For Immediate Release
March 5, 2005
Oakland, Calif. (March 5, 2005) - The Port of Oakland’s two new giant container cranes have arrived. “The future of the Port of Oakland depends largely on our ability to develop intermodal cargo (imports) and the super post-Panamax cranes are a part of a bigger effort to make our port more efficient and ready to handle the anticipated growth in international trade in California,” said Jerry Bridges, Port of Oakland’s Executive Director.
The vessel Zhen Hua 1 is carrying the Port of Oakland’s valuable cargo - $14 million. The crew lowered the apexes from 241 feet (about as high as a 24-story building) down to 210 feet so that they would fit under the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges. It sailed under the Golden Gate with good clearance (about 15-20 feet of clearance). It was a spectacular sight due to the tighter squeeze under the Bay Bridge, as the cranes passed under the span with about 6 feet of clearance.
Port of Oakland board member, Commissioner David Kramer, witnessed the arrival of the cranes and remarked on what they represent to the region, “Together with our maritime renovation efforts and our major dredging project, these cranes will mean thousands of new jobs for our region and approximately $2 billion (B) in additional annual economic impact.”
Port Deputy Executive Director Joe Wong commented, “The Port of Oakland’s new cranes are another example of the important enhancements being made at the Oakland seaport so that it can better serve as a relief valve for the congestion at Southern California ports and improve the flow of commerce in this state.”
Resembling huge prehistoric beasts, the two new cranes will soon join Oakland's existing inventory of 17 super post-Panamax cranes already in operation bringing the total to 19 giant container cranes. One commonly told story relates that George Lucas modeled the "Imperial Walkers" of Star Wars movie fame after Oakland's container cranes. Whatever their mythology, the Port of Oakland's container cranes certainly help define the Bay Area's skyline as one of the most recognizable in the world. The cranes were built in Shanghai, China by the Zhenhua Port Machinery Company.
The Port of Oakland was established in 1927 as an independent department of the City of Oakland. The Port of Oakland oversees Oakland International Airport, the Oakland Seaport and 19 miles of waterfront. The Oakland Seaport is the 4th largest container port in the U.S
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