RoRo wins out for Heavy Lift Transformer Shipments
In the world of breakbulk, heavy cargo is part and parcel of daily life.
Dutch manufacturer Royal Smit Transformers recently worked with WW Ocean to ship five huge transformers to customers in the US. But how is such large and complex cargo handled?
Royal Smit recently decided to use WW Ocean RoRo vessels to ship a total of five transformers from Zeebrugge in Belgium to the Port of Savannah, Georgia, and Port Hueneme, California.
For Royal Smit, delivering products to the customer on time is crucial. The manufacturer produces around 130 transformers every year, with increasingly higher voltages and capacities to serve the electricity grid. These giant transformers – weighing up to 350 tonnes – must be transported in one piece.
“Finding space for these high and heavy loads can be challenging,” explains Bram Reintjes of Royal Smit. “When we assess transport options, we try to find the best fit in terms of time constraints and economics. WW Ocean was able to nominate a suitable vessel for our shipments within the right timeframe.”
At Zeebrugge, the transformers were placed on Samson and roll trailers, and rolled onto the vessels. RoRo vessel Faust was chosen for the Port Hueneme transformer shipment, and Parsifal for the units shipped to Savannah. With main deck heights of more than seven metres and ramp capacity of 500 tonnes, Faust and Parsifal are ideally suited to handle this type of heavy and large breakbulk cargo.
“The port of discharge in the US can be a deciding factor for the shipper,” Paul Van Heurck, Break Bulk & Liner Sales Benelux, WW Ocean adds. “Some ports in the US have better inland connections to the final destination or apply cheaper handling costs.”
Once the transformers arrive at the destination port, a combination of rail and road transport is used to reach the final destination. “For what we call ‘the last mile’ of the journey, we make use of road transport, which often requires lots of adjustments such as the raising of power cables, the removal of street furniture, or even trimming trees,” explains Bram.
The pace of change in global energy is unprecedented, and requires a sophisticated supply chain. When it comes to delivering equipment for the growing grid, logistics companies must demonstrate an ability to keep up with the pace of change – in doing so, they’ll contribute to the delivery of next-generation energy, something integral to the planet’s future.
Royal Smit decided to use WW Ocean RoRo vessels to ship a total of five transformers from Zeebrugge to Savannah and Port Hueneme.
At the port of load, Zeebrugge, the transformers were placed on a Samson trailer and rolled onto the vessels.
These giant transformers – weighing up to 350 tonnes – must be transported in one piece.
The need to ship large and unwieldy pieces of equipment across oceans and continents brings about complex logistical challenges.
The pace of change in global energy is unprecedented, and requires a sophisticated supply chain.