Over the next few years, marine facilities at the Port of New York and New Jersey are expected to increase their capability for processing extremely big container ships.
These enormous ships, sometimes known as super-post-Panamax or mega-max, are frequently distinguished by a nameplate capacity of 18,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) or higher. While 16,000-TEU vessels operating CMA CGM’s South and Southeast Asia routes have been the largest ships to visit the U.S. East Coast recently, plans are in place to soon handle even larger ships hauling goods from Asia.
The full loading of ultra-large container ships at the New York and New Jersey port has been hampered by draft limits. However, 28 super-post-Panamax cranes have already been installed at the port’s four largest marine terminals, allowing them to handle the larger and taller container bays on these enormous ships. Three Mega-max cranes were added last year at Maher Terminal among other things.
The port is now working on projects that will add an additional 12 cranes, a mix of new installations and replacements for aging cranes to further improve their capabilities.
New Equipment Improves Efficiency Drastically on Port Grounds
After recently acquiring two container terminals in New York and New Jersey, CMA CGM has declared plans to finish building a third container berth at its Bayonne facility by the beginning of 2025. Four more super-post-Panamax cranes will be added as part of this development, to go along with the two that are already in use. According to CMA CGM, the new berth and cranes will dramatically increase Bayonne’s yearly throughput, raising it from 1.2 million TEUs to 2.1 million TEUs.
Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman of CMA CGM, stressed the importance of these crane investments as the firm seeks to increase vessel space on trade routes from India and Southeast Asia, particularly those that are most suitable for carrying large ships down the East Coast. Saadé emphasized the financial benefits of larger ships by saying, “The bigger the ship, the less it costs you per unit.” He continued by saying that the U.S. clients of the carrier have shown a strong interest in more capacity coming out of Southeast Asia.
Notably, plans are being made to add six more super-post-Panamax cranes to the eight already operated by APM Terminals in Elizabeth, New Jersey, which now manages CMA CGM’s Southeast Asia operation. Five post-Panamax and Panamax cranes must be taken out of their berths in order to make room for this development. Two of the six cranes will be put into service by APM in late November, and the remaining four will follow in the first quarter of 2025.
Although the actual effect on Elizabeth’s 2.3 million TEUs of yearly throughput has not yet been calculated, the extra cranes will let the port to handle up to three ultra-large container ships at once. The latest generation of cranes, according to APM, are equipped with cutting-edge technology that enables them to handle ships up to 10 containers high and 23 containers across with efficiency.
Parallel to this, two smaller cranes are apparently being replaced with two mega-max cranes at the Port Newark Container Terminal (PNCT), which already has seven super-post-Panamax cranes. Despite the fact that Ports America, the US-based co-owner of PNCT with Terminal Investment Limited, has not commented on the capacity expansion, these initiatives highlight the port’s dedication to meeting the growing demand for larger boats.
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