Thursday, August 23, 2012

Project Freight Forwarding, As With All Logistics, Can Be Subject to the Whims of Nature

Heavy Lift and Break Bulk Cargoes Rarely Run Exactly to Plan
Shipping News Feature

JAPAN – MEXICO – UK – For many project freight forwarding companies the shipping of materials supporting the energy sector is ‘the new black’ as the saying goes. At a time when tonnages can be uncertain the heavy lift and break bulk cargoes have provided a more stable income for many logistics companies within departments that hitherto were often regarded as the icing on the financial cake rather than the daily breadwinners.

Tuscor Lloyds has actively pursued its interest in logistics projects for the Oil, Gas and Energy Industry of late and the policy is paying dividends illustrated by their latest specialist movement between Japan and Mexico when the request arrived to deal with the multimodal transport of parts needed to repair a transformer which had been damaged. The suppliers, the Mitsubishi power generation division in Kobe, Japan, readied the cargo as 63 packages weighing in at 45 tonnes and 125 m3 and Tuscor Lloyds divided the consignment into two phases.

The equipment was destined for a gasNatural Mexico for use in a power plant and firstly the replacement Generator Main Circuit Breaker (GMCB) system, a vital link in the system was safely loaded onto a 40 foot flat rack container and shipped from Kobe Port aboard MSC’s vessel Kalamata in good time and without incident. All phases of the operation including handling, transport loading etc. were supervised by the agents and surveyors of Tuscor Lloyds.

The second part of the first phase of this shipment involved the air freight shipment via AirFrance from Osaka of a small 150 Kgs consignment but which contained hazardous goods which had to be specially accommodated. The flight took four days before landing safely in Mexico for onward immediate transmission to the plant in Tuxpan.

The final phase involved transporting an auxiliary transformer main body and accompanying parts, the cargo, which was to be shipped as sea freight, comprised a total of 51 packages weighing 31 tonnes measuring 70 m3. As ever with project forwarding contracts of this size, all was running a little too smoothly for the God’s of logistics and Nature stepped in to play a role. A typhoon meant a delay to the freighter due to load the cargo and permission was needed to dock the vessel seven days behind schedule.

The cargo was loaded directly from a barge onto the main transport ship and the vessel departed the very same day. A member of the Tuscor Lloyds project management team travelled to Kobe to oversee the operations and safe loading. Besides operational supervision by Tuscor Lloyds and its Japanese agents, a maritime surveyor verified all the operations were made as planned.

This final phase of the operation should see the BBC Montana, the ship carrying the essential parts, arrive at the designated Mexican port by the 27th August and hopefully soon after another out of gauge movement will reach a successful conclusion.