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250 tonnes to Houston

 July 2018

Arbour Shipping Ltd were requested by a client to facilitate in the transport and shipment of a large 250 metric tonne steel press from the UK to Houston USA. 


The shipment at first looked fairly straight forward, 250 metric tonnes and 8.50m x 3.85m x 4.00m, however after a standard site visit it became clear this was not going to be as easy as it first appeared. The press had only limited lifting points and no real fixtures to lash and secure it to either trailer or vessel. The centre of gravity was not central and the weight was 60/40 front to rear. Also the lack of realistic CAD drawings and lack of manoeuvring space at the load site made the planning more complicated than bargained for. 

However, after much contemplation, planning and hard work a loading and shipping plan was formulated and approved. The load site could only lift the press up using overhead cranes in their warehouse, this meant lifting had to be via underslung slinging as opposed to lifting points (of which there were none available) due to lack of available height in the warehouse. The slings were not travelling with the cargo so it meant placing timbers on the trailer so the slings could be removed once on the trailer. The problem this would cause was tremendous as the height would exceed the road permits for transport. Therefore we arranged for steel stools to be brought to the load site. The cargo was lifted onto the stools whilst the slings were removed, the trailer then dropped itself down to a mere 900cms and reversed carefully under the press. Once in the correct position the trailer raised itself up to 135cms thus clearing the press off the stools. The stools were then moved and the cargo heavily lashed to the trailer for road transport. 

The route from Sheffield to Goole port had a weight restriction on the slip road from the M18 onto the M62, this meant the closure of the M62 in both directions whilst the trailer accessed the motorway via the off ramp. Once on the M62 and heading in the opposite direction to the traffic the tractor units on the trailer were reversed and the unit then pointing in the correct direction headed to the port of Goole and the M62 re-opened for traffic.

At Goole port we placed a coastal vessel to collect the press and ship it to Rotterdam for connection to the mother vessel to Houston port.

At Rotterdam port the cargo was transferred ship to ship using floating crane from the coaster vessel to the mother vessel. Again, normally a simple enough operation however the offset centre of gravity and the different levels of the lifting holes made this an interesting prospect to do ship to ship.  The press was secured directly to the mother vessel for safe transit to Houston and departed without incident.

All in all another example of our expertise overcoming unforeseen challenges in order to deliver the best possible service to our clients.