Digital Edition

Breakbulk April 2019

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 7 of 23

8 The Journal of Commerce | April 2019 Cover Story Breakbulk & Project Cargo also has an EPC background, consid- ers is how the pieces will be stored after transport. For example, he said, pipe spools are often shipped in con- tainers in racking systems that can be pulled out of the box and stacked in laydown or offsite storage space. "Stacking those racks allows you to save space at the laydown facility; you are adding layers of shelves. It's more efficient. You might use 25 acres instead of 50. So, the way you decide for a certain cargo, but "there's room for innovation and creativity." Wind turbines, which account for a growing percentage of project trans - port as offshore and onshore projects pick up globally, can also require in- novative transport solutions. A rotor blade for a wind turbine can be 200 to 220 feet long, almost matching the wingspan of a Boeing 747, but weigh only about 9 metric tons. Thus, this cargo is lengthy, relatively fragile, and not particularly heavy. Blades can endure weathering and make good deck cargo for multipurpose carriers with clear deck space. And how much will that be? Geographic context influences costs and mode choice. "Where is the material being fabricated; what ports are nearby; are any container or ro-ro carriers running in and out?" said Jake Swanson, global sector head, EPC projects, DHL. If a piece will fit on a flat rack or can be transported on a ro-ro, that's an option that deserves consider- ation: "It might be more cost-effective than bringing in an MPV." Another element Swanson, who to be lifted? That adds risk." Brown recently moved a shipment of structural steel from the Middle East to the US Gulf via ro-ro. Because the steel was shipped already loaded on mafi trailers, it was possible to dis - charge 8,000 revenue tons in one day. This is cargo that would typically be packed in smaller bundles on a lo-lo (MPV/HL) ship, he said, which would have taken much longer to discharge. "Rolling stock lends itself to a ro- ro vessel. If it's too big for a container, it goes breakbulk," said Steve Drugan, a long-time project forwarder and Houston-based member of the proj - ect cargo industry. When breakbulk cargo moves on a container vessel, "you pay for the number of slots you displace. It takes a lot of coordination. It's easier to work with ships designed for breakbulk cargo." However, exact scheduling and short transit times have made con- tainer carriers appropriate on several projects he's worked on, Drugan said, and "they accommodated us and made space on the ship. But it's not easy, because of the cellular struc- ture." Each type of vessel is designed At its core, all logistics is about the same thing: getting cargo where it needs to go when it needs to be there and minimizing the various factors that could potentially endanger either the freight itself or the schedule. For certain segments, however, such as project cargo, those factors are far more numerous and complex, making managing the risk associated with freight movement that much more difficult than with traditional breakbulk or container cargo. Mega-projects, which can run in the multimillion- or even billion-dollar range, oen require intricate global supply chains, as materials are moved from far-flung fabrication facilities to construction sites that are sometimes in remote locations, far from the modern port gateways that generally handle the containerized goods destined for nearby population centers. These are the shipments with exponentially increased levels of risk. "The stuff that can screw up my day, if not planned early on, is the full charter, [with] the massive, critical [packing] lists and the transport on either side: to the load port and once [the cargo] arrives at destination port, on to the site," said Joye Runfola, senior logistics specialist, Americas procurement, Air Liquide USA. Based in France, Air Liquide is a multinational supplier and manufacturer of industrial gases. In some cases, mega-projects require the discharge of thousands of freight tons at shallow-dra, remote, or otherwise difficult ports, perhaps even at landing sites purpose-built as close as possible to the construction site, ruling out container and roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) liner services that don't take charters or call inducement ports and potentially Charters mitigate risks Pipe sections of a heat recovery steam generator manufactured by CMI Energy for energy project Hickory Run are discharged from the SAL Calypso at Port Erie, Pennsylvania. Port Erie

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Digital Edition - Breakbulk April 2019