Hurricane Laura Can’t Stop UTC from Delivering Massive Cargo Safely and on Time

UTC recently managed the transport of some of the largest pieces of equipment to come into the Port of Beaumont.

UTC’s team of experts began the planning process by chartering and inducing a Jumbo vessel that could accommodate the four over-weight/over-dimensional pieces of equipment (approx. 815mt, 760mt and two at 240mt each) along with a crane capable of offloading the cargo. They then determined loading, stowage, and unloading processes that would facilitate the discharge plan.

The right vessel, the right stowage plan

Choosing the right vessel for a shipment of this magnitude is critical, so UTC focused on contacting heavy-lift carriers for the operation. Most shore cranes are not able to handle over 800 tonnes, whereas the cranes aboard heavy-lift carriers are designed to handle up to about 3000 tonnes. Once the Jumbo vessel was secured, UTC’s team focused on stowage. Prior to loading, the stowage plan (lashing and securing, etc.) and method statement had to be approved by the shipper, receiver, port agent and the insurance agents.

“For an 815-tonne piece, while it is enormous, it is also very delicate and requires precision transport. The stowage plan must take into account weight distribution as well as discharge plans. You must stabilize lashing and securing so that the pieces don’t shift during transport, and ensure all technical concerns – that the vessel can really perform the way you want it to,” Oktay Bayramcavus, Project Director, UTC Houston.

Hurricane hits … no delay

Once the vessel was loaded, the transport took roughly 30 days to reach the Port of Beaumont. Unfortunately, it approached the port just as Hurricane Laura hit, which provided unprecedented obstacles: a sunken dry-dock closed part of the Sabine Neches Canal to vessels more than 500GT. However, the UTC team is adept at risk assessment and management and this did not delay delivery.

“When the Jumbo Jubilee arrived at the Port of Beaumont, offloading was straightforward due to the stowage plan that we had carefully designed and approved. We offloaded the heaviest piece to the barge first, which took approximately two days’ round trip to the final jobsite. To avoid down-time we offloaded several smaller components that were shipped as general cargo onto trucks until the barge returned for the next breakbulk piece,” Victoria Caffesse, Project Manager, UTC Houston, said.

Keys to success

“Communication is the key to a seamless transportation of such enormous equipment. UTC’s teamwork and expertise allows for an exciting move such as this one to be successfully completed on time and on budget,” states Eliana McCaffery, Regional Sales Development Manager. “It’s not every day you see an 815Mt piece being offloaded in person, and I am proud to be a part of a team with hands-on knowledge to make this happen!”

“This project is just another great example of the white-glove service that UTC offers. Our teams always take the time to learn the intricacies of the equipment being transported to ensure that we offer the best possible shipping solutions,” Marco Poisler, UTC’s Chief Operating Officer.

You might be thinking – what comes next? “No project is too big for our team to handle,” Diana Davila, Project Director and Branch Manager, UTC Houston said. “We are ready for the next challenge!”

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