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Breakbulk April 2019

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April 2019 | The Journal of Commerce 9 www.joc.com Cover Story Breakbulk & Project Cargo If forwarders had not presented them with ro-ro and container carrier options for moving breakbulk and project cargo, using these transport modes would not have occurred to her and her colleagues, said Joye Runfola, senior logistics specialist — Americas procurement, Air Liquide USA. "Their job is to stay hip to the market … Honestly, I would never have thought about it." Now, it is becoming the norm for companies such as hers to ask forwarders to price container and ro-ro options, along with part-charter liner services. She has seen savings from moving project cargo via ro-ro and con - tainer transport, presumably because these carriers offer regular sailings on already-made voyages. Some MPV/HL carriers have monthly schedules, but "you are dealing with lift plans, etc. ... it's not an apples-to-apples comparison, so the costs are different." Ninety percent of shipping is about having good relationships with a few freight forwarders and carriers, especially for companies not moving significant volumes on the level of a retail giant such as Walmart, Runfola above the piece that would normally have held containers. Ro-ro and break - bulk costs are more complementary, he said. Additionally, on a container ship, the cargo is secured on flat racks or between artificial 'tween decks to the cellular structure that normally secures containers, Devlin said. If it's not fragile or weather-sensitive, this may not matter, but in his experience, the piece is rarely or never below a hatch. Thus, "on a container ship, there is risk due to exposure." to store and package and protect those pieces can also determine the mode of transport you use," he said. On the other hand, "If you are not actually shipping your cargo in a container (on a container ship), you may have to lift and load twice, and lash and unlash," Geodis's Devlin said. If a breakbulk piece fits within one flat rack, it takes up one container slot. If it takes up more than one slot, all must be paid for, including slots increasing the risk of port-related delays. These projects can be manufacturing or industrial factories, refineries, mines, energy plants, or any other kind of large-scale production facility. The sheer size of mega-project cargo — both in terms of the individual pieces and total freight tons — is another important factor. Because larger project cargoes may require individualized li plans and/or special fittings and fastenings, each piece must be planned for individually and for the most part can only be handled by multipurpose/ heavy-li (MPV/HL) vessels. Ro-ro carriers are out of their depth when tasked with moving an out-of-gauge (OOG) piece that weighs more than about 400 metric tons, one executive from an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) firm told The Journal of Commerce. When working with hundreds of thousands of freight tons of project cargo, it's imperative to control the ship, including port calls, cargo loading, and discharge. But the only way to do that is with a chartered ship. The go-to carriers in the sector include BBC Chartering, Zeamarine (comprising Zeaborn, the former Intermarine, and the former Rickmers- Linie), AAL, Thorco Projects, Spliethoff, Cosco, Chipolbrok, and smaller or more bulk- and breakbulk-inclined players such as G2Ocean, UHL, and Dship. At the super-heavy-li end of the MPV/HL fleet, as cargoes become more and more specialized, so too do vessels. For super-heavy-li carrier SAL, part of Bremen-based Harren & Partner, an 800-metric-ton piece is "still general cargo," Justin Archard, corporate director, commercial, at SAL, said during the October 2018 Breakbulk Americas Conference in Houston. As a given piece reaches 1,000 to 2,000 metric tons, ship specifications and cargo requirements sort toward the premium and super-heavy-li carriers such as Jumbo, Bigli, SAL, and on into semi-submersible and heavy- deck territory. MPV/HL freight rates are another risk for mega-project shippers; they can be highly variable. Pricing is generally based on the cost of vessel operations, length of haul, and the percentage of the ship's cargo space that will be taken up. For the shipper, that translates into a rate set by weight or by volume, whichever is greater, plus surcharges such as a bunker adjustment factor (BAF), anti-piracy, port security, Panama or Suez canal costs, and various other charges. MPV/HL vessels are virtually always in tramp, as opposed to liner trades, but calls to remote outports cost more than well-trafficked ports. Higher service requirements such as solo cargo voyages, transit time guarantees, or last-in/first-out loading also come with higher costs. And on the flip side, flexibility — be it with scheduling requirements or sharing vessel space with cargo from other clients — can oen save money for the charterer, but it adds risk as it can lead to schedule delays and other disruptions. Joye Runfola Logistics, Project Sourcing, Americas Air Liquide USA Train sets discharged at Manta, Ecuador, from a Wallenius Wilhelmsen ro-ro vessel. The trains are bound for Quito, Ecuador's new metro. Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean Jake Swanson Global Sector Head, EPC Projects, DHL

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