The Port of Toledo on Lake Erie on Friday dedicated two new Liebherr mobile harbor cranes that will enable the port to handle more containers as well as the breakbulk cargos that now make up most of its volume.
"They are like a Swiss Army knife," said Paul Toth, president and CEO of the Toledo/Lucas County Port Authority, the landlord of the Port of Toledo. "You can put any attachment on them to handle bulk, breakbulk or containers.”
The Liebherr LHM 280 cranes, which were delivered and assembled at the port in May, were purchased for $6.6 million with funds from President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that were administered by the Ohio Department of Transportation.
The new cranes are twice as productive as current equipment and will be used to handle bulk, breakbulk, project cargo and containers.
The cranes will modernize material-handling capabilities at the Port of Toledo and are the only twin cranes of this type in operation at any U.S. Great Lakes Port. The cranes are also more fuel-efficient, using only 25 percent of the fuel expended by the existing cranes.
Though regular container service does not currently exist in any port on the Great Lakes, the cranes were selected due to their ability to handle diverse types of cargo including containers. "We are working on developing container services to the gateway ports of Eastern Canada, either by handi-size vessels or barges. These cranes will put Toledo in a good position to handle container trade," said Joe Cappel, Director of Cargo Development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.
The new cranes replace two pre-World War II era rail-based cranes. Unlike the rail based cranes that will be decommissioned and can only move from side to side, the new cranes have maneuverability in all directions due to an intricate mobility system consisting of multiple rubber tires.
Each crane stands more than 140 feet and weighs more than 240 tons. The total footprint is close to 1300 square feet and each crane has a reach of up to 130 feet. Maximum crane capacity is 84 tons per swing and each crane can turn up to 1,000 tons per hour. Both cranes can work in tandem to increase maximum lift capacity.
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