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Breakbulk April 2019

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6 The Journal of Commerce | April 2019 Breakbulk & Project Cargo Cover Story (EPC) executive who works primarily in oil and gas told The Journal of Commerce that 80 percent of his shipments move in containers — but, he emphasized, he is by no means talking about 80 percent of total freight tons, which can be many thousands of tons per project. His team will typically charter or part-charter an MPV/HL vessel to move large parcels of breakbulk and project cargo all at once; meanwhile, hundreds of containers may be shipped "two by two." Assuming that a given piece of cargo is suitable by weight/volume to move on a ship other than MPV/HL, choice of transport mode is based on "cost, protection of NOT EVERY SHIPMENT of breakbulk cargo involves complex mega-projects and/or thousands of freight tons, and it doesn't all move on multipurpose and heavy-lift (MPV/HL) vessels. Steel, for example, flows from breakbulk to bulker to, for some forms, roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) and container vessels, depending on markets, prices, and demand. Com- petition among the ocean carriers for these cargoes heats up when the market heads south; when times are good, the sectors are more content in their own cargo "lanes." Shippers, however, look for what best suits their cargo and their budgets. Phillip Brown, global chartering manager with Fluor, moves project cargo in all modes of ocean transport, depending on the type of cargo and the circumstances. Steel pipe and spool fit into oversize 45-foot containers. "Spaghetti pieces," odd-shaped metal pieces that would create a lot of wasted space in an MPV/ HL hold, are also a good choice for containerization, he told The Journal of Commerce. Several spaghetti pieces can fit into a single box, and boxing avoids multiple handling costs and limits risk. A stick-built capital project calls for both breakbulk and container ships, while modularized projects can require super-heavy-lift, open-deck, or open-stern vessels. "You just look for the best fit and schedules," he said. Another engineering, procurement, and construction By Janet Nodar Breakbulk a la mode Phillip Brown Global Chartering Manager, Fluor Dennis Devlin Director, USA and Houston, Industrial Projects, Geodis. No one-size-fits-all category, shippers choose transport mode by cargo need and budget

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