PORT OF BALTIMORE, Md. — The four massive cranes came aboard a ship from Shang Hai that traveled thousands of miles perhaps facing no greater challenge than trying to fit under the Bay Bridge just before its arrival at the Port of Baltimore on Thursday.
“Four feet of clearance. It looks tight as we were moving,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Greg Slater who was standing atop the bridge as it passed by. “We had to actually shut one span down for traffic, because cars going across would see that and it would catch their attention.”
Once the colossal cargo had cleared the Key Bridge, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and port officials welcomed its arrival and the expansion in the facility’s ability to load and unload cargo on a grander scale.
“Now, with these largest cranes, I think in the world, that are 25 feet taller than the previous ones, they can reach all the way across the widest ships without turning them around,” said Hogan. “It’s going to dramatically increase production here at the port.”
Supersized cranes to handle supersized ships with the promise of creating new jobs in the region, but just getting them here from China may have been the toughest job of all.
“Came down around the Cape of Good Hope through the Indian Ocean, headed over to the Caribbean, almost a beeline to Florida, and what type of season do we have right now?” asked MDOT MPA Executive Director William P. Doyle. “It’s a very active hurricane season.”
The ship arrived at Cape Henry in Virginia Beach over a week ago, and then had to wait out Hurricane Ida before making the last leg of its journey.