Liebherr Harbor Crane supports Bellingham’s shipping business

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The 590 foot long MV African Egret loaded around 5.2 million board-foot logs at the Bellingham Shipping Terminal in May 2018.  The port could soon see new cargo activity with the arrival of a very large crane on Thursday July 8th.

The 590 foot long MV African Egret loaded around 5.2 million board-foot logs at the Bellingham Shipping Terminal in May 2018. The port could soon see new cargo activity with the arrival of a very large crane on Thursday July 8th.

Courtesy The Bellingham Herald

The Bellingham Shipping Terminal could soon see new cargo activity with the arrival of a very large crane on Thursday July 8th.

The Liebherr Harbor Crane, with a lifting capacity of 120 tons and a reach of 157 feet, arrived by barge at the ship terminal on Cornwall Avenue near Waypoint Park. As soon as the mobile harbor crane is set up, it can handle new projects that the ship terminal has not been able to handle so far, says Mike Hogan, spokesman for the port. This includes an anticipated barge service that will operate between Bellingham and San Diego. This service sends forest products south while empty containers that need to be repositioned are sent north.

The 817,915-pound crane was shipped from California to Bellingham after it was declared redundant by the port of West Sacramento due to a cargo center of gravity change, Hogan said. The port has signed a contract with the Pacific Crane Maintenance Company to bring the crane to Bellingham.

“The new port crane is an amazing machine that will open the door to business opportunities we have not been able to take advantage of and create good jobs for our community,” said Ken Bell, President of the Ports Commission. “Using a giant crane on the docks of Bellingham Shipping Terminal not only shows that we are a functioning port, but will serve as an enduring symbol of the strength of whatcom County’s functioning waterfront.”

In addition to the crane, the port recently received a $ 6.85 million government grant to upgrade the terminal, which should help attract new business, Hogan said.

Prior to the crane’s arrival, the shipping terminal’s focus was on inland shipping, including the current shipping of large boulders for a major project on the Columbia River.

In 2018, the 590 foot long MV African Egret arrived at Bellingham Bay and loaded approximately 5.2 million board foot logs that were shipped to China for housing and furniture production. In 2017 the MV Diana Bolten unloaded organic corn and soybeans that went to local markets.

While Bellingham has mostly done domestic inland shipping business at the shipping terminal, Hogan said a variety of companies are considering Bellingham for some international cargo travel.

Maritime trade is an important part of Whatcom County’s economy. A recent study estimated that Whatcom had more than 6,000 jobs directly and indirectly related to maritime trade, accounting for about 7% of the total workforce.

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Dave Gallagher has been reporting on the Whatcom County’s business community since 1998. His topics include retail, real estate, jobs, and port redevelopment.



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