Seismic Response of Jumbo Container Cranes and Design Recommendations to Limit Damage and Prevent Collapse

by Erik Soderberg and Michael Jordan
Presented by Erik Soderberg at the Ports 2007 Conference in San Diego, California

Container cranes have evolved to serve ever increasing ship sizes. Today’s typical container cranes are about triple the size of the first cranes, much heavier, and more vulnerable to damage from seismic events. The seismic vulnerability of these large cranes was only recently recognized as a result of detailed time history analysis.

This presentation discusses what changed to cause the vulnerability, the results of the time history analysis, a physical explanation of the crane-wharf interaction, the inconsistency of seismic design criteria for wharves and cranes, recommended design criteria, and some base isolation and modification concepts.