Giant STS Crane Begins Operations at Port of Oakland

Port Oakland Crane
Port Oakland Crane
The delivery of a new ship-to-shore crane to the Port of Oakland in June 2021. Photo courtesy of Port of Oakland.

A huge new ship-to-shore crane (STS) began operating at the Port of Oakland’s Ben E. Nutter Terminal at the end of September. The terminal is run by Everport Terminal Services, which made the investment in the giant crane to enhance its maritime infrastructure at Oakland.

Port officials said the timing couldn’t be better as cargo volume at Oakland was expected to increase in the fall as the holidays approach and U.S. consumers buy gifts for family and friends.

“New container cranes help keep the Port of Oakland competitive and ready to handle record cargo volumes,” Maritime Director Bryan Brandes said. “New operational infrastructure supports growing the maritime business and jobs in our region.”

Taller cranes allow more flexibility to move the containers on and off the biggest ships that call North America, according to the port. The new crane has a lift height from the dock of 170 feet.

The huge crane arrived in June, but had to be reassembled, tested and commissioned before it could be put into action to work vessels at the port. Reassembling one is a complex process that requires multiple trade, labor and professional workers: Longshore workers; electrical, mechanical and structural engineers; iron workers; and construction crane operators.

Testing a crane, which includes electrical diagnostics and structural inspections, means checking things like the crane motors and crane hoisting equipment to ensure that they run properly at full speed. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration also inspects the equipment before the cranes can be put into service.

All Port of Oakland container cranes run on electricity. There are zero local emissions from regular crane operations at port terminals.