A Chinese epic

A Chinese epic

Tuscor Lloyds has just completed an extremely difficult and complex multimodal shipment of a power station boiler from Hunan province deep inside China through to Trieste, Italy. The single piece measured 14m length by 4.5m wide by 5m high, and weighs in at 115 metric tons.
The first problem encountered was due to the boiler’s height, which made it necessary to use a specialised low load trailer to clear overhead obstructions along the route between the shipper’s door and the port in Shanghai. The solution created its own set of problems as bumps in the road surface halted progress on several occasions. A specialist team of surveyors and hydraulics operators followed the cargo along the full 1242km route to Shanghai solving problems along the way.

Through the journey they came across trees, signs, overhead wires, as well as uneven road surfaces and sharp inclines. Due to the tenacity and perseverance of the road team, the boiler arrived safely in Shanghai and made ready to be loaded onto the contracted vessel. The Shipping Line made things difficult by deciding last minute that they wouldn’t receive the cargo by trailer but needed delivery to port by feeder instead. These things never go smoothly but having a project manager from the UK office on hand in China helped. The representative spent the next 2 days and nights organising the trans-loading at a local port and arrange for a dedicated feeder to take the cargo to the shipping line’s terminal in time to meet the mother vessel.

After all that the Shipping Line cancelled the loading due to bad weather. This was a disaster and logistical puzzle of epic proportions. How to handle a 115 tonne, 14 metre long piece at short notice? No replacement sailing, no place to store it, nowhere to take it. The company’s embedded project managers had to move quickly and find somewhere to store the boiler whilst arranging for alternative sailings via Hong Kong and/or Busan and deciding on the best method of transport to those ports. Extending his stay in Shanghai for another 5 days,
the company’s project manager found a solution which dramatically minimised the potentially huge costs as a result of the delay.

Within the project shipping industry problems like these arise, and a positive “can do” outlook is essential to the successful solution of difficult problems such as these. After spending 15 days in China the company’s managers finally made the cargo ready to be loaded onto the feeder barge using a floating crane in the local specialist handling facility. The feeder made its way to the international container terminal in Shanghai and waited overnight to be loaded as break bulk cargo on board the mother vessel the next day. The weather turned again as
the projects team arrived on board the container vessel to watch the loading. Despite this and the port closing shortly afterwards, the cargo was loaded successfully using a floating crane on rough waters. With a skilled team of stevedores and marine surveyors in attendance the shipment was secured on board and sent on its way to the port of Trieste in Italy. www.tuscorlloyds.com