RoRo delivers Hitachi Energy power transformers to the US
With three of its transformers destined for the US, Hitachi Energy needed a reliable solution to deliver these high-value products on time. Here’s why RoRo proved to be the perfect match for meeting such tight project deadlines.
Weighing over 180 tonnes each, Hitachi Energy required the expertise of a logistics partner with operational experience in handling high-value products to ship its transformers from one of its power transformer factories, located in Córdoba, southern Spain.
Previously relying on LoLo carriers to transport its products from Seville, finding the right charter vessel to cater for its specific needs presented Hitachi Energy with a number of challenges in the spot market, from unpredictable schedules to low vessel availability. With project deadlines looming, finding a reliable shipping partner was key to meeting tight timeframes.
“With the uncertainty of the schedules and port rotation of chartered vessels increasing the challenges of planning and delivery, Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s RoRo service offered a stable solution,” says Iñigo Urbel, Hub Europe Transport & Logistics Manager for the Transformers Business Unit at Hitachi Energy.
“In addition to its reliable schedules, WW Ocean’s experience in heavy lift operations involving transformers were key factors when considering this partnership,” he says.
Flexible sailings to meet tight project deadlines
With a narrow delivery window, shipping the power transformers from Málaga, one of the closest ports to its Córdoba factory, helped Hitachi Energy reduce lead times. Using Málaga as the loading port reduced time to market as the transit time from the factory to the port is much shorter.
While our ocean service doesn’t regularly call at the port of Málaga, taking a flexible approach allowed vessel MV Traviata to make a detour on her Asia to Europe voyage to accommodate Hitachi Energy's project timelines and ensure the transformers, which had been delivered on a special road haulage convoy, were delivered to Port Hueneme in California on time.
“WW Ocean’s flexibility in adapting its service to meet our operational needs, was key to the success of this project,” says Urbel.
In addition to its reliable schedules, WW Ocean’s experience in heavy lift operations involving transformers were key factors when considering this partnership
Hub Europe Transport & Logistics Manager for the Transformers Business Unit at Hitachi Energy
Minimal lifting to ensure damage-free delivery
WW Ocean’s technical team worked closely with Hitachi Energy's logistics experts and transport engineers to ensure the safe loading of the transformers. In line with Hitachi Energy’s high HSE standards and strict guidelines for cargo lashing and securing, the team planned every detail to ensure a smooth execution.
“In addition to suitable vessels and appropriate handling equipment, we have extensive experience in loading project cargo,” says Raoul Vega, head of Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s Iberia office.
Using jack-ups, a skilled team of stevedores loaded the transformers onto the Samson heavy lift trailer – a WW Ocean design capable of handling breakbulk up to 220 tonnes. The units were then lashed with heavy duty chains and rolled onboard the vessel where they were safely stowed for the duration of the sea voyage.
“Close collaboration meant WW Ocean kept us informed regarding every aspect of the shipment,” adds Urbel. “This attention to detail and professional support ensured a smooth operation.”