What is ship-to-shore gantry crane

- Feb 02, 2018 -

Ship-to-shore gantry cranes are some of the largest examples of gantry cranes in the world and serve the special purpose of moving shipping containers from container ships to berths for unloading and from berths to container ships for loading. They operate along two rails (waterside and landside designations) spaced based on the size of crane to be used.

Ship-to-shore crane elements

Lateral movement system:

A combination of two sets of typically ten (10) rail wheels. The lateral movement is controlled by a cabin along the landside wheel. During any lateral movement, lights and sirens operate to ensure safety of the crew operating adjacent to the crane. The wheels are mounted to the bottom of the vertical frame/bracing system.

Vertical frame and braces:

A structurally designed system of beams assembled to support the boom, cabin, operating machinery, and the cargo being lifted. They display signage describing restrictions, requirements and identifiers.

Crane boom:

A horizontal beam that runs transversely to the berth. It spans from landside of the landside rail wheels to a length over the edge of the berth. The waterside span is based on the size of ship that it can successfully load/unload. Beams also have the ability to be raised for storage purposes.


Device which moves vertically to raise and lower cargo as well as horizontally along the boom's length. For container cranes, a spreader is attached to span the container and lock it safely in place during movement.

Operating cabin:

Encased setup with glass paneled flooring for operator to view the cargo being moved. Elevators which are located along vertical frame members are used to get crew up and down from the cabin.

Storage equipment:

For temporary storage options between vessel operations, one steel pin is inserted into anchorage arm dropped from each wheel set into a stow pin assembly. This setup is designed to prevent lateral movement along the rails. During hurricanes and other emergency shut down situations, tie down assemblies are used. Two angled arms are anchored at each end of each set of wheels. This setup prevents longitudinal movement along the rails as well as prevents tipping of the crane due to uplift from high velocity winds.

Ship-to-shore gantry cranes are often used in pairs or teams of cranes in order to minimize the time required to load and unload vessels. As container ship sizes and widths have increased throughout the 20th Century, ship-to-shore gantry cranes and the implementation of ship-to-shore gantry cranes has become more unique in order to effectively load and unload vessels while maximizing profitability and minimizing time in port. One example are systems where specialized berths built that accommodate one vessel at a time with ship-to-shore gantry cranes on both sides of the vessel. This allows for more cranes and double the workspace under the cranes to be used for transporting cargo off dock.


Related Industry Knowledge

Related Products

  • Bridge Girder Erection Machine 150T
  • 1-75t Heavy Duty Cable Drum Power Rail Traveling Electric Flat Cart
  • 100T Fully Hydraulic Rubber Gantry Crane for Boat Repair and Transfer
  • Double Beam Rubber Container Gantry Crane with Hydraulic Telescopic Spreader
  • 5t Free Standing Workstation Monorail Cranes with Hoist Design
  • Rubber Tyre Gantry Crane Container Gantry Crane