Höegh Autoliners recently transported three 45-metre long rotor blades from Portugal for a wind farm in Australia for DSV Projects Portugal.
With the long rotor blades located in Portugal, DSV Projects Portugal transported them overland by road trailer to Santander, Spain for the ocean voyage to Australia.
“Due to the project deadline, Höegh’s dependable liner service from Spain to Australia offered the customer the most reliable ocean transport. Additionally, our New Horizon vessels sailing in this trade, provide a wider ramp capacity than other vessels, and safe underdeck stowage which is an advantage when transporting these unusually long sensitive cargoes.” Pablo Guerrero, Sales Manager in Spain explains.
With the length of the rotor blades, it was not possible to transport them on roll trailers. The solution was to drive the rotor blades onboard the vessel with the road trailer they were transported on. Once inside, they would be placed directly on the vessel’s deck. With a combined total length of 50 metres, this required the cargo operations team to come up with a solution to ensure the operation was as safe as possible.
Cargo Superintendent Roger Duran shares, “This is where our competence and experience with oversized cargo is put to the test. Our solution was based on a concept we used previously to successfully ship 33-metre long wind blades; fitting extra beams, specific to the shape of the cargo to provide additional support during both the loading and ocean transportation.“
With the extra beams welded on the rotor blade’s transportation cradles, it allows the Cargo Operations team to expertly move the blades from both ends, directly from the road trailer using forklifts working in tandem, on to the vessel’s deck.
“The concept is quite simple, but it requires skilled stevedoring, as the blades are discharged from a road trailer onto the vessel’s deck using two forklifts. We also needed to correctly estimate the right ramp angle and make sure we had enough space to manoeuvre on board with the long trailer and the forklift.“ adds Duran.