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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 »

Trucks Face Long Waits at Ports

The rapid expansion in global trade has led to a mushrooming of truck traffic at many ports around the world. This has made truck congestion a choke point for continued growth in these places. Too often this choking threatens to become literal, as thousands of idling trucks add an enormous volume of pollutants to the air. Nearby residents and port workers risk respiratory damage from all the diesel particulates they breathe in. Cities such as Los Angeles that have made huge efforts to reduce emissions from automobiles and stationary sources find that their efforts are being thwarted by growing levels of exhausts from waiting trucks. To ease congestion, some ports are switching to round the clock operations. Currently, most ports only operate during a day shift. The hours are usually from 7 a.m. To 5 p.m. While keeping terminals and other facilities open for operation 24 hours a day may cut down on congestion, it may also act as an irritant to local residents who may not appreciate the noise generated by trucks rolling along through the night. Truck drivers are generally supportive of expanded hours, since they often line up to wait for hours for the port to open… read more »