Shipping experts told Globes that the cranes in this category are designed for unloading and fast loading of the largest container ships currently in the world. Ships of this size rarely arrive in Israel today due to lack of economic viability. Thus, experts estimate, the placement of the giant cranes in the new port suggests an intention to turn it into a strategic port in the area. That is, a port that will serve in the future extensive loading and unloading of goods not only for Israel but also and perhaps especially other countries in the region, such as Jordan and the Gulf principalities, when the goods reach and exit them by rail.
The new cranes of the Chinese company ZMPC arrived directly from the port of Shanghai on a giant ship, designed for the mission and accompanied by a support ship, which includes the equipment and crew required for the logistical placement. At the beginning of the month, the gate cranes also arrived at the port, which are designed to move containers at the same time. Intensive preparations are being made in the port area for operating the cranes, which include the construction of dedicated power units and the deployment of a fast communication network.
Under the state-signed contract with Chinese SIPG, which is controlled by the Chinese government, the port will be handed over to the operator on a 25-year lease starting in the third quarter of last year. It should be noted that the port, which is perceived by the Chinese as a strategic branch of the “New Silk Road” program, is a significant political / security point of contention between Israel and the United States, which works to reduce China’s economic involvement in Israel.