RoRo demand from freight forwarders increasing
On a route with direct competition from LoLo carriers, RoRo provides a reliable solution for shipping power generation components from Brazil to a hydroelectric power plant in Chile.
RoRo offers alternative to an established LoLo route
Chile’s electricity system depends on thermoelectric and hydroelectric power, including two new-build hydropower plants in Alto Maipo.
For freight forwarder Brasil Projects, getting power generation equipment, such as a 120-tonne rotor measuring almost five metres in width and depth and three metres tall, safely from Santos in Brazil to the upper section of the Maipo River, southeast of Santiago, is essential.
Brasil Projects used to rely on lift-on lift-off (LoLo) vessels for breakbulk cargo but were not satisfied with the risk involved nor the reliability of departures.
Thiago Gonçalves from Brasil Projects decided to switch to RoRo because the operation is safer and more reliable than with LoLo. “The solution also has a defined transit time,” he says.
Dedicated handling equipment for heavy cargo
The 120-tonne rotor was shipped by WW Ocean from the port of Santos to San Antonio in 35 days. Purpose-built roll trailers were used by the WW Ocean team to securely stow and roll the 120-tonne rotor on and off the vessel. This process keeps lifting to a minimum, even when transhipment is required.
“Once the customer realised there would be an overall cost saving with RoRo, they trialled a shipment for a smaller piece, which was successful,” explains Raphael Liberato, WW Ocean’s commercial manager for Latin America.
Products that are loaded onto LoLo vessels tend to be designed with lifting points only at the top. Often this means that there are no other suitable points for lashings elsewhere, which would compromise safe shipment on roll trailers.
In the case of the rotor, the WW Ocean team set up a workshop involving the freight forwarder and manufacturer, as well as operational team meetings with engineers from the production plant, to add lashing points to the product and prepare it for a successful RoRo shipment.
“We planned the entire solution, ensuring the correct lashing points to the lifting equipment from the truck to the roll trailer,” explains Liberato.
We always receive a good service, from the quotation until the loading operation at the port.
Regular RoRo services to meet demand in South America
“We always receive a good service, from the quotation until the loading operation at the port. Over the last year, we have significantly increased our operational volume with WW Ocean,” says Project Brasil’s Gonçalves.
The successful rotor shipment followed the shipment of a stator, the unique top part of the power generation system with similar weight to the rotor but even bigger dimensions.
The demand for breakbulk shipments has increased in South America and WW Ocean is well placed to meet the demand, with three sailings per month now available on this route.