April 20 - Full service freight forwarder Bellville Rodair International has turned to Europe's inland waterway system to avoid the administrative delays and headaches associated with the road transport of alternative energy generating equipment.
Managers at the forwarder have swapped speed for ease of arranging the transport of equipment such as windmill blades, sometimes measuring 45 m, along waterways such as the Danube, Rhine rivers and the Rhine-Main-Danube canal.
The company has a special ten-strong energy team dedicated to logistics planning for this specialised trade. The team has previously moved blades by coastal shipping to Scotland and to Spain via ports such as Rotterdam and Antwerp while shipments have also been undertaken to central European countries such as Hungary.
The company is anticipating a rise in such traffic in the immediate future as projects currently frozen in the economic chill come back on stream and begin moving products again. Large multinationals producers such as Alstom and GE are also becoming involved in the market, giving it a boost as the global economy recovers.
There is also another payoff for the company; the fact that these green energy components are being moved by water transport, which many in the outside world consider the greenest transport mode, creates a halo effect for Bellville Rodair and its clients, the company believes.