The container cranes will should be easy to spot as they’re towed into the Port of Everett. (Port of Everett)

The container cranes will should be easy to spot as they’re towed into the Port of Everett. (Port of Everett)

Cargo cranes were a bargain at $1 — but then there’s shipping

Two 200-foot-high cranes on a barge are expected to dock at the Port of Everett next week.

EVERETT — A barge carrying a pair of 200-foot-high cargo cranes is due to dock at the Port of Everett next week after a 1,400-mile ocean journey from Los Angeles.

The towering green cranes should be easy to spot. They’re wrapped in orange bracing and traveling upright behind a 130-foot tugboat, the Michele Foss.

At the end of the year, they’ll become part of Everett’s working waterfront.

The port purchased them as surplus from EverPort Terminal, a firm that operates a container terminal at the Port of Los Angeles — a bargain at $1 each. But like many items, that cost excluded shipping. Barging them from L.A. to Everett cost more than $5 million.

Each crane weighs about 2.4 million pounds — more than an oil rig.

The tug and its cargo were scheduled to arrive this week, but Wednesday the vessel encountered 60 mph winds and 12-foot waves north of San Francisco.

To steer clear, the Michele Foss had to backtrack to avoid the swells, creating the delay, said Lisa Lefeber, the port’s deputy executive director.

The harbor cranes are destined to become the seaport’s second pair of workhorses at the South Terminal dock, joining the Pacific Terminal’s blue container cranes.

“Blue and green —we’ve got a Seahawks theme going on,” Lefeber said.

Once they arrive, the cranes will go into storage for a few months. They won’t be installed until a $37 million project to upgrade the South Terminal dock, the port’s largest container dock, is completed this December.

That work strengthens the 700-foot dock so it can accommodate larger ships and heavier cargo, including aerospace components for the Boeing 777X.

The first phase of the project, completed in 2015, strengthened 140 feet of the dock.

The current phase reinforces the remaining 560 feet and upgrades the dock’s electrical system so ships can shut off their engines and plug into shore power while they’re in port.

Together with other improvements, the project is part of a $57 million upgrade to Everett’s waterfront.

By export value, the seaport, a natural deep-water port, is a major force in Puget Sound shipping, booking $30 billion in exports in 2016.

A large percentage of the cargo that passes through the seaport supplies the local aerospace industry, including Boeing.

The cranes are expected to be offloaded next week during high tide.

You can track the voyage at marinetraffic.com and searching for the Michele Foss.

Janice Podsada; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods

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