The arrival and installation of DP World Vancouver’s two enormous quay cranes marks the near completion of the Centerm expansion project. This project, which started in 2019, is focused on both modernizing existing infrastructure and on increasing capacity.
These improvements will increase the efficiency of the terminal for shippers from across Canada. These new cranes were manufactured in China and were shipped to Vancouver across the Pacific.
Super Post-Panamax Cranes
Prior to this investment by DP World in Centerm, two 30-year-old cranes were used to handle 900,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). With the installation of these new “super post-Panamax cranes,” the terminal’s capacity will increase by 60 percent, handing 1.5 million TEUs—without significantly increasing the footprint of the terminal. With a lift height of 47 metres, the cranes are designed to operate 40 hoists per hour and can handle vessels up to 24 containers wide. These cranes will become a new landmark within the Vancouver skyline, serving as a visual reminder of the impact and importance of the region’s shipping industry and the port’s contribution to western Canada’s economy.
The new cranes are expected to be operational before the end of 2021, completing what has been a complex and strategic project to construct, test, ship, and erect them. To manufacture the cranes, DP World choose the Chinese firm Zhenhua Port Machinery Company (ZPMC). The cranes were constructed entirely in China and, there, outfitted with state-of-the-art smart technology, which will automate many of the repetitive elements of the lifting cycle. All these features were rigorously tested, undergoing a 24-hour endurance test in preparation for shipment.
To ship the quay cranes to the Port of Vancouver, they were loaded onto a heavy lift ship, which is specifically designed to carry large cargo. To accommodate the cranes going under the Lions Gate Bridge, the cranes were lowered prior to shipment. Additionally, the cranes were fitted with a self-operating winching system, preventing the need for additional cranes as they were offloaded. The endeavor to raise both cranes took less than one month.
Commitment to the Port of Vancouver
As a result of this expansion, the reconfiguration of existing port infrastructure, and the installation of these quay cranes, DP World’s Vancouver terminal will significantly increase its capacity. This increase over the long haul is being accomplished with only a 15 percent increase in used land within the port.
DP World’s investment in the Port of Vancouver is also anticipated to give way to additional benefits that will help improve the surrounding marine and terrestrial environment. In congruence with DP World’s commitment to the port, as well as the company’s support of the local economy and ecology, company leaders have collaborated with community members to ensure the infrastructure improvements contribute to both short- and long-term success.