranes last year.