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Ports of Auckland’s three new container cranes have been purpose-built for the northern end of the Fergusson Container Terminal

Ports of Auckland’s new mega cranes arrive

Ports of Auckland’s massive new container cranes sailed into port on Friday 5 October onboard a ship from Shanghai, making for a dramatic sight as they entered the Waitemata Harbour early in the morning.

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Ports of Auckland’s three new container cranes are for the northern end of the Fergusson Container Terminal. Bigger and faster than the port’s existing cranes, each crane can lift four containers at a time and be operated remotely. They are also environmentally friendly: equipped 100% with LED lighting, each crane generates electricity when lowering containers, and their solar panels can produce enough energy to power the average Kiwi home.

Ports of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson says the port company needs bigger, faster cranes to keep up with Auckland’s growth. “More people in the city means more freight, as we export more and buy more imports for local shops. The ships that bring our goods from overseas are also getting bigger, so we need to make sure we can handle them. With these new cranes – and the new deepwater berth they sit on – we’ll be able to handle the biggest ships coming to New Zealand.”

Amazing sight

Built by the Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company, a Chinese multinational engineering company and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of cranes and large steel structures, the cranes were loaded onto the ship Zhen Hua 25 in Shanghai and took four weeks to sail to Auckland. 

The ship anchored to the north of the main shipping channel for a couple of days before sailing into the Waitemata Harbour at dawn. Visible from across the North Shore and from Tamaki Drive, the ship laden with the three cranes proved to be an amazing sight.

Unloading the cranes at Ports of Auckland was completed over the following week and there will now be a five to six-month commissioning process before the cranes start operating.

Key facts

  • • Height – each crane stands 82.3m tall (the current cranes are 69.2 m), taller than the HSBC tower in downtown Auckland (81 m) and higher than the Auckland Harbour Bridge (64 m)
  • • Weight – each crane weighs 2100 tonnes
  • • Lift – able to lift four containers at once, weighing up to 130 tonnes (a New Zealand first)
  • • Outreach – 21 containers across 
  • • Operation – able to be remotely operated (another New Zealand first)
  • • Larger ships – can service ships of over 11,000 TEU, future-proofing Auckland’s port against future ship size increases
  • • Project cost – NZ$60 million (three cranes, plus supporting equipment).
Watch ZPMC loading the three new Ports of Auckland cranes onto the ship in Shanghai here 


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