Big cranes arrive on Seattle waterfront, bigger ships to follow

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by GLENN FARLEY / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @GlennFarley

KING5.com

Posted on December 2, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 2 at 8:01 PM

SEATTLE -- Three massive cranes sit on the vessel Zhen Hua 9 at the Port of Seattle. The Zhen Hua 9 is a ship with a very wide, low deck designed to carry cranes that load and unload ships.

But these aren't your average container cranes, they are 185 feet high and can reach about 200 feet out over the water.

The cranes are big because the world's shipping lines are buying gigantic ships built to haul the world's goods across oceans. And those ships are coming to Seattle.  Ships that have decks 24 containers across.

That means they are 175 feet wide and more than 1,300 feet long. That's significantly bigger than the largest U.S. Navy Nimitz class aircraft carrier. They are called "Super Post Panamax" ships, because they are too big to cruise through the Panama Canal. The largest ships that can make their way through the Panama Canal are up to 106 feet wide.

Starting Thursday, SSA Terminals will have the new cranes rolling onto terminal 18. It's unclear when the really big ships will start to arrive. 

   

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