The Mobile Harbor Crane is on the Move

Mobile Harbor Crane with SpaceX Booster on Drone ship

Port Canaveral’s mobile harbor crane is approaching its two year anniversary and making big moves! The 270-foot-tall Liebherr LHM 600 mobile harbor crane is the largest of its kind in the US, and operating primarily at North Cargo Berth 5. To meet the needs of  growing and diverse cargo throughput, the mobile crane will soon be able to transit from its current position at berth 5 to North Cargo Berth 6, then onto 8.

With its 104 wheels remote controlled, this iconic and versatile 1.19-million-pound crane can be moved from one cargo berth and positioned to another for lift service as needed. Four separate motors power the crane's 13 axles for forward and reverse maneuverability. When the crane is not in use, it can plug into shore power to maintain its lighting, charge the batteries, and to operate the air conditioning units.

Moving from one berth to another took great engineering efforts to make the necessary improvements for the crane to transit freely. Snapper Road was rehabilitated with 3.5 inches of new medium duty asphalt pavement, designed to handle the loads of the mobile harbor crane during transition. The roadway was widened to thirty feet with an additional six feet of paving, three feet on each side. Stabilized shoulders were added to provide greater flexibility and additional space when moving the crane. Enhanced street lighting was angled to avoid mid-air conflict with the crane during transit. Additionally, on portions of both Snapper and Grouper Roads, overhead power and communication lines were removed and relocated underground.

The new North Cargo Berth 8 was designed and built as a multi-purpose berth, to allow for maximum flexibility in the type of cargo operations using the mobile harbor crane, including 2,000 pounds per square foot loading capacity. This large load capability is well suited for heavy cargo lifts, such as project cargo rocket boosters and other space-related components.