The Port of Oakland, Oakland, Calif., inducted three 300-foot-tall cranes to handle the latest generation of megaships. 

The three cranes will go to Oakland International Container Terminal on Oakland Estuary, and are said to be the tallest on the West Coast and perhaps the nation. 

The new cranes will load and unload megaships, which can be up to 1,300 feet long and carry nearly 23,000 cargo containers. Containers are stacked up to 12-high above deck on the largest vessels. Taller cranes are required to reach the top of the stacks.

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

SSA Terminals, the operator of Oakland International Container Terminal, ordered the cranes from Shanghai-based ZPMC. 

The cranes, which could be 440 feet tall with booms upraised, would be delivered by ship from China.  They’d arrive only partially assembled to assure clearance under the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. 

According to SSA, its new cranes would have a lift height of 174 feet above the dock and can reach 225 feet across a ship’s deck. 

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