Photo: Port of Virginia

Last of 86 Cranes Delivered to Port of Va., Making History

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The Port of Virginia’s last round of automated stacking cranes has just been delivered from Poland, completing the world’s largest-ever order by a port.

The heavy-load vessel Happy Buccaneer arrived at Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) Thursday night– finishing the 14th trip across the Atlantic over the last 27 months to deliver the specialized cranes.

A total of 86 cranes–60 at NIT and 26 at Virginia International Gateway (VIG)– are the centerpieces of the port’s $800 million expansion at the two primary container terminals.

“We continue to mark milestones in the expansion of The Port of Virginia and this one signals that we are very close to completion of the work we started three years ago,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director
of the Virginia Port Authority. “We have modernized our cargo handling capabilities at NIT and Virginia International Gateway (VIG), and significantly increased our operational efficiency and these cranes are a big part of the reason.”

The cranes were built by Finland-based Konecrane beginning in 2016. Once the terminals receive each set of cranes, they must be offloaded, then some final assembly and installation must be done. Reinhardt credits the cranes with allowing the port to move cargo more safely, swifter, and more sustainably.

When the expansion project is fully complete this fall, the port says it will be able to process an extra one million containers annually– an increase of 46 percent.

The offloading process began Friday and continued through the weekend.

-Meg Walburn Viviano