With record-breaking volumes at its terminals, Port Houston recently purchased 29 electric cranes to accommodate the increased demand.

The port ordered 26 hybrid rubber-tired gantry (RTG) cranes for its Barbours Cut and Bayport Container terminals from Konecranes Inc. for $65.2 million. Fourteen of the RTG cranes will be used at Barbours Cut and 12 will be for the Bayport terminal.

Port Houston also recently purchased three dockside electric container cranes from Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co. for $40.9 million. The cranes will be used for wharves Nos. two, five and six at Bayport Container Terminal. The cranes are scheduled to be delivered by 2024.

Port Houston’s container volume continues to skyrocket for several reasons, including fears of California port congestion, West Coast port labor strife, and an oil drilling boom in Texas and the Gulf of Mexico that’s driving demand for steel imports.

In August, the port hit a record for monthly container volumes, handling 382,842 twenty-foot equivalent units. That surpassed the previous monthly record for containers set in May, when the port handled 335,000 TEUs.

The RTGs from Konecranes have a lifting capacity of 50 tons, with the capability of stacking containers one-over-five high and six-plus truck lanes wide. The hybrid RTGs also feature advanced lithium-ion battery technology and a battery management system to monitor the charge levels. 

Port Houston currently has 90 diesel Konecranes RTGs and 26 hybrid Konecranes RTGs in its fleet. The new cranes are scheduled to be delivered starting in the last quarter of 2023 and continuing through mid-2024.

“Port Houston is forging ahead in both productivity and container crane eco-efficiency,” Jussi Suhonen, Konecranes vice president of regional sales, port solutions, said in a statement. “Hybrid Konecranes RTGs have a proven track record, and this new order from Port Houston exemplifies this.”

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