FOLLOWUP: Terminal 5’s big new cranes expected to arrive Sunday

(Added: Photo of cranes being loaded for departure, courtesy Port of Seattle)

Want to watch the four big new cranes for Terminal 5 arrive off West Seattle? The Port of Seattle says they are expected here this Sunday, three weeks after leaving China. They are super-post-Panamax cranes, 316 feet tall with 240-foot outreach booms, so – like the four cranes shipped to Tacoma two years ago – it’ll be quite a sight. Port spokesperson Peter McGraw tells WSB that the arrival of Zhen Hua 36, carrying the cranes, is expected by noon Sunday. The Northwest Seaport Alliance – the joint Seattle-Tacoma port authority that’s overseeing the T-5 project – says the first “modernized” berth at T-5 will open early next year; the cranes will belong to the berth’s tenant, SSA Marine.

23 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Terminal 5's big new cranes expected to arrive Sunday"

  • K to the F June 9, 2021 (12:59 pm)

    How tall were the old cranes for comparison?

  • CAPT. M JOLLY June 9, 2021 (1:11 pm)


  • Djet7carn June 9, 2021 (2:00 pm)

    Buying cranes from China for unloading goods made in China in containers made in  China…

    • WSB June 9, 2021 (2:40 pm)

      As discussed just about every time this comes up, unfortunately there are no U.S. manufacturers. China’s main rival in this is a Finnish firm.

      • AB83 June 9, 2021 (2:46 pm)

        We have the capability to build these cranes right there on Harbor Island It would’ve been a great project and contract for this local economy it’s just cheaper to do it China and there’s not much of a market for it

    • Ant June 9, 2021 (9:13 pm)

      I’m going out on a limb here with some assumptions but I do love how the baby boomers – the ones who love to preach about the glory days with Reaganomics – are constantly complaining about the very policies they likely (and proudly) voted for. China didn’t invent globalization, we did. 

  • Delridge June 9, 2021 (3:23 pm)

    Serious question,This is cool but, will it affect folks in WS in anyway? Im guessing this means that our port will become more efficient but like, will this create any sort of traffic or will the low bridge go up a few more times during rush hour? Stuff like that.Thanks!

    • VJ June 9, 2021 (4:21 pm)

      The ships for Pier 5 where the cranes are going, will be unloading cargo there and not transiting up the river past the Pier 5.

    • HarborIslandWorker June 9, 2021 (4:43 pm)

      Delridge… this will definitely affect traffic. It’s going to be a nightmare. Especially for the folks that work on Harbor Island and live in West Seattle. My guess is it will probably take a half an hour to 45 minutes just to get off of Harbor Island. Just to be thrown into detour route traffic on first Avenue and east marginal. Which will probably take another 30 minutes simply because of the increased freight volume “just for reference and only estimating here” but it could take me anywhere from an hour and an hour and a half to get from Harbor Island back home. (4 miles) every day simply because the Seattle department of transportation. Won’t grant access to harbor Island workers that live in West Seattle to use the low bridge. By the way was our normal route before the west Seattle Bridge catastrophe. I don’t think people understand how bad it’s going to get.

      • Delridge June 9, 2021 (8:29 pm)

        Wow, thanks for your input. Yeah, that’s sounds like a nightmare. How long you you reckon the traffic will last? I figured it was gonna be like a 1-2 day ordeal. This sounds a lot more involved. Thanks to KC metro vanpool, I get to use the low bridge so I don’t imagine it will impact me personally an awful lot but I think we have all learned since the high bridge closed last year, any sort of traffic congestion here certainly has an observable ripple effect on the area reaching out to South Park and Georgetown. I hope this goes as smoothly as possible so you guys don’t have to deal with so much traffic. Thanks for doing the work you do, appreciate ya!

        • HarborIslandWorker June 9, 2021 (9:43 pm)

          Delridge…. you most likely will not see any traffic difference while the cranes are being delivered and installed. My comment was more in reference to after T5 opens in is operational.

          • skeeter June 10, 2021 (8:11 am)

            HarborIslandWorker – I hear you buddy.  It’s a mess.  I work on Harbor Island daily and commute from West Seattle.  I’ve found the best options to be bussing to harbor island (both the 120 and 21 have very frequent service) or biking to Harbor Island over the low bridge.  I get it –  these options don’t work for everyone, but I hope you find something that works for you.    

    • HC June 13, 2021 (9:48 am)

      I ‘m not sure if it will cause the low bridge to go up more, but it will be the reason that expanded low bridge access gets scaled back eventually.  I can’t recall if T5’s opening was delayed because of impacts from the pandemic, bridge closure or a combo of both, but it was originally slated to open this spring, so to be clear I’m not throwing shade at T5 opening. More just wanting to make sure that it’s clear that there will be traffic impacts, just not necessarily (only) in the form of low bridge openings. I honestly feel we’re pretty lucky that it hasn’t been in operation yet and that city leaders are finally allowing us to take even more advantage of that, if only temporarily. 

  • For orca mammas June 9, 2021 (5:50 pm)

    Not excited to see larger cranes, boats, and the expansion of port industry on our sound. Concerned for the impacts on endangered resident orcas.

    • AlpenPaw June 13, 2021 (4:32 pm)

      Was my thought too as we watched them roll in this morning. I think of this all the time wading around the sound year round… interesting juxtaposition seeing cranes (herons) swoop over the water this morning with the four man-made cranes moving along southward towards the port.

  • flynlo June 9, 2021 (6:52 pm)

    Something doesn’t add up.  In your May 24th report, the trip was going to take a month.  Marine currently has the ship just south of Osaka, Japan ~5000 + miles from Seattle.  Either that ship going to be setting some new maritime speed records, is broken or somebody has a schedule fouled up!!

    • WSB June 9, 2021 (7:31 pm)

      No, that’s not a current position. Once the ship gets out of MT’s tracking range (unless you hace the expensive enhanced satellite tracker) – as in, out in the open Pacific – they won’t show the position again until it’s fairly close to our coast. Note that the last tracker position was May 26th, just a couple days after it left. Otherwise, yes, this is a bit faster than the port’s original estimate, which was four weeks. – TR

  • Commuter June 10, 2021 (6:42 am)

    Please tell me the port wont open before the bridge is repaired and opened. 

    • WSB June 10, 2021 (9:06 am)

      Terminal 5 is scheduled to open at least 6 months before the high bridge is likely to open (pending the next timeline update, which is expected next month). And the early 2022 opening is already a major delay from the original plan. – TR

  • Charles G Nunn June 14, 2021 (6:35 pm)

    In the seventies Seattle purchase container cranes built in Tacoma. I know because I work as a machinist at the company that made them. They were top of the line craned we sold all over the world. Then the politicians got involved and that work all went to China never to be seen here again. Sad…

  • Michael Carey June 15, 2021 (8:12 am)

    How do these cranes get unloaded from the ship?

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