BigLift transports oversized STS cranes to Savannah
BigLift Shipping's Heavy transport vessels BigLift Baffin and BigLift Barentsz transported six oversized Konecranes ship-to-shore (STS) cranes from Nantong, China, to Savannah, USA.
Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) received the first three new STS cranes – the largest of their kind - on December 8th, 2019. BigLift Shipping has executed numerous shipments for Konecranes over the years and this shipment is another testimony to the continuous, strong relationship between the two companies.
The first three cranes were transported by Heavy transport vessel BigLift Baffin from their location of assembly, Nantong, China. The route around South Africa to Savannah took 54 days with an average service speed of 12 knots. Getting the cranes off the ship on the berth and finally in the rails was a challenging and complicated operation. The most important and essential aspect of the operation was the tide, which varies within a range of up to 2 meters at the Savannah Front River. Mv BigLift Baffin is unique in its kind; with a 12.000m3/hour ballast capacity the vessel is able to compensate the tidal movement and keep its main deck parallel with the quay. The discharge operation took three days to complete.
Everything had been well prepared for the successful offloading of the wide cranes onto the dock. A dedicated “hard” spot on the pier was chosen and temporary rails were laid right by the vessel. Each crane was pulled off the vessel with two winches, lifted up one side at the time, had its bogies rotated, and was then put back down on its final rails. Finally, the whole upper part of the crane, weighing over 800 mt, was lifted with four Konecranes lifting winches. During the sea voyage, the upper parts of the cranes had been resting on the sill beams to anticipate the Savannah River bridge height restriction.
Once fully assembled, the new cranes are approximately 130 meters long, weigh 1,369 mt and rise some 96 meters above the water. They are the largest of their kind in the world, capable of handling containers from Super Post-Panamax vessels that have a width equivalent to 22 containers. The state-of-the art cranes were designed in Finland and assembled in China.
Heavy transport vessel BigLift Barentsz – sister vessel of BigLift Baffin – has delivered the three remaining STS cranes in Savannah March 2020.