Little Miss Sunshine and South Craneolina have joined the ranks of South Carolina Ports Authority’s cranes — thanks to the creativity of two Greenville County elementary students.
Haven Ebel and Jack Sibley-Jones, both fifth graders at Blythe Academy of Languages in Greenville, won the Port’s latest crane-naming contest for two new rubber-tired gantry (RTG) cranes at Inland Port Greer.
Third through fifth grade students in Greenville County and Spartanburg County school districts submitted 552 name suggestions for the cranes. A team of SCPA employees reviewed the entries; the selection process is anonymous.
Ebel’s Little Miss Sunshine and Sibley-Jones’s South Craneolina submissions were selected. The students recently visited Inland Port Greer to see the names displayed on the cranes. They also earned $500 each for their school from SCPA.
“Our Name the Cranes contest engages students to think creatively and introduces them to Port operations and equipment,” said Mike Stresemann, SCPA’s senior director of crane and equipment maintenance. “It gives students an opportunity to impact port terminals in a real way.”
Students from around the state have named dozens of RTG and ship-to-shore cranes at Port terminals over the years. Daddy Long Legs, Craneous Maximus, Cranebob Bluepants, Heavy Metal and Bluesaurus Rex are among the names adorning cranes used by crane operators.
“South Carolina Ports Authority strives to have an innovative and diverse workforce that thinks outside the box. Our Name the Cranes contest creates a connection between the Port of Charleston and South Carolina students, helping them to envision a career in the maritime industry,” S.C. Ports Authority COO Barbara Melvin said. “We also really enjoy seeing the creative names that students suggest for our cranes.”
The 85-foot-tall RTG cranes at Inland Port Greer move containers on and off trains and trucks at the terminal. Inland Port Greer, now in its sixth year of operation, extends the Port of Charleston’s docks 212 miles inland with an overnight train service provided by Norfolk Southern.
Inland Port Greer can reach 90 million consumers within a 500-mile radius, or a one-day truck trip. The inland terminal handled its highest monthly container volume in May, with 15,563 rail moves. The facility has handled 128,515 rail moves from July 2018 through May, up 19.4% from the same time a year ago.