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Breakbulk September 2019

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14 The Journal of Commerce | September 2019 www.joc.com Breakbulk & Project Cargo mill housings from site to port laying down, but the new trucking company chose to move the eight-foot-high housings standing up, he said. This put the housings at risk and also caused serious issues and delay at the port, D'Abreo said. "The inside of the mill housing, where the actual machining of the steel is done, is a very critical surface that needs to be protected during transportation. Any scratches or damages could render the mill housing useless," he said. "We know you only ship mill housings upright [when shipping] by rail." Moving the disassembled mill took 112 truckloads — 13 for the larger pieces and the balance for containerloads of smaller mill com - ponents and accessories. When the 95-metric ton mill housings arrived at Stockton, the port captain said they could not be lifted aboard the ship in an upright position and laid down after they were in the hold. "It was 24 hours before sailing," D'Abreo said. "We immediately contacted Sheedy Bridge, a crane company, to see if they could turn an upright 95-ton piece and lay it down" while the piece was still in port. Sheedy Bridge accepted the assignment, but the job could not be done in a day. "In fact, we needed two pieces turned, and that would take two days," D'Abreo said. The chartered ship arrived the following day and picked up the mill's breakbulk cargo, but had another time charter pending and couldn't linger at Stockton for the housings to be laid down, even though the client was willing to pay the vessel to wait. The ship sailed without the housings, the main components of the steel mill, D'Abreo said. Sheedy Bridge was able to flip the housings onto their sides at the port, but inducing another ship to come in to Stockton for a part-charter would have been prohibitively expensive, so much so that KOG Transport ended up hiring another heavy-haul trucker, Contractors Cargo, to move the laid down mill housings from Stockton to Long Beach, where there were many more breakbulk shipping options. Three weeks later, the mill housings finally departed for Tianjin on an Eastern Car Lines service that regu - larly called at Long Beach. l email: chris@cbarnmedia.com. possible to avoid having to break them down and reassemble them on site, sometimes that isn't possible due to the size of those pieces. In such cases, "We have to tell them, 'No,' " Osmers said. "There are road and route restrictions and bridges that must be factored in." Because the oversize, overweight cargo required a geared vessel at the destination port, KOG Transport chartered a breakbulk ship for the cli - ent, D'Abreo said. "So, we had the two mill housings each and approximately 1,000 cubic meters of breakbulk cargo for the charter," as well as some regular containers and odd-size units that went into open-top containers, he said. The larger mill units were dismantled, stored, and transported as just-in-time freight for the ship charter to avoid port storage costs and potential exposure to weather. KOG Transport had initially been hired to manage the entire move, but Sherman Steel interceded and arranged inland transportation from Pittsburg to the Port of Stockton with a third-party trucking company. KOG Transport had planned to truck the prise for the company is buying and selling entire steel mills. "We find and buy steel mills any - where in the world, but usually in the US, Canada, Belgium, Germany, and Spain," Om Sharma, founder and CEO of Sherman Steel, told The Journal of Commerce. "And we sell them to customers in China, South Korea, Japan, India, Pakistan, and Bangla- desh. That's the easy part. Then it can require up to 150 people to disassem- ble and ship the (typically) 30,000- ton mill in pieces halfway around the world, refurbish it, and reassemble it. The total process can take two years." Relocating steel mills was a booming business in the 1990s and early 2000s but has become less com- mon as shuttered steel mills became scarcer and global trade recalibrated. Sharma declined to discuss specific sales and movements of sec- ondhand steel mills, but a New York City-based project logistics company that has orchestrated several second- hand moves for Sherman Steel in the past agreed to detail one particular — and problematic — move that took place in the early 2000s. Colin D'Abreo, a former partner at KOG Transport and current president of Rhenus Project Logistics, told The Journal of Commerce that this partic- ular defunct mill was owned by USS Posco Industries. Located in Pittsburg, California, east of San Francisco, the mill's final destination was Xingang, China, via the Port of Tianjin. "The heart of a steel mill is the mill housings, and this was a single stand mill with two housings that weighed 95 metric tons apiece," D'Abreo said. Once the mill was disassembled and KOG Transport had secured the permits needed to move the heavy housings over California roads, the firm moved the various components to the Port of Stockton, 30 miles away. Juergen Osmers, founder and president of KOG Transport, said another challenge in transporting a disassembled steel mill is that "the buyer's engineers decide what is a feasible size and weight to move, and they would specify how far to disassemble the mill." Although project forwarders generally look to accommodate requests from a buyer's engineers, who typically prefer to keep the mill's pieces as large as Moving entire steel mills requires unique logistics knowhow. Shutterstock.com

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