Less lifting increases safety for transformer shipment
An ABB transformer made in Thailand takes pride of place in a Colombian government project after a successful transhipment across the Pacific Ocean.
Shipping a bulky 80-tonne power transformer across the world is no easy task. When it’s destined for a national infrastructure project, the stakes are even higher for everyone involved.
WW Ocean’s established liner service, global transhipment network, local competence and specialised equipment helped reduce costs and risk for energy giant ABB’s international freight forwarder.
High volume of heavy breakbulk
Deugro have handled around 100 sets of power and distribution transformers for ABB and other major manufacturers over the last two years. Given this volume, Deugro’s Kasem Kosol says they are always looking to reduce the total cost and risk of damage to this critical infrastructure.
“We chose a RoRo solution because it offers many ports of call. That is important for us as we send transformers all over the world. The total cost is also competitive”, he says.
The small amount of lifting required for a RoRo shipment improves safety for the cargo and everyone involved in the operation. This risk reduction is magnified when transhipment is required.
At the WW Ocean ports of Masan, Korea, and Manzanillo, Panama, the transformer was simply rolled off the ship into secure climate-controlled warehouses while waiting for the next leg of its journey.
Specialised equipment fit for purpose
As the ships have been designed to be able to handle various types of heavy cargo, RoRo is the safest, fastest and most cost-efficient way to transport breakbulk cargo. Despite the bulk and weight of the cargo, the customer did not need to make any special adjustments to the transformer when shipping RoRo.
The port operations team at Laem Chabang used a Samson heavy-lift trailer, an original design that is ideal for heavy cargo such as transformers, generators and turbine rotors.
As not all the stevedores had used this trailer before, the Laem Chabang team invited WW Ocean experts Captain Per Wallmark, Breakbulk Project Manager, and Roland Chai, Cargo Superintendent, to be present for the loading operation.
“To transport this special and sensitive cargo it is very important to have handling expertise, including design options for each of the shipments”, explains Poomsit Khunsit, WW Ocean’s Commercial General Manager in Thailand.
“Our specialists analyse and design handling methods and equipment based on dimensions and weight to make sure the safest and most secure solutions are utilised. During ocean transportation, the heavy-lift trailers are also lashed onto the deck to guarantee safe transportation”, he explains.
The total journey time from Thailand to Colombia was 59 days. Deugro’s Kasem Kosol was pleased with the local WW Ocean team and feels there is a good relationship forming. “We were happy with the operation and we will absolutely use RoRo again for future shipments”, he says.
About the shipment
The four-metre-high transformer weighing 80-tonnes was successfully transported in 59 days. The transformer took the intra-Asia service from Laem Chabang, Thailand, to Masan, South Korea, and the Asia to North America liner to Manzanillo, Panama, before joining the South American route to its final destination of Cartagena, Colombia.
Deugro Projects operates from more than 70 offices strategically located at gateways in over 40 countries with upwards of 1,100 employees dedicated to project logistics.