Port of Guam Appeals for Funds to Replace Aging Gantry Cranes

Image: Port Authority of Guam.

Port of Guam officials, citing national cybersecurity objectives, have appealed to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg for Maritime Administration (MARAD) funds to replace three aging STS (ship-to-shore) gantry cranes.

Gantry cranes are usually on wheels or mounted onto a track system. They’re easier and quicker to assemble than other types of cranes, and can be easily moved outside and inside and from site to site where required.

Gantry cranes are also more flexible and versatile than overhead cranes, also known as bridge cranes. In addition, they’re self-sufficient and supported by their own A frames.

“Our reliance on aging infrastructure, which could be compromised by adversaries, poses a national security risk,” Guam Gov. Lourdes Leon Guerrero said in a March 12 letter to Buttigieg.

“If the port’s procurement is constrained due to funding stipulations, we risk delaying other vital infrastructure projects essential for our strategic readiness and may be forced to consider purchasing STS gantry cranes from China,” she said.

“We actively seek the department’s support to acquire new cranes, leveraging all available funding opportunities, even those beyond MARAD, adopting a comprehensive, whole-of-government approach,” the letter continued.

Federal Emergency Management Agency officials toured the Guam Port Authority on March 5 and met with port officials regarding critical infrastructure grant applications. Several of the port’s maritime and upland assets sustained substantial damage as a result of Typhoon Mawar, a category 4 storm that struck the island in May 2023.

As of late March, the port was finalizing a scope of work cost estimate breakdown for submission to MARAD.

By Margaret Bauman