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Cranes for Containers Erected Everywhere

Container cranes have become such a critical component for handling cargo that a port’s capacity for moving freight is often measured by the number of cranes it has available for use. They must be housed within a metal framework that allows the crane to move the length of the yard where it will be hoisting cargo. A platform known as a spreader descends from the crane onto a container. There it locks onto the corners through links called corner castings. Normally, cranes lift only one container at a time, though some will lift two, and a few can carry up to four at once. These cranes are classified by size according to the sort of vessels that they can accommodate. A Panamax can unload a ship small enough in size to pass through the Panama Canal. This is about a dozen containers wide. Post Panamax units can reach the width of 18 containers. There is also a Super Post Panamax that can reach across 22 containers. The load capacity for these is generally around 65 tons which permits the lifting of a single 40 foot container or two 20 foot containers. Some models have double this capacity. The entire assemblages… read more »

Port Congestion a Growing Problem

Port congestion can be compared to the sort of stop and go conditions that take place when too many cars crowd onto a single stretch of road. Traffic slows, the line of cars keeps backing up further. Everyone’s time is wasted. The same thing happens with ships in ports that are congested. They have to line up and wait for a spot to open where they can dock and unload their cargo. Ports have more limitations than highways, however, when it comes to congestion. They cannot simply expand to accommodate more ships the way highways can handle more cars. Creating more docking space will not help if the cranes and the crews that operate them do not also increase at a similar rate. The bottleneck may lie in inadequate access roads or rail lines to move freight in and out of the port. Lack of warehouse space seldom seems to be the problem, but numerous other infrastructure shortfalls can be involved. Port congestion can be temporary in nature if a calamity of some sort has affected the port’s normal operation. Storms and other weather events can damage the facilities, which will slow cargo handling until repairs are completed. Industrial accidents… read more »