Chile’s Terminal Pacífico Sur Valparaíso has ordered three large ship-to-shore cranes from Liebherr Container Cranes to boost capacity, as recent changes in the shipping industry have sent larger ships to the region.
Terminal Pacífico Sur Valparaíso, the only terminal operator of the port of Valparaíso in central Chile, ordered three ship-to-shore cranes from the Ireland-based Liebherr last week. The cranes, which are scheduled to arrive in May 2015, have an outreach of 62 meters and a working load of 65 tons under twin lift spreaders. The port of Valparaíso currently has five STS cranes, but it is selling two, so the three new cranes will bring the port’s total to six.
A spokesperson from Liebherr was not able to disclose the cost of the new cranes to the JOC because of a confidentiality agreement. The location of the cranes’ assembly has not yet been confirmed, the spokesperson said.
The new cranes are expected to improve the terminal’s container handling capabilities, allowing it to operate on large container vessels such as the 16,020-TEU CMA CGM Marco Polo-class ships, which have a length of 396 meters and breadth of 53.6 meters. Terminal Pacífico Sur Valparaíso had the third-highest productivity among Chilean terminal operators in 2013, with an average of 63 berth moves per hour, behind Puerto de Coronel and San Antonio Terminal, which averaged 64 and 65 berth moves per hour respectively, according to JOC Group’s port productivity data. Overall, Terminal Pacífico Sur Valparaíso was ranked No. 4 among terminals on the west coast of South America in JOC’s port productivity data in 2013, behind its Chilean peers and DP World Callao at the port of Callao, Peru. However, by port, Valparaíso was ranked No. 2 in JOC’s 2013 port productivity rankings of all South America’s west coast ports, behind only the port of Coronel, Chile.
Recent changes in the shipping industry, including carriers’ rush to deploy ships that improve economies of scale, have resulted in large post-Panamax vessels calling South America’s west coast, and central Chile has seen a 15 percent increase in container movements over the last three years, according to Liebherr. Ahead of the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in early 2016, post-Panamax ships comprised the biggest segment of newly delivered tonnage in 2013, with growth of 15 percent, according to a recent report from Danish Ship Finance. The global post-Panamax fleet is expected to grow another 15 percent this year, with almost 1.4 million TEUs scheduled to enter the fleet; 400,000 TEUs were delivered in the first three months of the year, Danish Ship Finance said.
The acquisition of the new cranes by Terminal Pacífico Sur Valparaíso will allow the port to play a central role in meeting this continued demand by offering greater operational efficiency, Liebherr said.
Containerized trade between the U.S. and the port of Valparaíso rose from 35,834 TEUs in 2008 to 48,639 TEUs in 2011, but then dropped to 39,282 TEUs in 2012 and 25,765 TEUs in 2013, according to PIERS, the data division of JOC Group. Last year, Valparaíso’s imports from the U.S. were 9,761 TEUs, down 23 percent year-over-year, and the port’s exports to the U.S. were 16,005 TEUs, down 40 percent from 2012.