The Zhen Hua 25, tranporting Wilmington’s final neo-Panamax crane, is maneuvered by tugs towards the Port of Wilmington’s docks on April 8,
2019. The Coast Guard closed a large stretch of the Cape Fear River as a safe zone for the ship’s passage from the river’s mouth. The following day,
the crane was raised to its full operating height. On Monday, April 22, a ship arrived to deliver 12,000 containers, a record for the port.
The three 151-foot tall cranes cost $33.8 million each. The first two were delivered March 29, 2018.
Approved by the North Carolina General Assembly, the acquisition was part of the Port Authority’s $200 million investment in infrastructure,
port customers, and the state and local economy.
The taller, longer boom arm length of the cranes built by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry Co., Ltd., allow the port to accommodate the
simultaneous loading and unloading of two ultra-Panamax container vessels, side-by-side. — Pat Bradford