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Breakbulk April 2018

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April 2018 | The Journal of Commerce 17 Breakbulk & Project Cargo CHITTAGONG IS ONE of the world's most congested ports. Vessels can wait seven to 10 days for a berth at Ban- gladesh's main port, resulting in high costs and congestion surcharges. To deal with the delays, Chit- tagong officials ordered additional gantry and yard cranes and other cargo-handling machinery. Last September, the port began receiving the first of 46 pieces of contain- er-handling equipment from China, France, Germany, and Poland. Offloaded were four rubber-tire gantry (RTG) cranes, four strad- dle carriers, four container reach stackers for loaded containers, four empty-container forklift trucks, five container movers, four telescopic handlers, 10 five-ton low mast fork- lifts, 10 five-ton high mast forklifts, and one log handler. Additional pieces requiring more complex handling were shipped lat- er. These included RTGs and related handling equipment port officials were counting on to decongest the chronically backlogged port and to facilitate badly needed expansion. That shipment, eventually totaling 23,400 metric tons, would require an entire vessel for essen- tially two cargoes and a coordinated logistics strategy engineered by a project forwarder thoroughly famil- iar with moving a crane that soars 123 feet into the air at destination. The Chittagong Port Authority had ordered the two new custom-de- signed RTGs from International Management & Construction Co. (IMCC) in Abu Dhabi, where they were manufactured at the group's sprawling Gulf Piping Co. fabrication and erection yard. To oversee movement of the Wilhelmsen Ships Services Ship to shore at Chittagong Wilhelmsen handles complex shipment of cranes from United Arab Emirates to Bangladesh By Chris Barnett "The scope of work was sourcing a suitable geared vessel for loading at a private jetty in UAE to final destination in Bangladesh." RTGs, IMCC project manager Francis Joseph contracted with Wilhelmsen Ships Services, which has a 200-per- son presence in Dubai and has exper- tise in movement of outsize cargoes. Wilhelmsen, with roots dating back to 1861 and a Norwegian mem- ber of Project Cargo Network, has served IMCC for a decade. "We have a 10-year relationship on project business," Joseph said. Mani Vettom, breakbulk and project cargo sales manager for Wilhelmsen's ocean desk, said the two organizations started talking informally in July 2017 about the twin gantry shipment. The formal request for quotation was released the following month. "The scope of work was sourcing a suitable geared vessel for loading at a private jetty in UAE (United Arab Emirates) to final destination in Bangladesh," Vettom said. The firm shipping date was Dec. 15 as specified in the letter of credit. Each RTG measured 92 feet by 40 feet by 92 feet and weighed 178 metric tons. The dimensions created challenges in finding a vessel to accommodate the cargo, which re- quired a 185-foot separation between the cranes and 93-foot-high hooking or lifting points, Vettom said. "We checked with all the heavy- lift carriers — nine vessel owners and a list of eight ships — and vetted them against their capabilities against the (characteristics and) requirements of the cargo, including such things as boom angles, said Ajith Navaloor, Wilhelmsen project manager in Dubai. Wilhelmsen did an exhaustive search of the market, whittled down the list to five lines with vessels that could accommodate a bold solution, a tandem lift of both cargoes. The short list included SAL, Jumbo Shipping, Hansa Heavylift, Hanssy Shipping, and United Heavylift. "We gave the client the specification and options on each and every carrier," Vettom said. The selection was delayed by the sheer size and complexities of the cargo, the hooking and lifting chal- lenges, and date changes. "It took four full months, but we kept push- ing the client and the carriers every day to arrive at a decision, warning them with all the delicate details, (the shipment) could slip out of our

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