Breakbulk case studies from around Europe

As one of the busiest business areas on Earth, Europe is full of breakbulk activity.

Project cargo and heavy lift specialists are expanding their contract portfolios with a multitude of differing cargoes. 

Here’s how specialists are dealing with unique challenges presented moving equipment and machinery across differing transport modes in and out of Europe.

European breakbulk case studies

Rhenus ships diesel engines from France to Turkey

Rhenus Project Logistics is currently undertaking end-to-end transportation of 13 MAN diesel engines and fixtures from France to Turkey. 

The cargo shipment is part of a complex project, with the engines destined for use in a floating power station developed by project owners Karpowership. Overall, Rhenus was responsible for transportation, handling, and storage of the power units.

First phase of the project involved moving the MAN 18V51/60 TS diesel engines from their production site in Saint-Nazaire, France, to Cuxhaven, Germany.
Each engine measures 15 metres long, 5 metres wide, and are almost 7 metres high. They individually weigh in at 325 tons.

As such, Rhenus had to store the units at Cuxport, Cuxhaven’s maritime facility, to wait for an appropriate maritime vessel to dock.

“Until we were able to ship the first engines to their place of deployment, they were initially stored at the Cuxport terminal in a building with sufficient ceiling height so that they were protected from any moisture”, Marcus Janowsky, Project Manager at Rhenus Project Logistics, said in a press release.

Six of the 13 generators were set off on BBC Lagos on November 9 2019. Tuzla, Turkey, was their final destination. The generators arrived in Turkey at the end of November and have been installed on new Karpowerships. The remaining seven generators are due to be shipped during the next few months.

“The project is particularly important for us because it firstly demonstrates the excellent cooperation between the different companies and units within the Rhenus Group,” Janowsky said. “Secondly, handling this large and bulky load overland and on the water always requires special sensitivity and very precise planning – and we were able to provide this here.” 

Tschudi Logistics begins work on Gothenburg bridge

Project Logistics Alliance member Tschudi Logistics has begun final delivery of 42 massive bridge elements for the 350m Hising Bridge in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Tsuchi’s team has been responsible for key delivery operations across the length of the project. Scope included: 
  • Identifying and chartering the right transport vessel
  • Designing the transport route requirements
  • Loading & discharging of oversized bridge elements
  • Lashing & securing cargo open sea voyages

The first batch of components was delivered to the project site in October 2019. Total weight of the shipment clocked in at 1,774 tons, with the heaviest individual unit weighing 149 tons.

Components were first loaded onboard the Symphony Spirit in Bilbao using a tandem lift from the vessel’s two inbuilt cranes. Overall, the journey from Spain to Sweden took five days.

On 14 February 2020, another batch of balks, covers, and associated infrastructure, arrived in Gothenburg from Sevilla. Several other shipments are expected to follow, with final completion of the bridge forecast for 2021.

Tschudi has employed two of its local offices for the completion of the project:
  • Tschudi Logistics Denmark – Responsible for finding & chartering suitable vessels, designing the transport scope, loading & discharging oversized elements, and lashing & securing cargo
  • Tschudi Logistics Sweden – Oversaw the unloading process using Symphony Spirit’s twin cranes

Thomas Vestergaard, COO at Tschudi Logistics Group, said: “We started our preparations as early as 2015 and it is a delight to see how all of our hard work is coming together in a smooth operation. To ensure optimal handling of cargo, we were present on site, both in Bilbao for loading and here in Gothenburg for discharge.”

ALS moves rail wagons from Poland to Saudi Arabia

Obviously, rail freight presents a lot of advantages when it comes to project cargo.

Able to handle a multitude of freight types, weights, and dimensions in a cost-effective manner – but what about moving rail wagons themselves?

ALS recently completed a mammoth vehicle-movement operation - shipping 1,185 wagons from a factory in Poland to Saudi Arabia – which holds the answer.

This 20-month project involved moving three different types of wagon. Each weighed 30 tons apiece, with dimensions of 14.35 x 3.20 x 4.50m.

The first challenge was moving the wagons from the fabrication yard to the port of Gdansk via rail. As they were built to US standard, technically the wagons were not suitable for Polish railways. However, special permission was granted by the relevant authorities after small modifications to each unit.

Handling by crane was not an option due to the nature of each wagon’s construction. Each unit was loaded onto the waiting vessel onto specially-prepared roll trailers with embedded rails. Each was then lashed and secured in place for the sea journey to Dammam on the Persian Gulf.

All wagons were shipped by a Saudi flag carrier.

Special protestive measures were also put in place to shield the wagons from sandblasting and Saudi Arabia’s extreme temperatures.
Upon arrival in Dammam, wagons were winched onto road trailers, where they were transported to their final destination. Here, the cargo was off loaded via ramp directly onto the rail tracks.

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